Super Cells and the Storm Chasers That Love Them

Picture 1.jpg As we drove into the city yesterday, the skies rent themselves asunder and poured down a torrent of rain that I’ve seen just a few times in the years that I’ve lived here, but right before that, as we drove by the Pentagon and over the 14th St. Bridge, the sky turned that eerie green color usually indicative of an approaching tornado. I’ve seen that green precisely once, as I drove across Nebraska through a driving storm, eventually stopping under an overpass when dime-sized hail dropped from the sky. But really, the storm that ebbed around quarter to seven last night wasn’t the main event. Like a good undercard, it excited the crowd, warmed them up and prepared them for the brutality to come.

The super cell that passed over the district yesterday around 8pm was spectacular to watch. The first sign of the impending “the end is nigh” storm was a fluffy black cloud that trailed in from the southeast, and that’s when you realized the wind wasn’t a light breeze anymore. The flags in center began to whip out of the stadium, desperate to escape their lanyards, the pennants that ring RFK snapped in the wind. The rain began as many small drops, but within a minute those drops had become a deluge, sheets of water rippling in the stadium light over the diamond.

As the wind grew, those of us near the top of the second deck began to get soaked from in front and behind, as the rain began to blow through the gap in the side of the stadium. The corrugated metal tube used to roll up the tarp began to roll around the outfield, propelled by the gusts coming into the stadium. That’s right about when the fireworks began. Booming thunder, bright, forking lighting, each announcing their presence with mind bending intensity. Several bolts of lightning struck nearby causing the crowd to roar and scream in response. Some rowdy fans behind us shouted, in the height of the storm, “Let’s Play Ball! Let’s Play Ball!”

The swirling winds soaked section after section with their changing tide of water, the worst of it going to left field, which seemed to be the rock that the wave of rain broke upon. The storm began to abate after about 20 minutes. It felt longer, but wow, what a ride.

The Nats went on to win last night 4-3, despite a Cubs-fan-heavy crowd. Man, I thought Yankees fans were obnoxious in Baltimore, but they’ve got a lot to “learn” from the Cubs fans. Special props to the Cubs fan behind me who decided that he needed to boo and taunt his own pitcher in the 8th. Nice show of class.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

I live and work in the District of Columbia. I write at We Love DC, a blog I helped start, I work at Technolutionary, a company I helped start, and I’m happy doing both. I enjoy watching baseball, cooking, and gardening. I grow a mean pepper, keep a clean scorebook, and wash the dishes when I’m done. Read Why I Love DC.

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