An Episode of Storm Chasers

I was watching an episode of storm chasers this morning when i heard a familiar noise. The guys decided not to intercept the tornado with their data recording device for three reasons; it was bigger than they realized, it was heading in their direction, and it was traveling at a higher rate of speed than they were prepared for. The driver says to the guy filming, “We gotta go man…” The guy with the camera is transfixed. He says he has never heard a tornado roar like this before. I wonder why people always say they sound like a freight train. I used to chase trains when i was growing up so that i could be right alongside the engine and feel the heat and hear the noises, and i had never heard a tornado that sounded to me like any of the freight trains i chased as a teenager or young adult. Then the camera zooms in on the guy filming the tornado and the audio increases so those watching the episode can hear the noise. It is a roar with a hollow screaming in the middle of it. I dont know how else to describe it. It is high pitched, hollow, and sounds quite haunting in the middle of such a deafening roar. i recognized the noise from the night i woke up and thought the wind might rip the windows out of the wall, the night i put the dogs against the sliding barn door to the bathroom and grabbed a jacket to cover us with in case of broken glass. I had strained my ears to hear if there was a siren going off, knowing full well that our little town, or any adjacent town, did not have a tornado siren to turn on. It had sounded to me as if a siren was going off in the middle of a roar. The following day revealed several downed trees and some sheered in half closer to the center of town, but as they were random instead of clustered together, i assumed it was due to high winds, not a tornado. Also, the tornado watch box only extended as far as Bandera and the nearest reported one was all the way in Uvalde. I assumed the winds were just accompanying the arrival of the hail and rain, but listening to that episode of storm chasers, i heard the hollow screaming noise and remembered feeling ridiculous trying to brace the dogs in effectively a shed full of windows. Listening to the haunting noise i had thought, “Boy i should have paid more attention to that weather radio before i went to bed.” I felt ridiculous believing that i was hearing a siren going off somewhere, knowing full well that this was not Tennessee, and there was no siren to turn on. Now i wonder what exactly was out there in the darkness that night when i dropped the ball with the weather radio.

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