Watching STORMCHASERS in Discovery Channel reminded me of another awesome experience I had years back:
Back in 2003 or 04 on Nov 27, I was about to leave on a family vacation trip but have to get back home first to grab my bags. On the route heading towards a typical Malay kampung (village), the sky turned dark all of the sudden and this is a normal situation for us as it is the sign of an approaching rainstorm (or so I thought)
As the wind outside picked up and the palm trees were shook violently, I was at the front seat at the time and my mom was driving the van with my cousins and siblings at the back, I noticed specks of black "dirt" being tossed like confetties in the air as we get closer to the village houses. This specks at first from a distance, looked like black ashes from burnt pieces of paper but I noticed something else - it reflected light as it spins.
It took me a few minutes to realized that this isn't ashes and no one was burning rubbish anywhere near the road - they were huge sheets of zinc that were once part of a house now being turned into airborne missiles by a twister right in front of us!
Here's my conversation with my mom:
ME: Mom... I think there's a tornado in front of us!
MOM: Don't be stupid lah, people *bakar sampah la! (burning rubbish)
by the time this conversation ends, it was too late...
(WAIT ~ BACK TRACK HERE FOR A MINUTE... A TWISTER IN MALAYSIA!? NAH MAN, THAT'S BULL...)
But I'm telling you, IT HAPPENED! XD For a country which is only prone to man-made landslides and flash floods, a TWISTER is such a rare sight especially in the middle of a tornado-free land.
As the title of this post states, we accidentally intercept this mini (yet fucking awesomhowmplpk! violent whirlwind) We were two cars away from the base of the funnel and debris were everywhere, power cables down, beams of hard wood and whole chunks of rooftops ripped apart like some Hollywood movie right in front of me.
Being an excited fan of the Twister film, and seeing that spectacle, I was frantically searching for a camera!
ME: oh shit! OH WOW! WHERE'S THE CAMERA? WHERE'S THE CAMERA? ANYBODY GOT A CAMERA!?
MOM: OH SHIT! OH MY GOD! WE CAN'T TURN BACK! WE'RE STUCK! OH MY GOD!
ME: SHIT! NO CAMERA! Oh my GOD! (disappointed but terrified and excited to see a twister and looking at debris flying past my window!)
The twister just cross past the road and it was gone in a minute. There was an eerie silence. My mom calmed her nerves (me, my excitement) and we continued our drive home after the survived villagers come out to clear the debris out of the road. As we drove off, I look back to track the twister and the last I saw, it begin to lose its strength as it crossed a paddy field and eventually disappeared.
That was my first hand account of my exciting accidentally storm chasing experience and tornado intercept.
I sure hope it won't be my last in my lifetime.