What's the worst thunderstorm you've been in?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by MacFan782040, Nov 6, 2005.

  1. MacFan782040 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 1, 2003
    Scranton, PA
    I thought this would be an interesting topic.

    For me, it was traveling to Atlanta one summer in the car. We were driving on the highway, and there was just one storm after another. It was so bad, we had to pull off and go under underpasses. It was so scarry.

    Another time was when we were at home and there was this really bad storm. There was tornado watches out and I remember it got so windy. Then lightning struck a tree right out front and it almost deafened me for a minute.
  2. EJBasile macrumors 65816


    Apr 20, 2004
    One time a friend of mine and I were driving home from a meeting. It seemed to be a nice day but then it got really stormy. There were huge thunders big lightning strikes. Then it started to hail so hard you could barely see and put a little dent on the top of my friends brand new Murano.
  3. xsedrinam macrumors 601


    Oct 21, 2004
    Holding approach pattern in to Minneapolis aboard Delta. Turbulence and we "free fell" for 17 seconds. It's a long time to fall on a plane. Cabin doors opened, anything not attached scooted down aisles, screams (I wanted to but, internalized it.) That's why I have PTSD. :p Tornados for another thread...
  4. katie ta achoo macrumors G3

    May 2, 2005
    Tropical Storm Allison was pretty bad.
    It flooded everywhere and power kept going out.

    it was pretty scary.
  5. homerjward macrumors 68030


    May 11, 2004
    fig tree
    we had a pretty awful thunderstorm in '98 (i think) with tons of flooding. iirc it was a convergence of a couple of tropical storms and a front coming down from canada (darn canadians :p). i was at home with chicken pox during the whole thing so i missed all the fun :rolleyes: one of my dad's friends almost drowned in olmos basin (on her way to work--trinity university pretty much stayed open :eek: )
  6. ~Shard~ macrumors P6


    Jun 4, 2003
    Driving through Golden and Roger's Pass between Alberta and British Columbia, about 7 years ago. The road winds through the mountains, with a cliff on one side and mountain on the other - no room to pull over. The rain was coming down so hard we could literally not see - at all. With the wipers going full blast, we couldn't even see the white line on the highway. Yet we had to keep going since we knew there was a semi a few kms back of us, and there's no way he would see us in time if we stopped. Talk about a white knuckled driving experience! :eek:

    That being said, I've been in even far worse snow storms than the above - maybe someone should start a thread on the worst blizzard they've ever been in... ;) :cool:
  7. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    I flew into a thunderstorm in my own airplane back in September. At night. The storm wasn't supposed to arrive for another six hours, but the weather guessers guessed wrong, so there I was, flying over the California high desert in the dark with lightening striking the ground all around me. It was a pretty dramatic scene. Fortunately the turbulence and rain were minimal, but every one of those lightening bolts looked like it was coming right through the cabin. I wasn't in any real peril, but just the same, I sure was relieved when my wheels touched the runway.
  8. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    We don't see a lot of tornados here (although we get the 2nd highest number of them in the world) but we do get some ripper super-cell thunderstorms.

    One of the worst was just before the Olympics, hail the size of cricket balls (slightly bigger than a baseball but not much bigger) pelted most of the suburbs and the photos that came out afterwards were amazing - there were entire suburbs where every house was sporting a tarpaulin on the roof. That little storm cost AUD$6 billion.

    One of the best and coolest thunderstorms I have been in was on Christmas Eve 1992 in Singapore. It was a massive lightening and thunder show the likes of which I haven't seen since. We were on the 22nd story of our apartment, watching lightening bolts shoot past our windows - it felt as though we were inside the storm. Damn it was fun.
  9. Whyren macrumors 6502a


    Jun 3, 2004
    east of the West and west of the East
    A.) Driving down a little-used highway at midnight, a large thunderstorm starts pouring rain and blotting out any moonlight available. Lightning flashes about every 10 sec or so and is bright enough against the pitch black to blind me for about 3 sec (not a good thing when driving @ 60 mph).

    B.) Driving on the interstate an extremely small cell (I mean, barely a dot on the radar with nothing else around) drops 2"-3"/hour rainfall with some minor hail falling hard enough to make all the cars on the interstate stop.

    C.) Similar to B except on a hilly highway with much larger hail. Everyone else was stopped on the side, but I kept going because I needed to get back to town and knew the valleys w/rivers were going to flood within half an hour (which they did).

    Haven't had any tornadoes too near us recently, though last summer there was one about 1/2 mile from our house and headed our way. I happened to be playing Halo online at the time (smart, huh?) so I probably confused/scared a few people as I logged out with "S***! Tornado!"

    I've also had the pleasure of having a lightning bolt strike the ground about 7 feet in front of me.
  10. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    Being in an airplane during one.

    It was this past June, I was returning back home to St. Louis from New York City. We were in the air, in St. Louis, in the process of landing at Lambert International Airport when it started storming extremley bad, you could see and hear the hail knocking against the plane windows. Very scary. But, since we were nearly on the ground, they might as well just chance it? Right, well, sorta. The pilot brought the plane to the ground, we touched down, and the second the plane touched down, the pilot brought the plane back up into the air where we circled around St. Louis for a bit. Of course, the pilot decided to wait until we landed the 2nd time to get on the intercom and tell us that we went back in the air because it's safer....uh, when the plane is already on the ground, I do not see how bringing it back into the air is more safe. Before that announcement, everyone on the plane was scared ********, we thought there was mechanical trouble or it was hijacked.

    Other memorable ones:
    Being stuck inside a Wal-Mart during a tornado. Everyone survived, the tornado didn't touch down anywhere near that Wal-Mart, but they decided to hold us captive inside that hellhole until the sirens went off.

    Watching my brand new car sit in the work parking lot during what was certain to turn into a huge hailstorm. Fortunatley, it didn't, but that's still not something you want to witness.
  11. iSaint macrumors 603


    May 26, 2004
    South Mississippi y'all, near the water!
    Thank goodness I've never been in an airplane during a storm. I'd probably freak out.

    Gosh - there's been so many great thunderstorms over the years in the south.

    In November of 2002 I was at EYC (youth group) with my daughter and a dozen other kids and the storm warning sirens started going off. It was just getting dark, and had been a clear day. Two hours later we were huddled in the hall while a tornado passed within a 1/4 mile of us at the church. It passed within a city block of my apartment with wife and son inside. It cut a path through our entire county, but fortunately only one death was reported.

    A tree fell on my car in 1989 I think. Freak evening storm, no other storms around the state.

    I watched a tree fall behind my house and pull my electric meter box out of the wall in 1987.

    In 2000 there was a series of straight line winds across our county. Widespread damage.

    I've never been totally scared, though. I'm usually the one looking out the window like a dumba**, totally fascinated by what's going on. I guess the tornado scared me a bit since we had all those kids there, and my wife was elsewhere.
  12. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Apr 26, 2002
    That's easy.
    Last year I took the family to St. Louis for a mini vacation. On the way there we knew we'd be driving through storms, but the next day the area would be clear and sunny. About half way it started to rain. Then harder. The harder still All cars were on the side of the road. It let up a bit so I drove to the next exit to try to find some cover... I got to the top of the overpass and it rained so hard the wipers had no effect. I'm pretty old, but have NEVER seen anything like it. Then the hail started. BIG hail, about the size of a quarter. In the midwest everyone knows it's rain, hail, tornado. I asked my wife to crack the window to see if any cars were coming becasue I had to turn left. She cracked it, and a FLOOD came in. I chanced it, then made it 1/4 to a convenience store... FILLED with people, some crying. Seems the police scanner said that a level 5 tornado JUST passed us about 1/2 mile away and destroyed a factory. One half mile. That ain't much folks. My 10 year old was FREAKING out. The hail got even heavier, and folks were worried... then it ended...
  13. Oryan macrumors 6502a


    Apr 1, 2005
    Lincoln, NE
    When I was in elementary school I was at an "olympics campout" with Cub Scouts and a powerful thunderstorm came out of no where and broke most of our tents. A lightening strike hit our olympic torch and it exploded. That was quite a sight!

    Second story:

    Two springs ago, my dad decided he wanted to be a storm spotter since he had been messing around with HAM radio. Usually when you are starting out you are paired with an experienced spotter, but this particular night there was a shortage so my dad was sent out alone. It was his first time out. Within 10 minutes of reaching his spot, the rain and wind were so severe that he could not see the hood of his car through the windshield. Once the storm had passed, he could no longer see any sign of the town that was just half a mile from him. It turns out that he had been just outside the edge of the largest tornado ever recorded (over 2 and a half miles wide!!).
  14. Whyren macrumors 6502a


    Jun 3, 2004
    east of the West and west of the East
    Wow...that's especially lucky considering many F5 tornadoes are 1/2 mile in diameter. :eek:
  15. Phat_Pat macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2004
    I Live Where I Live
    disney world.

    lightning knocked down a light post and struck buzz light-year (the statue not the guy dressed up)

    part was flooding in like 5 inches of rain in 5 minutes.

    it was awesome
  16. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    The worst that I went through were the ones in Nebraska. Coincided with tornadoes. Scary, often with hail.
  17. iGary Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House
    I used to live at anchor in Annapolis on my sailboat.

    There were several summer boomers that laid my boat flat, and were quite scary.

    I've been fortunate never have been up photographing and get caught in a storm in a chopper or fixed wing.
  18. Whyren macrumors 6502a


    Jun 3, 2004
    east of the West and west of the East
    Same thing happened to me too! (excepting the lightning) They even had to stop my ride on Big Thunder Mountain in the middle of it (with an exit into some sort of emergency tunnel) due to a possible tornado or something. Of course, everyone was completely soaked, but every single vendor had thin pieces of cheap plastic with Mickey on them selling them as "rain ponchos" for $6 a piece. Supposedly, Florida was in a drought at that time.
    :rolleyes: That wouldn't happen to have been the same storm would it? When was it?
  19. Jon'sLightBulbs macrumors 6502a

    Jan 31, 2005
    LIFE ADVICE: Close Calls Make Bad Stories.

  20. zelmo macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2004
    Mac since 7.5
    About 10 years back my wife, daughter, and I flew out to Phoenix during Christmas break, to visit her sister. We spent a day in Sedona, then drove up 17 through Flagstaff the next morning, taking Rte. 40 to Williams, where we took a steam engine up to the Grand Canyon.
    We pulled back into Williams around 7.00p, and it was starting to snow a little. By the time we got halfway back to Flagstaff, I was driving in a full fledged whiteout. The only things I could see were the taillights on the semi ahead of me. If he'd driven off the road, I would have followed him. As we headed down 17 south to Phoenix, traversing all the switchbacks down to the desert floor, the temp dropped and the blizzard changed to the nastiest thunderstorm I've ever seen. In an unfamiliar place, in a rental car (with no insurance other than what was provided by the credit card), on roads where one side had a token guardrail between us and what felt like a sheer drop, and no lights on the road. I was a wee bit tense, to say the least.
    Finally, we got to the desert, and the sky cleared to display a magnificent view, and a million stars in the sky.
    I'll never forget that drive.
  21. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030


    Dec 7, 2002
    Florida, USA
  22. Apple Hobo macrumors 6502a

    Apple Hobo

    Mar 19, 2004
    A series of tubes
    I've been through plenty of nasty Florida t-storms. I've also been through some storms that have dumped huge amounts of rain.

    And then there were direct hits from Andrew, Katrina, Wilma, and brushes from a handful of other tropical cyclones.
  23. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    Your pilot executed a go-around, which is a standard procedure in certain circumstances. If I had to guess, I'd guess that he decided that his approach was too long or too fast. Another possibility was a runway incursion of some kind. In either case, going around is certainly safer than landing and maybe running into something.
  24. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    Were having a thunderstorm right now. So far a lot of thunder and vivid lightening.

    Now we are getting the driving rain.
  25. EricNau Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    Sacramento has very tame weather compared to what you guys are talking about. I remember a few years back we had a bad T-Storm that lasted all night. At one point I was staring out my Window and saw a lightning strike about every 15 seconds, that was probably the worst.
    Also, I didn't see one, but last year we were getting mild tornadoes in our county. We had several in one day - usually one a year is the most.
    Sacramento may not have severe weather, but we are at a high risk for flooding. I heard a report that put us second worse in the nation, right behind New Orleans.:eek:

Share This Page