You're GEEK is Showing...
This is what I looked like- all dressed up and girly-like for SkyWarn class.
One of the speakers- the Kent County Under Sheriff
The thought of a billowing beautiful cumulonimbus growing on the western horizon on a hot summer day gets my blood pumping. The peals of thunder beckon me outside, gathering my camera and batteries. I set up my camera in the openess of the back yard. I scan the darkening clouds, smelling the rain approaching. With heart fluttering like mad- I hit record on the camera- waiting. Waiting and hoping to cath that pop flash of natural electricity. I stand there next to my aluminum tripod- the anticipation leaving my breath quickening. I am trained in what to look for. What could happen. What that cloud formation could turn into- is it nothing or should I run for safety?
As I sat in the middle school auditorium last night, I listened and watched people. The uber geeks, the one's that don't care about such small things as brushing their teeth or outward appearence nervously looked at me a couple times but never said hello- instead they blushed and looked at the floor when I caught them looking at me. The air was simply electric with conversation about the fast approaching winter storm and if the head of NWS Grand Rapids was going to give us "inside" information on the storm and his predictions. That same air- smelled of stale coffee and cigarette smoke clinging to musty winter coats. There was the super sports dad, appeasing his young son by bringing him to SkyWarn class, but he cringed everytime "one of those nerds" brushed past him- like he was going to contract some sick nerd disease like enthusiam.
Soon- our speakers took the stage- the head of Emergency operations to Kent County. Then the under sheriff for the same county. Following him was the one weather-guesser that could possibly make me think they could do no wrong-
Anyhoo- the class itself hasn't changed in the three years that I have been going. It is however a great time if you like the whole concept of geeking out over the weather. And hearing things like swirling vortex, wall cloud, wind shear, wet micro-burst, hook echo, wind speed velocities, enhanced fujita scale... Oh goodness- I'm feeling a bit flushed (waves hand in front of face). The head of NWS Grand Rapids, Ernie Osturno, is also funny as hell. "Due to road commission budget cutbacks we're limited to the number of winter storms this year..." added loud laughter from the 266 people in the audience. Or when dicussing flash floods "Be careful folks, cars don't make good boats, because they have no rudders..."
Anyhoo- I am geeked for yet another year of hopefully awesome storm photo taking. And like Ernie said- "Folks, we're WAY overdue on a major tornado outbreak of storm producing EF3's, 4's, and god help us 5's- maybe this year. That last recorded EF-4 was in 1977..." Fingers crossed! Well, double crossed- number one, that it won't hit my house, and two- that I can photograph something big this year...