Notes on the Grippe

Being an accounting of the recent and continuing pandemic and its various circumstances, from the perspective of an inhabitant of the regions lately called the Lost Quarter. Dates unknown.

Day One Hundred Eleven

The gathering storm

Last evening as I sat reading before retiring to bed, we received a tornado warning and were told to seek immediate shelter. The window opposite the couch I was seated upon faces east, toward the heart of the Lost Quarter, and there I could see the terrible storm building. There were dark clouds with flashes of lightning roiling in their hearts. But above our home there was only bright skies, the clouds painted red and pink in the setting sun.

Storms rarely move west in these parts, usually pushed east by the winds coming down from the mountains, and this storm was no different. It went east and south, mostly sticking to the open prairies. It was strange to watch the turmoil of the clouds from such a distance. The air around us was calm, hardly a breeze stirring, while several kilometres away the swirling of the clouds suggested a gale was passing through. Though I could see lightning dancing across the darkening sky, no sound of thunder reached us. Even the movement of the clouds wasn’t really visible, I just intuited it from their shapes which went from sharp and defined to inchoate.

It has been a season of thunderstorms in these parts this past month, which is unusual. Normally we would only just be starting into the storms as the summer heat reaches its zenith. That heat has yet to truly arrive – the warmest it has been is the low to mid twenties – yet every few days seem to bring another tremendous storm. Vast thunderheads fill the sky, the wind shrieks, rain and hail fall in cascades, while thunder rumbles and lightning flashes. They pass quickly, leaving pools of water and glistening leaves in the sunshine in their wake.

The tornado never materialized from the clouds as the storm passed through the plains and out of existence.

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