Welcome to the second half of June. The weather is now hot and humid and this is usually the best time of year for our most powerful thunderstorms. As an example, let me share with you the one from last Wednesday.
We had had some really cool weather up until recently and early last week was the last of it. Then it warmed up considerably and any time you have a rapid change in temperature, along with rising water vapor, you get some really powerful storms.
It was around 15:30 in the afternoon and the sky was getting darker and darker, but the clouds were moving faster and faster. As I was watching it from inside the trailer, the clouds were taking on a noticeable twisty-spirally kinda of form. This did not bode well. It had started to rain, and the wind was fairly stiff, but that was just the precursor.
There wasn’t much of a build-up, the major part of the storm just hit like baseball bat. In the space of about 10 or 15 seconds, I watched four large trees drop on our property. Let’s start with these ones.
It almost looks like it’s lying in the sawbuck, but it’s not. That one was a spruce and it took out a small maple sapling on it’s way down.
Walking around behind it, you see the second spruce that fell as well.
Continuing the to turn, you now see the first spruce from the back.
This was shortly after the storm had finished and the sky was still quite grey and roiling.
Going further down the driveway, there was a rather substantial poplar tree that dropped over the driveway. Here you can see me standing in front of it looking mighty impressed.
Later on, when we were clearing that one, Kat took this picture from the end where it broke off. You can see me in the distance with my hard hat on as I’m using the chainsaw to clear up the part on the driveway.
This one is a shot of the stump that was left after it broke off. It broke off around eye level.
Heading back to the trailer, you can now get a good look at the maple tree that wanted to reach-out-and-touch-someone, with that someone being our roof.
Here is a closer look.
Fortunately, there wasn’t any damage to the roof or chimney so we came out of that one unscathed.
This was another large poplar tree that had snapped off, but it didn’t cross the driveway.
Later on, Kat and I took a walk up the hill to find other victims. This was another poplar tree that had snapped off about 9m (30′) up and as laying across the pathway.
This one was a maple that was viewable from the pathway up the hill, but had just crashed in the forest.
As you can see, it was quite sizeable, but also had a rotten core. That was a common trait on all of the trees that came down. All of them had an unsound core and with the force of the wind that hit (90-100kph I was told, somewhere around 55-60mph), their inner flaws were what did them in.
On top of the wind, the rain was just pounding and we had hail too. Here is a picture of our garden bed afterwards.
Hail and shredded leaves. The hail wasn’t huge, maybe somewhere from the size of a green pea to a chickpea, but it came down in buckets, really fast. When the hail started, it was just like someone was up in the trees with a weed-wacker because it was also raining leaf parts. We were fortunate that it didn’t damage our new truck shelter as we had just replaced the one that didn’t survive the winter.
Here is a handful of hail I picked up out of the bed of the truck.
Needless to say, this was just what happened on our property. Downed trees were wide-spread and about 8000 people were without power. One person we talked to didn’t have their power back until Friday. Fortunately, being off-grid as we are, we never had a power outage.
Oh, and remember me mentioning the whole twisty-spirally clouds? Yeah, a tornado did touch down just a few km from us. Fortunately, it was short lived. The whole storm only lasted about five or ten minutes, but that was all it took to wreak some havoc.
So we came through this one alright. It could have been much worse. We are very grateful to the powers that be for that.