1,000 Words: When the weather makes us dumb

I suppose this image in the Star Tribune’s Metro section today was supposed to show us the sheer force of the wind during yesterday’s storms.

Instead, it makes me wonder what you people were thinking?

Granted, it’s not like mowing the lawn next to a tornado, but what are you people around Lake Nokomis thinking?

  • I guess they just thought it was another art installation?

  • wjc

    Thinking? Not.

    As the skies were darkening yesterday morning, I saw a couple of runners moving toward the storm. I don’t get it.

    • Kassie

      Sometimes toward the storm is also toward home. Maybe they were seeking shelter?

    • John

      I was part of a large group cycling from Hinckley to White Bear Lake yesterday. I’d made it to North Branch when it became obvious that shelter was needed.

      I pedaled toward the storm, because two blocks from where I was, there was a coffee shop. It was a much more comfortable place to ride it out than the church basement that dozens of my fellow riders got to sit in.

      Had you seen me, I probably looked like I was making a bad call . . .

      • Son #2 and future daughter in law were on that ride (assuming this was MS150). 150 miles over two days in that heat and through that storm is beyond impressive.

        • John

          It was.

          Saturday was a little tough, but we planned for it – started early and hit it hard to get done before the worst of it. (The early storm in Proctor woke me up in my tent snyways.)

          Sunday was a really comfortable ride, as long as you were able to shelter when the storm hit. There was even a nice cool tail wind for a couple hours after the weather passed.

      • I was thankful for the bar that opened for us in Harris. I didn’t enjoy being pelted with hail or watching a branch just miss the rider in front of me.

  • We used to call those “Widow Makers”

    • killershrew

      My spouse is an arborist and they definitely still call them that. I suspect that some people who don’t work around trees for a living have little idea of just how heavy tree branches can be.

  • Scott Strehlow

    Funny, but I bet these people wouldn’t walk under a ladder because “it is bad luck.”

  • RogueChewbacca

    Weather is difficult, to say the least. Some of it is on the average citizen for either ignoring and simply not paying attention to the weather.
    Some of it is on the weather forecastering. I know that weather is difficult to predict however, if you predict doom and gloom with many storms people are not going to pay attention when the more severe weather finally does hit us.
    Would I walk under that tree? No. Because it is an unnecessary risk. Not everyone assesses the world like that.

    On the flip side, I will take issue with you calling the the “lawnmowing with a tornado in the background” photo. Yes it seems foolish and an unneccesary risk as well. However, if you have the knowledge and skills to assess the situation it is far less foolish than a single image reveals. The person in the photo was quite comfortable and knew the tornado wasn’t a threat to him. No different than someone who is taking photos. It just makes for a striking juxtapostion.

    Just my two cents worth.

    • All the weather experts disagreed with you , saying the lawnmower showed what not to do because tornadoes are unpredictable.

      I doubt there are that many tornadoes in Alberta so I’m not sure how well versed on them lawnmower guy really was.


      • RogueChewbacca

        Alberta does get fewer tornadoes then we do here (15 vs 36 average per year), however it is is not unusual to see storm chasers in that part of the globe as the tornadoes are often in open areas and there are not many high-populated areas. Alberta and Saskatchewan both see 15
        My main point, which is what I opened with, is that weather forecasting and forecasters need to be less ‘doom’ all the time and more realistic. The public needs to do a better job of informing itself.

      • Flattery

        A storm chaser can get stuck out in the middle of no where with a tornado coming at them. For all we know, that lawnmower man had an open basement door just feet away from him.

        I don’t risk it, but are storm chasers any less risky than that lawnmower man? That lawnmower man might be well trained.

        • He’s not trained, apparently.

          He told Canadian Press that he watches Storm Chasers (a TV show) so he’s familiar with tornadoes.

          • Flattery


  • Kim Hislop

    widow maker

  • Rob

    Thinning out the gene pool takes many forms.

  • Flattery

    It all depends what you have to lose… Maybe they welcomed death. In that case it isn’t that stupid. It is all about motivations.