Wind and Weather

I’ve returned from my wind wanderings and found that there a myriad of stories that I could share.  I’m also sure that nearly all of my readers have their own stories as well. Some that are funny and others that a scary.  For me tornadoes fall into the scary category.  However, I’m also attracted to being near them and have been visited by a few.  I grew up in what is called, “Tornado Alley” in the state of Michigan.  The area has spawned many a tornado or other severe weather to support this claim.  In fact, one of the most devastating tornadoes in U.S. history (listing of top 10) is the  1953 F-5 Beecher-Flint Michigan tornado that cut a 27 mile long swath.  It came within 8 miles of the home I grew up in.  My grandmother saved the newspapers that covered the tragedy.  I read and re-read them over and over again.  The stories fascinated me as well as adding growth to  my quest for understanding people.  A tornado leaves in its wake a war-like environment:  pain, suffering, unrecognizable loved ones both dead and alive, heroism and  its opposite.  It takes years to get over such an event.  And for some, there is no getting “over” it. Click for info and photos

Flint-Beecher Tornado

Flint-Beecher Tornado

“1953 Beecher tornado” by NOAA







The sea spawns tornadoes and worse too.  These events have to do with waterspouts and hurricanes.  Waterspouts are divided into two categories, fair weather and tornadic.  Fair weather ones form beneath developing cumulus clouds from the surface of the sea and build upward, where it reaches maturity and peters out.  Tornadic waterspouts are tornadoes on water, often developing on land before moving over the water.  These are treated as dangerous and are associated with severe storms, hail, high winds, large seas, and lightning. See for source material and more information.

Fair weather water spout  Photo credit: Niccolò Ubalducci Photographer / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Tornadic Waterspout Photo credit: RelentlesslyOptimistic / Foter / CC BY









Hurricanes form over the equator which is the reason that they are fist labeled as a tropical storm.  These form when warm moist air rises at a rate that leaves a heightened low pressure area at the surface of the ocean.  High pressure above sends air down, which forms more warm moist air that rises .  This scenario repeats itself over and over.  Eventually, the cloud formation spins and develops an eye.  The eye works as a funnel for the high pressure air flowing downward.  The factors that move a hurricane are global winds, heightened high and low pressure systems, beta drift (due to the Coriolis Force), the jet stream, gulf stream, wind shear, and a few more items. Click here for source and more information.

Photo credit: NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center / Foter / CC BY-NC

Now, that I’m loaded with all of this information, I grab the VHF and have a listen.  The forecast creates a need to adjust my schedule.  It says that by early tomorrow afternoon rain and possible thunderstorms will move in.  My plan is to paddle all the way to Crow Island (Harpswell), but I wouldn’t make it by noon.  Bangs Island is much closer and on my list of islands to visit.  I’ll head there but Abbie B and me will have to leave early for a comfortable voyage and to arrive before noon.  Fine with me.

I am now ready for the great outdoors and unzip the tent door and do my little spin maneuver to exit.  I have a knee injury that has healed quite well except for possible meniscus damage, making the knee impossible to close or accept downward pressure.  It’s taken awhile to develop a technique for entering and exiting the tent.  I have it down now.  I don’t even have to think about it.  Roll onto side, make fist with each hand and put weight on them, bend healthy knee and sort of fold the other a bit, spin while moving body out the door and come to stand via pushing against hands and the knee of the good leg.  Stand and straighten injured leg.  I should have been a gymnast!

The wind has steadied and the tide is is three hours past it’s six hours high.  I walk the shore as best as possible exploring rocks and fauna, gazing at the intersection of the ocean and island at as many points as possible.  Boy, I’m really glad that I didn’t try to circumnavigate this island under the conditions of the day I landed and certainly not today either.

I find a duck and sit next to him.  He allows me to pet and speak to him.  However, I can’t understand anything he says and he’s heard a lot.  He’s made of dry wood and wood records sound.  I sit and stare at the wooden figure.  I imagine myself listening to his stories and enjoying a yarn or two.  I bet it would be an all-nighter.



About Just Jude

I grew up on a small farm in Michigan but have always felt the urge to wander and began doing so as a teenager. Since that time, I've hiked, biked and paddled in every season; not for sport, but for the journey.

Posted on February 11, 2015, in Nature, Weather, Wind and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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