Cassandra

That video clip I linked to yesterday has reminded me of a small triumph from my boyhood.

I was fascinated by tornadoes, and by meteorology generally, when I was little. I grew up in Princeton, New Jersey, however, where the weather is terribly dull, and tornadoes are pretty much unheard of. When I was in first grade or so I had a book full of pictures of different kinds of clouds and other facts about the weather; I was such a little geek that I had it just about memorized. Anyway, I was looking out the window one summer day as a thunderstorm was getting going, and I announced to my mom that in my learned opinion there was likely to be a tornado before it was all over. She thought that was cute, but patiently informed me that we never got tornadoes in New Jersey, and anyway, if anything so dramatic were in the cards, the weather reports would have mentioned it.

I insisted, however, that there would be a tornado. From my point of view, it was simple enough: I had looked in my book, seen the picture of the tornado clouds (mammatocumulus), and had looked up in the sky and seen the same thing. I was too ignorant to know it couldn’t happen!

Anyway, that evening a tornado tore the roof off my school. My mom was impressed. I was very pleased with myself.

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