“Wichita experiences rare heat burst overnight” – that and similar headlines were all over the Internet this morning and everyone is talking about it. Have you ever heard of a “heat burst event” before? Me neither. And I’ve been living on this earth a long, long time. Well, not *that* long, but awhile now…So, shortly after midnight last night, my husband and I were partly asleep when the wind suddenly came up out of nowhere and was of a remarkable speed and intensity. It wasn’t enough to make us sit up and take notice, since this is Kansas and it’s fairly common, and it was late, but it was significant enough that we both woke up for it, just briefly. It turns out that in Wichita, a few miles from here, that wind was 60 miles per hour in places, and it accompanied a “heat burst event” – the temperature went from 85 degrees at midnight to 102 degrees at 12:44. Is that not nuts? Well, in my opinion, that’s just NUTS!
Apparently, it’s a rare occurrence caused by a quickly collapsing thunderstorm in the nearby area plus a whole handful of other factors that all have to be present and just right (or wrong, depending on your opinion and how much damage you had) for it to happen. It’s so rare that it makes big news whenever it happens. According to the news, 4000 people lost their electricity in the event, and a bunch of large trees were uprooted and several buildings lost their roofs. We didn’t have any damage here, for which I am thankful.
So, my mind works in mysterious ways and my question is this… is this type of event new, or did our pioneer ancestors have to deal with this? I mean, can you imagine being a happy Cherokee family sometime about 150 years ago, living without TV or the Internet or even a smart phone, near a river somewhere on the Kansas plains, and then one night (or day), suddenly the temperature shoots up almost 20 degrees in 20 minutes and it feels as if a portal to hell has opened up right over you? It would be absolutely terrifying! It was pretty darn scary here and now, even with TV, Internet, a weather radio, and a smart phone!