It's one thing to have a 40% chance of a thunderstorm and quite another what we had here this afternoon.
I am glad I took pictures of the first 2 daffodil blooms and a few new crocuses before the storm.
The rain started a bit sooner than forecast, but that was no great surprise. Maryland, being between the Appalchians and the Chesapeake Bay east/west, and the northern and southern weather patterns, is considered one of the trickier areas of the US for weather forecasting. We get unexpected swirls from all directions.
I was appreciating that there would be some rain; we have had only about 1/2" so far this year. So I was watching the first few raindrop. Then the hail came down!
We don't get hail often here and it is usually the size of peas when we do. It falls straight down, bounces around oddly and lasts about 5 minutes. The hail around here is usually the size of peas; this stuff was grape-sized. Not much compared to what some people get elsewhere, but surprize is whatever is more than you are used to.
Today, we had a hail-blizzard! I've seen snow going almost sideways in serious blizzards before, but I have never seen hail do that. The hail didn't bouncely politely of the roof; it smashed into the windows and doors. It was so heavy (briefly) that it just looked like a thick fog outside (moving rapidly sideways).
The sound was deafing on the side of the house facing the wind and I am hoping that when I can see it in the daylight, there is no dented or broken siding. It was exciting in an odd way (meaning I couldn't stop it, so might as well observe it for the experience).
And then the power went off. It came on a few seconds, went off a few seconds, and then went off for 3 hours.
It wasn't yet dark enough to need candles, but I did go around the house and collect battery-powered stuff in case it lasted a while. I have several radios with rechargeable batteries, a couple lights that operate off cigarette plug in cars, 2 portable battery packs with plugable outlets, several maxlite flashlights, and even a crankable emergency radio. And multiple-wick emergency candles. We do sometimes have hurricanes here. And I always make sure to have dry wood and a couple bags of charcoal for cooking outside if things get bad for more than a day.
I am SO boy-scoutish... LOL!
The radio said we had wind gusts up to 60 mph and heavy hail. There was a possible tornado reported nearby, so the wind gusts made sense. I don't keep a rain gauge up in Winter so I don't know how much precipitation fell, but in the 30 minute storm the drainage easement was running higher than I have seen it for years. I a thankful for 2 things about that. First, that I raised the level of my lawn around it by 2' 3 years ago, and second, that I got the County out here to clean the imbedded debris in the storm drain at the end of the easement. Otherwise, the street would have been inundated! Even so, my front lawn near the street had standing water a foot deep. Even a storm drain has finite draining capacity.
There is temporary damage. The only 2 first 2 daffodil flowers were crushed, I think most of the crocuses are beaten down. Perhaps most sadly, I lost a few 100 saucer magnolia buds that were about to bloom due to the warm weather of the past weeks. I'll take heart that so many are left. And the unopened daffodil buds seem undamaged. Flowers are fragile; buds are tight and tough.
The power came back on in time for me to re-heat a pre-cooked frozen meal (pulled pork with jalapeno peppers in roasted tomato sauce with noodles) and M/W sweet potato and a big tossed salad. Good thing too, because I was staring at a can of beef chili and considering using the hibachi to heat it...
What irritates me the most (aside from the loss of the saucer magnolia buds really) is that I was JUST going to the basement to plant my tomatoes and peppers and cole crops when the power went out.
And stranger? It is dribbling hail. Just started as I typed the last sentence...