Watching the Weather in an RV
Our sophomore excursion in our RV taught us a lot, one of which was the importance of watching the weather. Storms, we have discovered, can turn our cozy castle on wheels into a tin can in five minutes flat.
Two Nighttime Storms
During our original five-day trip, we encountered two nighttime storms. Both caught us by surprise. We awoke to crashing lightning, beating rain and howling wind. Since we live in Texas, we immediately grabbed our phones to check the severity. Here, tornadoes are no joke.
“What’s going on?” I mumbled to Chris as he checked the Storm app. He knew this translated to: “How bad is it going to be?”
“Great. Only two more hours to go,” he mumbled, King of the Deadpan Comeback. “The green just passed. The yellow and red are still to come.”
In came the dog, jumping up between us on the bed. Then came a child hunting for snuggles. The second storm brought a second child. Only one of our three slept through it.
Weather = Life
The importance of watching the weather isn’t completely new to me. When growing up, several of my family members watched the weather with regularity.
My grandmother lived her whole life in eastern Montana and often talked about the weather in her letters and phone calls. After visiting her small town as an adult, I discovered the reason why. In her part of the country, everyone, especially the farmers and ranchers, lives by the weather.
I once talked to a distant cousin, a lifelong wheat farmer, who had just lost his several thousand-acre crop due to a freak hail storm. He was grappling with that loss. A year’s work gone.
Another cousin, a sheep farmer, lived off a remote dirt road an hour outside of town. The weather factored into many of her family’s plans. A trip to town, shearing the sheep, taking the wool to market—weather impacted everything they did.
From Now On
After that second storm, I’m no longer amused by watching the weather. I realize it’s a necessary part of the RV life. Had we known those first two storms were coming we wouldn’t have necessarily changed our plans but we would have at least had the choice. We also would have brought in our chairs, secured our cooler and taken down the towels on our clothesline–and we would have reached out to the family in the neighboring site, who were staying in a tent, to let them know we had spare space.
Now, full-timing in our RV, we check Weather Underground a couple of times a day to make sure we’re informed of impending storms. And if there’s a storm on the way, then WU’s sister app Storm (Android or iOS) will be pulled up. Then we can make the decision of whether to go or stay. It’s a new habit, part of our learning curve, another lesson we’re learning quickly.