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Severe Weather Can Be Beautiful and Frightening at the Same Time

Lightning Storm 6-17 4

I grew up in Minneapolis in the late 60s through mid 80s. It doesn’t matter where you grew up, but when. In that day in age we had three TV channels if we were lucky and the AM radio stations would do around the clock weather reports when severe storms would hit. My mom and I would huddle in an unfinished basement on a cement floor with blankets, a little transistor radio and maybe a thermos of hot chocolate she would put together quick to keep us calm. Every flash of lightning or thunder BOOM would shake the house and scare both of us.

Flash forward 40-odd years and storms are now being chased. Locally the Tea Storm Chasers have been very active letting us know what the weather is doing. A National Tornado Chasers team has been set up in Nebraska over the past several days with the twisters in Pilger and Coleridge. They were in Yankton, SD last night and with the weather pattern we’ve had lately, I don’t think they’re leaving quite yet.

And so many talented photographers around the area have been putting themselves in harms way to capture the storms and the flooding that everyone wants to see. In the days of social media, everyone can. I was able to sit in the relative dry comfort of my living room Tuesday night with multiple computer windows open to attempt to get the latest weather information out to our listeners and Facebook followers thanks to these brave men and women.

I went to bed to a fantastic light storm and a threat of tornadoes and found that a dairy farm near Humboldt, SD was hit by a twister last night causing extensive damage unfortunately. I also woke to some pretty incredible pictures from one of those talented people I wrote about earlier.

I met Bill Tetrault at a Rock and Roll Damnation/Hairball concert in Sioux Falls. He took some amazing shots that night and I asked for his permission to use some in a story I did on the concert. Tetrault decided to skip sleep Tuesday night and go to Wall Lake with his camera. Bill, THANK YOU for sharing these incredible shots with us!

Again, I don’t recommend doing this as it can be extremely dangerous (ironically, next week is the National Weather Service’s Lightning Safety Awareness Week). But if the latest forecast is any indication, we may see photographers and storm chasers around the area again tonight.

From The National Weather Service in Sioux Falls:

NWS 6-17
National Weather Service

We’ll keep you informed on the air and on our Facebook pages of any severe weather while you enjoy the fruits of Bill Tetrault’s labor, including a very cool video he shot!

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lightning storm 1
Photo Courtesy of Bill Tetrault
Lightning Storm 2
Photo Courtesy of Bill Tetrault
Lightning Storm 6-17
Photo Courtesy of Bill Tetrault

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