Albert Lea, Minnesota. The day I didn’t chase:

Paul Nyholm hated tornadoes.  I found it hilarious that he’d head to his basement and spend all night there if necessary.

Thursday, 17 June 2010.  The day had started off interesting for Omaha, but the patterns changed over time and the dynamics had moved northeast.  Still interesting, still worth watching and because at the time Facebook hadn’t been net-nannied at work, I could follow in real-time.

It gets close to quitting time and Paul asks if I’m going out.  I tell him no, five hours at least to get to where things were projected to fire, which means at least seven hours back home.  So he asks, “If you were going out, where’d you expect it to happen?”

I thought for a second, flipped a mental coin and said “Albert Lea, Minnesota.”  (I look for crossroads, and the corner of I-35 and I-90 fit the bill.  I could have easily said Sioux Falls…)

Well, of course Albert Lea got whacked something fierce.  Next morning, Paul was all amazed, like I was the Tornado Whisperer or something!  That made his day, he talked about every spring from then on.

R.I.P., Paul.  You’ll never know what you missed, camped out in your basement.  You’ll have a better seat from now on.




Author: Damon Hynes

Used to chase tornadoes, until Ma Nature ran out of them...

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