Thursday, July 5, 2007

Big Storm - Crushed Dish :-O

Around three o'clock this afternoon, a strong storm rolled through the area producing torrential rain and strong wind. I first noticed the clouds begin to darken to the north and checked the radar to see if the storm would reach us. It was quite a large storm, but I thought it was just skirt the area and primarily be to our north. Well, I was wrong. I'm guessing that between the time I checked the radar and the time the storm hit it had grown. At about 3:15pm, the wind increased and the rain began to fall. The rain was heavy and then became horizontal as the wind began to howl. Winds were coming out of the NW at first and then shifted to the north as the rain increased. The winds were sustained at over 30mph for the duration of the storm with gusts as high as 48mph. This was the strongest wind of the year so far. The rain and the wind continued for at least 20 minutes. The power eventually went out during the storm. The total rain fall was 1.78" in about one hours time.

You can see how strong the wind was in the picture below. The small tree in the foreground should be perfectly straight, but you can see it is leaning at a 45 degree angle. Also, notice the rain being whipped over the garage! So cool.

There wasn't any significant damage, but several medium sized limbs were blown out of locust trees. As a result, my new satellite dish became a casualty of the storm. A two inch diameter tree limb hit my satellite dish knocking me offline. At first I didn't think it was that big of a deal. I went out, removed the limb, inspected for damage, saw none so I came inside. Once the storm was over, and the power came back on, I powered up the computer and found that my signal strength was at 23%. It should have been at about 60%. Apparently, the limb knocked something out of align on the dish. I was told that it would take up to 7 days to get a technician out here to fix the problem. Until then, I'm back on dial-up which means no real-time data for the website. I will try to update the website once a day, but I may wait until the satellite is back online.