Tornado Warnings and Hail!


Canyonlands National Park

In much of California we have two basic seasons: winter and summer each about six months long. In the winter it may occasionally rain and we wear long sleeves and carry an outer layer.  In the summer, we wear short sleeves.

On this cross-country journey, I ran into a lot of unexpected weather. I wrote earlier about the snow over the Colorado mountains, the freezing conditions and 55mph gusts through Wyoming and South Dakota. Fortunately the East Coast and the South were more pleasant.

The day before arriving in Denver, I was surprised to learn that there was a serious tornado warning in Wyoming and Northern Colorado. In my lifetime I have only heard of one freak tornado that occurred in the San Francisco Bay Area about ten years ago. Once I hit Northern Colorado, the road signs indicated active tornado warnings. The freeway was full with both cars and trucks. I scanned the radio to try to learn more. I figured I would keep a lookout on the sky and see what the other vehicles were doing.

After Colorado I spent a couple of days enjoying southern Utah. I went to Canyonlands National Park and while taking the picture above it started to hail. I luckily did not venture out on a hike and returned to my car. A few miles later I found quite a layer of hail on the road along with some serious precipitation and wind. The drive was a little scary as I knew two of my tires were not in particularly good condition and definitely not suited for “snow”. The conditions deteriorated after the photo was taken.

I was told by a local in Moab that it only rains typically around ten days a year.  All along this journey I have experienced unusual weather that I suspect may be caused by climate change.   Luckily I survived rain, wind, snow, hail and tornados.

Hail Accumulation in Utah

Hail Accumulation in Utah


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