Adapting to a slower weather pace

Feb. 05, 2013 @ 05:03 AM

I have always considered myself to be a bit of a weather buff.

Dating all the way back to my childhood living in 'Tornado Alley,' I have always been a part of some kind of weather issues ranging from tornadoes (second-nature coming from Kansas), to hurricanes and everything in between.

Now, in Kansas, the threat of rain never really becomes a big deal unless there is strong wind involved. Rain, thunder and lightning seem to be more commonplace for us from the Midwest that in just about any other area of the country.

I remember a job I once had at a Wichita radio station that prided itself on its news coverage but, more for what it did during severe weather.

Anytime a threat of strong storms entered into the listening area, we were on the air with wall-to-wall coverage. That coverage even included going out to various parts of the area (in our own station-provided SUVs) to radio back on-air what we saw and what was going on.

There was many instances where I found myself locked in an SUV, driving through remote areas of central Kansas, chasing severe weather.

In Kansas there is also a network of first responders that are storm chasers. We have to be certified by the National Weather Service on basic meteorology along with what to spot with cloud cover and even what to smell to track storms.

While, on the onset, it seems like it would be something for those that are foolishly brave or increasingly ignorant. Regardless, storms became a everyday part of life during that time of my career.

The same can be said for snow.

Snow was a regular part of existence for me. Don't get me wrong, there were winters where there was no snow and our accumulations never amounted to what you might see up north but, we had our fair share.

Being in North Carolina, I have had to quickly adapt to a more basic weather pattern. No longer do I have to concern myself with the weather changing more often than people changing their clothes. No longer do I have to worry about sun during the day and a drastic change to thunderstorms and tornadoes at night.

Sunny with no wind and about 50 degrees in the morning to freezing, sleet and 10 degrees later in the afternoon.

There are times, and last week is no different, where I do miss the whirling sound of a tornado siren going off late in the afternoon because of a tornado warning in the county. Instead, I heard sounds coming from the fire department and I really wasn't sure what to make of it.

I am learning to adapt to not hearing storm spotter traffic on a police scanner.

One thing I do not miss are the late night calls to grab a scanner and putting myself in harms way to report storm activity.

There was a certain rush of adrenaline that came with doing those things but, I would like to think that I have grown up since those days.

So, here is to consistent weather, whether it is cold, hot, clear or rainy.


Matthew Clark is the Editor of The Daily Courier. He can be reached at 828-202-2927 or emailed at Follow him on Twitter @UMass_MClark or @TDCMatt