Hither and Thither and Whether the Weather

Jack’s weekly guest blog on something all Scots know a great deal about– bad weather


The last few days have seen me driving around a fair bit and, since we’re in the season of changing weather, checking the forecast pretty regularly. About four or five years ago we had a devastating tornado roar through the town taking off roofs and throwing big trees around like matchsticks, so a tornado watch alert has become a bit more of a big scary thing for me. More recently Wendy almost got caught in a very bad one that roared through East Tennessee and up into Virginia killing many people and practically destroying a number of towns and communities.

News reports starting coming in of serious damage and multiple deaths over to the South West of us a few days ago with indications that those tornado bearing storms were heading our way. On Monday the first local warnings began to appear and I went into ‘check the interactive map’ mode. Sure enough – there it was – a big angry looking swatch of red and yellow heading straight for us!

But there’s something odd about the way we sit behind the Cumberland Mountains that seems to regularly affect what happens to storms as they approach us from that direction. This one did what many do and split into two halves just before it got here. All we got was a brief gust of wind, very dark cloudy sky and a short blast of rain and that was it. One half went North of us towards Norton and Wise and the other half went South towards Pennington Gap and Duffield.

Later on Monday I had to go to an event near Pennington Gap and saw downed trees, scattered branches and flooded fields.

In Scotland, where I lived most of my life, although the weather can be unpredictable it’s rarely extreme. It does have storms and frequent high winds but rarely anything that would be life threatening.

It’s tempting to think that we are seeing the effects of climate change but I haven’t lived here long enough to know what the typical weather pattern is in this part of the world so my jury has to be out on that.

There is one Scottish saying that seems appropriate however – Ne’er cast a cloot ’til May be oot (don’t divest yourself of any clothing until after the end of May)

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under Big Stone Gap, folklore and ethnography, humor, Life reflections, publishing, Scotland, small town USA, VA, writing

3 responses to “Hither and Thither and Whether the Weather

  1. Janice Brooks-Headrick

    Jack, ’round here, we don’t put away the coats until Blackberry Winter. When the blackberries bloom, we usually get a blast of cold. It already happened with Dogwood Winter, about April 10, when we had 60* one day, and two inches of snow the next. We live back in a holler, and nobody can accurately predict what happens here. The weather channel gets close, but some days is off by 15*. We’ve had tornados come up the valley, tearing out trees, ruining houses, and we didn’t get a whiff. When the trees start bending over, I start praying, stowing my valuables (husband and pets) in an inside bathroom. No basement. Just know that Mother Nature does what she wants here in the Smokies, and she’s so unpredictable. Janice Brooks-Headrick 865-429-1783 Storyteller Author Instigator facebook.com/janice.brooksheadrickCorresponding SecretarySmoky Mountain Storytellers Association

  2. The only comment I have is the use of the word “typical”. Sometimes I think that word doesn’t apply when talking about weather!

  3. Every time I see the subject line I think I am seeing “Hitler and Thither”and wonder why in the H Jack is writing about Hitler……

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s