Ohio weather: bipolar?

Devyn Giannetti

     One day it’s 75 degrees with clear skies. The next day it’s 45 degrees and pouring rain with a chance of snowfall. Sound a little familiar?

     Hudson, Ohio’s weather is constantly changing, leaving citizens a little confused. Sometimes it feels like we live in Florida, while at other times it feels like we are stuck inside an igloo in the depths of Alaska. But what is the cause for all this change in the weather of Hudson?

     No one really knows. According to WeatherChannel.net, Ohio is not one of the sunniest states in America, although it is not the rainiest, either. According to USAToday.com, the sunniest state in the United States is Arizona, followed closely by California and Nevada. According to CurrentResults.com, New Hampshire is the cloudiest state, followed by Oregon.  Most citizens believe that the weather in Hudson is different from other cities in Ohio, when really it has only slight differences. Although Hudson has quite a bit of snow and rain at times, we have gone through one major natural disaster in recent years.
     2003 was a rough year for Hudson. According to GEOL220 Environmental Geology, in late July a flash flood hit the town, hitting more than 300 homes and declaring them destroyed. Three lives were taken that day. Two Hudson students drowned in an underground parking garage, and a 10-year-old boy living in Summit County drowned after being sucked into a culvert.
     Most Hudson High School students were too young to remember this event. Lots did not understand the effects a natural disaster can have on a town.
     Jeremy Tawney, Service Learning teacher at Hudson High School, reflects on the May 1985 tornado he experienced in Newton Falls, about 30 miles from Hudson. The tornado was an F5 on the Fujita scale.   
     “I think I was about 6 at the time. I think that one of the things I remember really vividly was that it was a really strange day, somewhat warm, kind of humid, and off and on it rained all day long. You would get some rain, some hail, then it would stop, and the same thing would happen throughout the day. It was really bizarre,” he said, describing the May 31 day. “I remember the thing that stands out most was that where I lived it sounded like there was a train coming through. My dad looked outside and said, ‘Oh my gosh, there’s a tornado!’ And then he told me to go run and hide under my bed, and I did because I was little. But when it happened the tornado actually cut in between my house and my neighbor’s house and didn’t do any damage to our house. It was kind of strange, but it basically destroyed the remainder of the town that I lived in and completely destroyed our high school, and they had to build a new one. It destroyed everything throughout the town and they had to call in the National Guard. There were lots of downed electrical wires throughout the community and [it] really just destroyed everything. I remember that we couldn’t actually drive through town, and I remember walking around the area and checking with my dad to make sure that my grandparents’ house was still standing and it didn’t destroy that. It was a pretty big deal, and they considered it to be a natural disaster.”
      When most people go through such a terrible natural disaster, it affects who they are as a person and who they grow up to be.
     “I was really pretty young at the time, so I don’t know that it impacted my personality or anything, and I was really lucky because it did a lot of material damage, but no one was really hurt. It basically just destroyed houses and buildings. It was really just kind of scary,” says Tawney. “I think it makes me a little more aware of what can happen when you have really bad storms, and it’s really not something to toy around with a whole lot. It also makes me a little intrigued by weather, so I definitely like to watch, but at a safe distance.”
      Hudson High School takes action when it comes to preparing for tornados. Students usually go out into the hallway and put their hands around their heads and face the wall. When in the middle of a flood, ThatWeather.com tells readers to get out of where they are as soon as possible.
     Tornados in Ohio are very scarce, along with floods and hail storms. According to DisasterCenter.com, compared to other states, Ohio ranks 21 in the state with the most tornadoes.
     Tawney’s advice? Be careful.
     “I think that there’s a little inclination to want to watch it, because it’s kind of interesting, with people going out and chasing tornados and things like that. For me, I think it’s caused me to have a pretty healthy fear of what weather can really do. I like to watch it, but only up until a certain point. I definitely want to go to somewhere where I think it’s going to be safe, in the basement or whatever at that time. We lived in a ranch, so we didn’t have a basement. I remember my dad telling me to go hide under the bed, which I’m sure was actually not a very good place to go, but definitely get somewhere safe, away from windows. While it may be fun to watch a storm, don’t hang out too long.”

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2012-05-22 07:18:10

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