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For those of you who aren't familiar with tornadoes and are hearing news
coverage of this, I put together a short glossary to help you

Fujita Scale:  Scale used to measure wind speeds of a tornado and their

F1: Laughable little string of wind unless it comes through your house,
then enough to make your insurance company drop you like a brick. People
enjoy standing on their porches to watch this kind.

F2: Strong enough to blow your car into your house, unless of course you
drive an Expedition and live in a mobile home, then strong enough to
blow your house into your car.

F3: Will pick your house and your Expedition up and move you to the
other side of town.

F4: Usually ranging from 1/2 to a full mile wide, this tornado can turn
an Expedition into a Pinto, then gift wrap it in a semi truck.

F5: The Mother of all Tornadoes, you might as well stand on your front
porch and watch it, because it's probably going to be quite a last

Meteorologist:  A rather soft-spoken, mild-mannered type person until
severe weather strikes, and they start yelling at you through the t.v.:

Storm Chaser:   Meteorologist-rejects who are pretty much insane but get
us really cool pictures of tornadoes.  We release them from the mental
institution every time it starts thundering, just to see what they'll

Tranquilizer:  What you have to give any dog or cat who lived through
the May 3rd, 1999 tornado every time it storms or they tear your whole
house up freaking out of their minds.

Moore, Oklahoma:    A favorite gathering place for tornadoes.  They like
to meet here and do a little partying before stretching out across the
rest of the Midwest.

Bathtub:  Best place to seek shelter in the middle of a tornado, mostly
because after you're covered with debris, you can quickly wash off and
come out looking great.

Severe Weather Radio:  A handy device that sends out messages from the
National Weather Service during a storm, though quite disconcerting
because the high pitched, shrill noise it uses as an alarm sounds
suspiciously just like a tornado. Plus the guy reading the report just
sounds creepy.

Tornado Siren:  A system the city spent millions to install, which is
really useful, unless there's a storm or a tornado, because then of
course you can't hear them.

Storm Cellar:   A great place to go during a tornado, as it is almost
100% safe, though weigh your options carefully, as most are not cared
for and are homes to rats and snakes.

May-June:  Tourist season in Oklahoma, when people who are tired of
bungee jumping and diving out of airplanes decide it might be fun to
chase a tornado.  These people usually end up on Fear Factor.

Barometric Pressure:   Nobody really knows what this is, but when it
drops a lot of pregnant women go into labor, which makes for exciting
moments as their husbands are trying to drive them to the hospital and
dodge tornadoes at the same time.

Cars:  The worst place to be during a tornado (next to a mobile home).
Yes, you can out run a tornado in your car...unless everybody on the
road decides to do the same thing, and then you're in grid lock.

A Ditch:  Supposedly where you're supposed to go if you find yourself
without shelter or in your car during a tornado.  Theoretically the
tornado is supposed to pass right over you, but since it can lift a 20
ton truck and up root a three hundred year old tree, I'd bet my life on
out-running it in a car.

Mobile Home:  Most people are convinced mobile homes send off some
strange signal that triggers tornadoes, because if there's one mobile
home park in a hundred mile radius, the tornado will find it.

Earthquake:  What any Californian would rather go through on any scale
of severity than face a tornado.

Tornado:  What any Oklahoman would rather go through on any scale of
severity than face an earthquake.

Twister:   Slang for 'tornado' and also the title to a movie starring
Helen Hunt, which incidentally everyone thought was corny and
unrealistic until May 3rd, 1999.

Power Flash:  One of the most reliable ways to track a tornado at night,
it's the term used when the tornado hits a power line and a bright light
flashes.  It's also the emotion experienced by meteorologists when they
get to make the call to interrupt prime-time must-see t.v. and a million
dollars worth of advertising to track a storm for viewers.

Here are some phrases you might want to learn and be familiar with:
"We'll have your electricity restored in 24 hours," which means it'll be
a week. "We're going to be out for a week, so buy a lot of supplies and
an expensive generator," means it's going to be on in twelve hours,
probably as soon as you return from Wal-Mart.

"It's a little muggy today."   Get outta town.  It's getting ready to

"There's just a slight chance of severe weather today, so go ahead and
make your outdoor plans."  Ha. Ha ha ha ha ha.

And Rene's BIG TIP of the day: When your electricity goes out, and you
go to bed at night, be sure to turn off everything that was on before it
went out, or when it is
unexpectedly restored in the middle of the night, every light, every
computer, your dishwasher, your blow dryer, your washing machine, your
microwave and your fans will all come on all at once.

1) You'll just about have a heart attack when they all come on at
the same time, waking you from a dead sleep.  And
2) Your breakers will blow, leaving you in the dark once again.