Picture this. A quiet apartment. A child who has just (supposedly) gone to sleep. The microwave beeping that your reheated pizza is ready (I know, I know, but I was too lazy to wait for the oven).
Suddenly, you hear rattling around on the street and a crack against the window. You look out and see trees blowing in a might wind (sorry, couldn't resist). No, seriously. The trees were practically horizontal. The rattling was trash cans in the street, having been picked up and knocked over as if they were light as a feather. You peer down into the street and realize all the people are running. Let me repeat. Running. These are New Yorkers. Unless you run around yelling "Fire!" (or "crane!" these days), they ain't running for anyone, and they may even be cynical enough not to believe you then.
That cracking sound? It was wind so strong you call your husband and immediately ask if a tornado is in New York. Not that you've ever seen one. But if you did, it would probably look a lot like this.
After he pooh-pooh's your concerns and dismisses your fears as being overly dramatic (what? ME! Dramatic?), the lighting starts. This is no ordinary lighting. We're talking serious voltage here, moving straight down from the sky to the street. Faster than you can blink, it flashes. And then the thunder starts. So loud you jump and cover your ears.
Scared yet? Admit it! You would be!
Seeking validation (and ammo against the "drama queen" argument), you scour the internet for news alerts, weather radar, anything. And then you find this:
* AT 853 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A LINE OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING PENNY SIZE HAIL...AND DESTRUCTIVE WINDS (destuctive, peeps!) IN EXCESS OF 70 MPH (that's like hurricane speed). THESE STORMS WERE LOCATED ALONG A LINE EXTENDING FROM CALDWELL TO PLAINFIELD... OR ALONG A LINE EXTENDING FROM EAST HANOVER TO SOUTH PLAINFIELD... AND MOVING EAST AT 50 MPH (that's a fast moving storm, baby).
* SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WILL BE NEAR... UNION...ORANGE...LINDEN AND BLOOMFIELD BY 905 PM... PATERSON...RUTHERFORD...PASSAIC AND NEWARK BY 910 PM... BERGENFIELD AND PARAMUS BY 915 PM... (Poker Chick reports they hit NYC at 9:13pm) IN ADDITION TO LARGE HAIL AND DAMAGING WINDS...CONTINUOUS CLOUD TO GROUND LIGHTNING (hey! did we not just describe the cloud to ground effect?) IS OCCURRING WITH THIS STORM. MOVE INDOORS IMMEDIATELY! (They said immediately! Them's serious words!) LIGHTNING IS ONE OF NATURES NUMBER ONE KILLERS. REMEMBER...IF YOU CAN HEAR THUNDER...YOU ARE CLOSE ENOUGH TO BE STRUCK BY LIGHTNING.
Okay. Did y'all read that? Now who thinks the reaction was overly dramatic? Mmmm hmmm.. We thought so.