Thursday, August 6, 2009
Weird weather in Helana causes flooding, hail trashes my garden and greenhouse
The photo above is of the weather that moved into Helena last night around sunset. It resulted in some of the most amazing sky color I have ever seen.
Check out this photo of the double rainbow behind my house (I wish I had a better camera...).
I grew up in northeastern Wisconsin, near the shores of Lake Michigan and Green Bay, so I'm accustomed to massive and powerful thunderstorms. As a kid I used to love watching the impressive lightning storms as the thunderheads rolled across the bay.
But I've never seen anything like that since living in Montana.
This afternoon, as I was sitting at my desk with a great view to the west, I saw at least two lightning strikes in the vicinity of Mt. Helena...at which point I shut down and unplugged my computer and raced home to do the same. I had hopes of covering my garden and greenhouse with blankets and tarps before the hail started, but alas, I got as far as the driveway and then had to duck into my van for cover from the nearly dime-sized ice balls. (See video).
My greenhouse guarded my tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and herbs from the brunt of the hail, but the hothouse itself and the adjacent raised bed gardens weren't so lucky. Most of my large-leaf plants are Swiss cheese, and the greenhouse now has an unwanted but much more effective ventilation and irrigation system.
Anyway, here's a brief video of the storm. I wish I would have been recording as it rolled into town so you could see some of the incredible lightning and hear the non-stop thunder. It was intense. Weather service says there were about 300 cloud-to-ground strikes in less than a half hour.
You can read more in tomorrow's Tribune.
Posted by John S. Adams at 5:34 PM