It’s amazing out there

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 4, 2014

This past week was amazing weather-wise.
The weekend began with powerful storms sweeping across the mid section of our nation and across our state before losing potency along the eastern seaboard. The storms left a path of destruction in their wake, more than 40 dead and countless people homeless. Weather is a powerful force that shapes our lives in wonderful and dramatic ways.
Weather, and tornadoes in particular, are beautiful things to behold albeit from a distance. Growing up in Southern California my wife and I were privileged to enjoy beautiful sunny skies and mild temperatures. True the weather is pleasant with low humidity and low rainfall, but how much sunshine, ocean breezes and blue skies can one enjoy before it becomes monotonous?
Seasonal changes in California are not noted by the changing of leaves, the volatile storms of spring, the approaching of hurricanes or the drop in temperatures. Californians see the beginning of the Santa Ana winds season, which brings hot dry winds off the desert, overlapped by fire season fanned by those winds and closely followed by the small amount of rain they get, which in turn leads to mudslide season. Anytime the weather gets unseasonably hot the natives out west are on edge waiting for earthquake season.
For most of those seasons the skies remain blue and temperatures mild. I can remember only once during my childhood experiencing an electrical storm. There was no rain but lots of lightning.
I am truly fascinated by lightning and so is my wife. There have been times when we have opened the blinds and watched the heavens light up as the streets swell with rainfall. Monday was no different for us. We got home opened the blinds and waited for the show to begin. The lightning was spectacular for a few minutes as it was off in the distance. Soon the trees in the distance began to disappear behind a curtain of turbulence.
That’s when our phones went off alerting us to take shelter immediately. What was amazing to watch soon became all too real as hail began to pelt the windows. We took cover in an interior closet and waited for the storm to pass. After about 15 minutes we emerged to clearing skies and the latest weather alerts blaring on the TV. We were fortunate not to lose power and watched as the destruction played out across our state. There were at least nine tornadoes that touched down and impacted Mississippians in so many ways.
The weather channel recently changed their slogan to “It’s amazing out there.” It truly is amazing, especially after an event such as the one this past week. It’s amazing how our neighbors come together to help each other out. Mississippi is truly blessed to be such a generous state. We may be last in many things that don’t matter in time of catastrophe, but we rank No. 1 in generosity. I have seen it many times and it was especially evident in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and again this week. I truly am proud to be a Mississippian.

Paul Barry is the managing editor and can be reached by email at or by phone at 601-636-4545 ext. 123.

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