Saturday, July 21, 2018

Storm Chasing


My flight to the City of Angels was scheduled to leave Beantown at 6:00 PM.  I checked in the day before and got my boarding pass uploaded to my phone.  Then, as I always do, I checked the weather report for Boston and LA. LA had been experiencing hotter than usual weather. It looked like it would be cooler, while I was there so that was good. Then I checked The weather in Boston and I’m glad I did.

The Weather Channel forecasted a line of “severe thunderstorms expected to cause travel delays all through the I-95 corridor (from Washington DC to Portland Maine)”.  Flash flooding alerts for those areas were in place.


I checked the hour by hour forecast for Boston and found a 90% chance of those severe thunderstorms hitting Boston between 4 and 7PM, dropping to 80% at 8, but staying above 50% until midnight. Checking earlier, the chance of severe thunderstorms was at 50% from 11 AM on, increasing as the afternoon wore on.

I knew from past experience that thunderstorms bring airports to a standstill because the ground crews risk getting hit by lightning. So getting out of Boston on my scheduled flight didn’t look good.

So I called the airline and changed my flight to an earlier one that left at 9 AM. The difference meant I had to leave my house at 4:00 AM to get to the airport on time. (I don’t drive to Boston, I drive to a nearby town and take a bus. I fly out of Boston so I can fly nonstop.)

When we landed my cell phone came alive with alerts about my original flight - it had been delayed by 2-1/2 hours. As I commented about this to my seat mate the guy across the aisle - who was an employee of the airline piped up, “And that’s just the flight. There are ground delays of three hours and everything is backed up like a row of dominos up and down the East Coast.”  Wow.

I sent an email to my coworkers - who I had alerted that morning with my change of plans - and got this reply:

“You’re lucky you left when you did.  It was torrential downpours, massive thunder and lightning - starting at 11:45 - still rumbling out and raining.”

Later I found out how badly the storm hit. Streets were flooded, buildings were hit by lightning and power went out all across the area. I sure was glad to have missed all that excitement.


Megan said...

Well done on remaining alert and then taking decisive action - even if it meant a 4am start.

Sydney, Australia

Nancy J said...

Good timing, and phone alerts, very handy to be informed all the time.So glad you missed the worst.

Shasta Matova said...

I'm glad you were able to take action and miss the storm. Doesn't sound like fun hanging out at the airport.

Dee W said...

Is our Millie OK? I know you left her in capable paws and she's a take charge kind of cat, but still. Have fun, snuggle that little one lots!

susan said...

So odd - we had the exact same weather here on the other side of the world in Wellington New Zealand. Except winter so rain was icy and wind form the South Pole - but perfect for staying in and working on my perfecting my bird quilt blocks