…it’s more likely than you think.

So, I grew up in Minnesota. I was used to batshit crazy storms and the occasional tornado warning and watches all the damn time. When we moved into our house in Minneapolis in the early 80s (i was 4) we had a stump in the backyard that had been a tree that got knocked down by a tornado the year before.

(That stump by the way? BEST TOY EVER. It was the perfect size for a seat for my four year old self. I was big into He-Man and She-Ra at that time, so for a little while at least, th stump and the bushes around it were Castle Greyskull. True story- I was a dork from a VERY early age.)

(Moving on.)

Anyway, growing up on the Northern edges of Tornado alley, I was used to hearing the tornado warning sirens get tested every first Wednesday of the month at 1 pm. I hard heard them every first Wednesday during storm season (Spring through fall) my entire life until I moved to Boston.

Yesterday, I saw tweets from @UniversalHub that basically all of Massachusetts was under a tornado watch until 8 pm last night. This was odd- I cannot remember hearing about any tornado anything happening in the region in the 8 years (almost) I’ve been here. I kept an eye on the weather, because with the storms that have been bitchslapping the South and the Midwest (including Minneapolis), I wasn’t going to rely on “it never happens here.”

So there I am, in my first Personal Income Tax class of the summer, which is on the 5th floor of the school building, and windows on two sides, and I’m keeping an eye on the clouds (whihc were getting darker and crankier by the minute). The prof has 25 people in the class, and he has us all introduce ourselves and stuff, and I say that I’m from Minnesota, and I moved to get away from tornadoes and crap (whihc is not entirely true, but whatever). So the prof designates me as the person who knows what to do if it looks like downtown Boston is actually going to get hit. (Answer: stairs to the basement. Quickly!)

So a couple (four, I think?) tornadoes hit Springfield, Mass and near Sturbridge, Mass, but the bulk of that storm swung south of Boston. The next cell exploded and a long, narrow band went right across the city. Luckily, I never lost power or internet, but I did find my camping lantern and candles, just in case. The sky was looking a bit green.

The mentality is the thing I found really interesting. Some of the New Englanders were utterly unconcerned, some were freaking out “So… do we go to the basement? WHAT ID HAPPENING” which the bulk of the Midwesterners on twitter were comparing the color fo the sky, and being alert but not quite concerned.

I saw one person on Livejournal being like, “I thought Tornado watch was when you went to the basement?” and the rest of us Midwesterners scoffing and saying “dude, if we did that, we’d be spending half the summer in the basement. Who has that kind of time?”

So, yeah. Tornadoes. In New England. Didn’t expect that.

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