Things have been a bit wild and woolly here in southern Manitoba over the past few days. Here in the city we’ve just had intense heat and humidity with rain, rain and more rain, accompanied by some pretty spectacular displays of flashing light and percussion. We’ve been in danger of going mouldy, but other places have had much more serious stuff to contend with. Many areas were hit with large hail and intense winds. Most seriously, though, the heat and humidity spawned several tornadoes, two of which were particularly scary. Well, any tornado is pretty terrifying stuff, but most in these parts pale in comparison to those experienced in other parts of the world. Not this time, though. The one that touched down just west of Winnipeg, at Elie, was an F-4, one of the strongest storms possible on the planet, with wind speeds of up to 420 km/h. The one near Pipestone, in the southwestern corner of the province was an F-3. Fortunately the unstable air mass seems to have moved on at long last, and we’re basking under sunny, clear skies with a cool breeze today. But it will be a while before life gets back to normal for those affected by the worst of the weather.
I was going to post links to news sites, but found a pair of rather spectacular videos on YouTube that are much better than those seen on news sources. They’re well worth a look, if you have a few minutes. The one of the Pipestone tornado was done by professional storm chasers, and the Elie one was done by an amateur. Personally, I think that storm chasers are morons with a death wish, but kudos to the lad who took the amateur video, from a safe distance.
I suppose that I should post a language warning for the second video, but we’re all grown ups here and I don’t think that a couple of words are going to make anyone’s ears burn off.
I don’t want to diminish the serious nature of these weather events in the slightest, nor do I want to show any disrespect to those who suffered their effects directly. My thoughts go out to everyone, truly. There is a slightly amusing element to the amateur video, though, at least from my perspective. I’ve no doubt that the lad doing the filming was well aware of the serious nature of what he was seeing, but his commentary and actions during the filming are just so typically rural Manitoba. And for those of you who wanted to know what a Manitoba accent sounds like, listen carefully. You’ll get a good glimpse of some rural Manitoba landscape in these videos, too. Elie and Pipestone are a couple of hundred miles apart, but the landscape doesn’t change much from east to west across the southern part of the province.
Still on the weather theme, I hope that my two favourite people in Yorkshire are faring well through the flooding there. You’ve been in my thoughts constantly over the past 24 hours, YS and Wosser.