"But seeing they could not See; hearing they could not Hear"
“The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the National Weather Service or affiliate/related organizations. Please consult .gov sites for official information”

"From its chamber comes the whirlwind, and cold from the scattering winds." - Job 37:9.

"The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course".

Monday, November 15, 2010

Inside the Storm of May 4, 1948 (McKinney, Texas) - Part I

Retired Army Captain Roy S. Hall was sitting placidly in his back yard with his wife on the warm afternoon of May 3, 1948. He had noticed several small thunderstorms muttering and grumbling in the southwest but had given them little attention. His wife remarked that the wind was blowing from the south at about 25 mph and was exerting a steady pressure against the leaves of the nearby trees. A short time later Captain Hall was surprised to hear a loud clap of thunder.  Looking to the west, he noticed that a      huge, very black cloud obscured the entire horizon.  Below this was a feathery roll cloud characteristic of those which precede thunderstorms. Behind the roll cloud he could catch glimpses of a solid curtain of dark green rain.  The air appeared very humid and the temperatures was about 85F. In graphic terms, Captain  Hall in the magazine Weatherwise described what was to follow:

When I stepped off the front porch

one of those little thunderheads . . .

wasn't little any more, but spanned the

western sky, black as ink, less than

western sky, black as ink, less than

three miles away. And right across its

nearer rim, low, very low, a mile-long

scud-cloud was sliding along. It was

moving swiftly eastward, and the

whole cloud had done something I had

never heard of before. It had made a

right-angle turn in the sky and was cutting

across the wind current which

definitely had not slackened. I went to

the porch and yelled for my wife.

I did not know she had come out, till

she spoke and scared me. "You sounded

urgent, so I hurried the children out ...

Oh!" She had seen the storm for the

first time. "What a terrible cloud!" I

looked around and saw our four children

standing on the porch. She said

nothing further for the moment, but I

felt her hand touch my arm in a muted


The squall, which was now about two

miles away, was coming directly toward

us, and the scud-cloud stretched across

its front between 400 and 500 feet above

the earth, was revolving as if it were being

pushed in reverse along the ground.

Behind the scud-cloud a curtain of

dark, green rain was falling in a solid,

opaque wall.

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