As I've mentioned in recent posts, the last couple months have been off-again, on-again rainy for Oahu. The first 9 or 10 months we lived here, the weather in Leeward Oahu was always sunny and cloud-free.
Then the rain came.
And, two days ago, there was a tornado. Literally across the street from our house!
You can see in the photo above that the tornado hit the golf course, which is directly across the street from where we live. (Photo is courtesy Calvin Santiago, who I assume is a local resident, who posted it on the local news station website),
At the time, I didn't even know it had happened. As I was preparing to leave to get Alex and Abby from school, the rain started pounding. I could see that the rain was coming because of the dark sky, visible from the sliding glass door that is just inches from the desk where I spend my workday everyday. But, there was no warning for what the rain brought with it.
When I got to school, I saw Alex right away. The school had released the older car-riders a couple of minutes early so they could warn their parents of the tornado. Alex was in a panic, crying and shaking. I guess the school has a tornado procedure, but because this tornado was literally just yards from the school, everyone panicked a little, causing Alex to totally lose it.
I got her calmed down enough to hear about the tornado and go get Abby. We picked up 2 other kids that were already planning to come home with us that day (another story), and got home. I heard more and more from the kids about this tornado, and then on the news Wednesday night it was the top story.
Tornados are not very common here, and when they happen they often happen with very little or no warning. Because we live on a relatively small island in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, the weather patterns change so frequently that it is near impossible to predict when a weather system will come, and what it will do, unless of course the system is very large and hurricane-like. The last tornado to hit Oahu was in 2005.
The tornado was an F-0, the lowest rated tornado on the Fujita scale. There were some high winds, and the news says that the tornado died down and dissipated within 10 minutes of forming. The Golf Course sustained some damage, but only one person was minorly injured. It wasn't anywhere close to being nearly as bad as those in Oklahoma, and my heart goes out to those who lost their homes and/or loved ones. But, here in Hawaii, our tornado was quite a story...
Coverage of the tornado on our local NBC affiliate: