Bad Weather Duty

A strong line of thunderstorms slid into Connecticut this afternoon. Though no ‘watch box’ was up first, the Weather Service issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning, then Tornado Warning, in pretty rapid succession.

I was on the air within minutes of getting into the station. I didn’t even have time to tie my tie.

I spent two hours on-the-air, assisted by Matt Scott&#185 for a while, but mostly on by myself. That’s two hours of non-stop talking… or attempting to non-stop talk.

It’s very difficult. It was made more difficult since I had to both talk and operate my computers.

I don’t want to rehash much of the two hours, but I would like to tell you about one specific moment. It was more than a little weird. Eerie is a good descriptive word.

While tracking the strongest cell at-the-moment on the radar, I zoomed in tight. My map couldn’t have shown more than a few miles on a side. At that range individual streets show up as off-white lines on the otherwise Earth toned map. The radar echo returns were bright – the sign of strong downpours.

I clicked a few on-screen boxes and pressed the left mouse button as my cursor hovered over an unmarked street. The name popped up – W TODD ST. I looked at the map and briefly stopped my rhetorical conversation.

It was my neighborhood. I could see my street, not far away.

Helaine and Stef were watching at home. I later learned, when I talked about how strong this particular storm was and how I could actually see the street where I lived on this map, they headed to the basement.

It was an out-of-body experience to realize I had inadvertently stumbled upon a storm headed toward my home. How could I not pause for a moment to collect my thoughts?

There was some storm damage in Connecticut this afternoon and evening. A tornado is suspected in New Milford based on the damage and a spotter’s report of a funnel cloud. I passed some large downed tree branches on my way home tonight.

At my house, the greatest impact was a nasty leaky from our dining room skylight. Leaks can be fixed.

&#185 – Matt came in on his own, out-of-town friend and infant daughter in tow. I can’t tell you how grateful I am that he chose to help out.

6 thoughts on “Bad Weather Duty”

  1. I watched your coverage when the storm cell got to your neighborhood, and I was reminded of hurricane Gloria, when Diane Smith had to report of marina & boat damage, and I guess her boat was among them. Did I remember that right? Regardless, I’m glad all you had was a skylight leak.

  2. Wow, that must’ve been weird. I’m glad your neighborhood escaped the worst of it.

    Weather is bizarre … you live only a few miles from me, yet here in my little slice of New Haven all we got was a slight breeze and a 20-second downpour after the sun had come back out. I’d been watching the Weather Channel and Channel 8 all afternoon, and it all might as well have been talking about storms in Oklahoma. Very odd.

  3. Glad everything worked out well at home! That could have been bad. I’ve had to go through that very thing here in Texas. I’ve actually passed a note to someone working the phones during wall to wall weather coverage asking them to call my wife and make sure they were ok after a tornadic cell rolled my neiborhood last year! Houses can be fixed… that’s a great way to look at it.

    Sounds like you did great on the coverage… Good Job man!


  4. Your storm coverage was really great. Any time there is a weather issue, I check out your station by tv or the online site. There are many weather options but you, Matt and Dr. Mel et al really do an incredible job. I cannot imagine trying to do a live report, read & interpret data and see a weather situation heading right for your house!!!!! Pretty impressive, Geoff!

  5. The only reason I still have cable, instead of a cheaper satellite dish with more channels is because I’m unwilling to give up the Channel 8 news and weather. Keep up the good work!

    P.S. Ok, CPTV for the Uconn women’s basketball is the second reason.

  6. We noticed the lack of tie…It was fine…I am assuming that the radar you used to report this storm is the “new” computer system you recently talked about firing up…Either way, It looked great…

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