Sunday, July 27, 2014

You can never trust the weatherman

When I left the barn at 7pm tonight after feeding and turning everyone out, the forecast called for a 40% chance of scattered thunderstorms until 8pm with the chances of rain and the severity of the weather dwindling as the night went on, clearing completely after 2am. 

It is now 12:30am and it is *still* continuously lightning and thundering outside, which has been going on since about 9, although the torrential rains have finally stopped; and I just got back home after rushing out to the barn to bring everyone back in. 

I have never seen lightning like this. It was so continuous, the only thing I can think to compare it to is war footage in movies; it was literally like the 4th of July out there for the past 3 hours, with more lit sky than dark. I tried to get a video but my phone just wouldn't capture it. 

As the weather worsened I kept checking my phone, hoping to see a clear spot in the radar, but it was all jumbled and no one seemed to be able to predict when it would stop or where it was going. Where did this storm come from?? Finally aound 10pm the flash flood/severe thunderstorm/hail/damaging wind advisories started coming in and I heard the fire alarm go off at the firehall down the street. Unable to get ahold of Jan and torn between the worry of the horses being out in the electrical storm vs putting myself at risk of getting struck by lightning (handling wet metal gates in the middle of an open field is not the best idea in a lightning storm), I eventually decided I couldn't not go. The rain had let up somewhat by then and I was giving myself an ulcer imagining a horse dead in the field from lightning (which was much worse than my fear of going outside in the lightning storm myself). 

When I got to the barn it was obvious they got it even worse than I did at home. There were branches down everywhere, washed out roads and the power was out. Luckily a couple of other concerned boarders were there too and they brought flashlights and headlamps (note for future: buy a headlamp. So much easier than using a flashlight!). They hadn't done anything with the horses yet, waiting for the storm to quiet, but once I got there we got a break in the rain so we got right to work bringing them in. Not the easiest task in the work when you are dealing with wet, scared animals who are afraid of your headlamp!

Honestly, it went much better than I thought it would and all the horses, though scared and blowing, were very trusting and obedient when navigating the dark corners and corridors and circumventing the flooded parts of the aisleways. Let me tell you, what an eerie sight it is to whistle for the horses in the field and hear a thundering herd coming from the far end but being able to see nothing until suddenly floating glowing eyes surge straight toward you in the dark!

I feel so much better knowing the horses are in and dry and safe. I just checked and the forecast now shows a severe thunderstorm advisory until 2am with "one or two" scattered thunderstorms continuing between 2 and 6am. Finally updated! Now I can sleep well....that is if I can fall asleep at all. My body is so pumped and awake right now!

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