What Is the Most Unusual Weather That You Have Witnessed?

It is snowing in Texas again after four years! :smiley:

image

This is from https://www.weather.gov/forecastmaps on January 10, 2021.

Since this is unusual for the South, it seems only pertinent to ask what is the most unusual weather that you have witnessed?

3 Likes

Last year winter in Moscow was abnormally warm first time after 140 years-old record, with medium temp +0.2C when usually it is -7-8C, some days in February had +7,7C which is insane, we’re getting used to lack of snow almost each year, but that winter I spent photographing insects!

6 Likes

In 2006, a microburst hit North Bay, Ontario. I was inside watching the storm. It ended up making some big changes to many local trails with the number of trees down. The year after was a bumper year for Black-backed Woodpecker in the area. It is the biggest storm I have ever witnessed, but it was only a F1 intensity (120 - 170 km/h winds).

4 Likes

Many years back, rainstorm in Quito. One side of the city was a deluve, water spouting out manholes up to and over two meters high. Within minutes all was flooded. On the other side of the city, it was nice and dry and sunny. The line between good and bad weather was razor sharp here. Very impressive to have witnessed.

6 Likes

For me it may be in January of 2018. It was about mid-January, and there was a day that it was about 70 degrees Fahrenheit in Virginia. I decided it would be good weather to look for breeding salamanders, and drove down with some friends and family to a spot in the Blue Ridge Mountains. We got there at about sunset, and it was still about 70 degrees and very wet out. We started walking around and saw tons of salamanders. There was a pond that was frozen solid except for a 1-inch layer of water on the surface and there were aquatic insects frozen in the ice. It started raining later that night.
The next morning the temperature had dropped to about 28 degrees Fahrenheit. I was still able to find salamanders at lower elevations. We drove to a mountaintop that afternoon and it was about 12 degrees Fahrenheit by the time we got there. The rain from the previous night had frozen on the gravel road so all the gravel was frozen together. Needless to say, there wasn’t very much wildlife to be seen there.
It was a very strange trip but it was fun and I was actually able to find a new salamander species for my life list.

6 Likes

Also, who else has heard about the snowstorms happening in Madrid right now?

4 Likes

In 2011 we had snow on Western Cape mountains. In December. In the SOUTHern hemisphere.

3 Likes

A tornado in the New York City suburbs. July 10th, 1989. It had been a hot still clear day, then a wall of dark green clouds rushed across the sky. I told my dad it looked like it was going to rain, and he asked me to make sure the car windows were closed. In less than a minute the wind was strong enough to lift me of my feet. I was already to the van, so I pulled myself inside, closed the rear windows, and felt something hit the van hard. I got up, and turned around to see a tree trunk had crushed the front of the van. A red maple that had had two trunks now only had one. The storm passed within five minutes, and boy did it leave a mess.

7 Likes

I was in remote Queensland in 2016 monitoring some endangered wallabies. First day we arrived, was sunny and hot, up to 30°C. Everyone was sweating it out, rolling up sleeves etc while we pitched out tents.

Within the next 24 hours, we’d had 150 mm of rain in less than a day, and 100 km/h winds. One of the girls got up in the night to go to the toilet, came back, and her tent had disappeared; got blown away (with all her belongings inside still weighing it down) across the clearing.

4 Likes

On Nevis, Leeward Islands, West Indies, I once saw three waterspouts out over the ocean.

And one time on the boat coming back from the island of St. Eustatius in the late afternoon, I saw a stack of Lenticular Clouds over the mountains of St Kitts, looking like a giant but loose stack of very fat pink plates.

As a weather buff, both of these occasions were fantastic for me!

4 Likes

Fortunately, it’s not weather I have experienced first hand, but the weather associated with the large wildfires in California such as the fire tornadoes and the fire-driven thunderstorms are both fascinating and terrifying. Sadly, I think there will be plenty of opportunities for further study with the way California’s fire seasons have been intensified and extended.

2 Likes

Hot sunny day one day, then within 4 hours extremely dark storm clouds came in, the temperature dropped by at least 15-20 degrees. Hail soon arrived the form of golf balls. It was all over within 45 minutes, and then we had a small earthquake nearby, which was extremely rare for the area(Central MS)

3 Likes

In September 2020 Colorado had record high temps (upper 90’s-100) followed by record lows and snow. Big temperature swings aren’t unusual here but that was definitely the biggest and craziest I’ve ever seen and also one of the earliest snows ever! Colorado shatters multiple records as wild weather continues | OutThere Colorado

1 Like

Link doesn’t open for me.

I will give you my entire Facebook post from October 20, 2017, posted on location in the Dominican Republic:

In Costa Rica, Ecuador, and maybe Venezuela, I loved to wake at dawn to the roar of howler monkeys. The Islands have no monkeys; mostly, I wake to the lowing of dairy cows. But the beauty of The Wild is that, by its very nature, it can appear in unexpected times and places.
Sunday at the beach, it was the hour when I expect no additional clients to come, and it is just a matter of waiting for current clients to leave. So I went looking for coconuts. I finally found a perfect one, sweet. As I lowered it from my lips after the first draught, I looked out to sea and suddenly exclaimed, out loud, “Holy schnikies! A waterspout!!” It was a big one, too, and not off on the horizon, but fairly close.
Making my way back to the main beach – carefully, because I was barefoot – I continued to savor my coconut. But at the same time, reviewed in my mind what I knew about tornado safety, tried to recall whether, in such a flat area, I had seen any hollows in which to lie down. I didn’t really feel like going itsy-bitsy spider that day!
I saw the waterspout disintegrate, the pieces swirling around the way steam will dissipate in a spiral. For a minute, I thought I saw a new spout starting to form, but then it didn’t. I reached the main beach as a strong wind began, beachgoers fleeing pell mell, me scurrying to bring in the lounge chairs before they became dangerous missiles.
Then I saw something for which I do not know the word. Sort of like an aquatic version of a dust devil. Water devil, maybe? Water rose up from the sea in a spiral, but not high enough to reach the clouds and form a spout. The water devil (if that is the term) twirled eastward,and looked like it might hit Rio San Juan, but then incoming rain obscured my view. I got the last lounge chair in just as torrential rain arrived, and hunkered down in the beach hut.
It was all over in 20 minutes, but by then, the beach was deserted – except for the restauranteurs bringing in the tables and chairs to close up. We all knew the business day was over.
I am thankful that not everything has been tamed yet; that a Sunday at the beach can still become Wild Times!

4 Likes

I don’t know about unusual but ice fog can be pretty strangely beautiful.

I was working in Ungava in the 1980s and a woman on our crew had her birthday on 15 July. It was the first time that she ever woke up to snow on her birthday.

Twenty some years ago I was diving in the Coral Sea aboard a converted trawler when a hurricane that had been forecast to be headed out to sea decided to turn back. We made a beeline for Brisbane but didn’t make it and we were forced to ride out the storm, which we fortunately only got a glancing blow from. That was one chunderous, spectacular ride.

Growing up in northern Ontario I’m not much fazed by blizzards, as a rule, but I remember one in particular for an unusual reason. I was working in Arkhangelsk on a harp seal survey when we got shut down by nasty weather. Our hotel was right on the shore of the river and after a couple of days of being cooped up in a social setting that mostly involved vodka and beer I decided that I needed to go for a walk before bed and opted for a walk on the river. I had a perevodchik on the crew named Mila whose job had evolved as my Russian improved and had come to include the thankless task of keeping the foreigner from doing anything too egregiously stupid. She diplomatically decided that she wanted to go for a walk too. The Severnaya Dvina is a big river with a lot of industry on it and ice breakers keep a shipping lane open through the winter. We wandered out onto the ice along one of the pedestrian paths used by people who lived on the other shore or on one of the islands, occasionally shouting over the breeze but mostly just enjoying being outside. The wind subsided for a bit and we could hear music, which seemed odd and it got louder as we walked out further. Eventually we arrived at the shipping channel, beside which sat a plywood shack that sheltered the security guard whose job it was to push a wooden footbridge across the channel to allow pedestrians to cross and then to pull it out of the way before it got crushed by ships. There was a distressingly large accumulation of smashed wood beside the shack that served as testament to the importance of the job. Once we were there we could hear voices mingled with the music and it was clear that a party was in progress. Mila banged on the door and suddenly all you could hear was wind. After a pause the door opened and a grizzled head poked out. A brief conversation established that a Canadian researcher was out for a walk and was curious about the music and when it developed that the researcher also had most of a bottle of vodka in his parka we were all friends and the party resumed with renewed enthusiasm. Turns out that Yuri, the security guy, was born on 29 February and was celebrating his 17th (I think) birthday with four or five friends. We left a few hours later with an invitation to attend his actual party on the coming Friday, which was also fun if a trifle more subdued. When I woke up the next morning the memory of the episode had a dreamlike quality, like a story by Chekov or Bulgakov. Anyway, yeah, that was pretty unusual. Does that count?

4 Likes

South East Botswana seems to be much wetter and cooler than normal from November- January ! Hope this this weather continues !

2 Likes

Several years ago my family and I were at a small Earth day festival at a nature perserve on a sunny but windy day in April. Suddenly we saw what looked like a small tornado across the field that had picked up a bunch of hay. All of us kids ran over and actually went inside it, but it dissipated after just a few seconds, before the adults who were walking could get there. Itwas very unusual, and we saw hay flying through the air way high up in the sky above us afterwards.

3 Likes

Sounds like a Dust Devil.

I saw one in the Anza Borrego Desert in Southern California once that was just the size of a person, and moving along at just the speed of a person walking. I walked along beside it for quite a while. I thought about putting my arm through it, but I did not. As well as being air in motion, it was also composed of dirt and leaves and other plant fragments.

I understood why people call them devils, because it seemed so human in some ways.

3 Likes

Oh man, your stories made my day. Thank you!

3 Likes