tornadoes hail = exciting track day

So this weekend Erik did a track day at Road Atlanta with our ’87 BMW 325i and it was, for lack of a better word, exciting.
Friday night me, Erik, Eugene and Tony went to see Doomsday (awesome movie, btw!) at Atlantic Station. It was rainy and gross out but meh, whatever. The movie ended at 11pm and it was all crazy lightninging outside but didn’t look too bad. Drove home, went to bed, wound up being up all night from a crazy storm. Well, during the time we were in the movie, a F2 tornado hit downtown Atlanta (2 miles from where we were). This is the first time in recorded history that a tornado hit the downtown area. It did a lot of damage, destroyed a ton of houses and fubar’d a bunch of buildings. Sad 😦

So Saturday morning we got up at 5am (didn’t know about the ATL tornado at this point) and drove to Road
Atlanta. It was storming pretty bad but we figured it would clear up. By early afternoon we started to notice a big black storm rolling in. Erik had his sidekick and had pulled up a weather radar map of the area and we saw a supercell was headed straight for us… Shortly after is when it started to pour torrential rain. By this time, Erik was in a driver’s meeting and I was with the cars in the pits. I took down our tent and put away anything that could become a projectile in the wind. I was listening to the national weather service on the radio and they said a few tornadoes had been sighted in our area, we were under a tornado warning, seek shelter immediately.
So here I am, all alone with absolutely nowhere to go and I couldn’t reach Erik and my cell phone was dying. I was compulsively refreshing the radar map every two seconds with the insane expectation that the storm would miraculously disappear or change paths or something. Anyway. So it’s raining but dark and eerily quiet and there’s this guy standing outside the door of the Subaru (he didn’t realize I was in it) so I opened it and asked him to show me on the map where we were exactly and I was kinda crying a little and freaking out at this point and he calmed me down and was really nice and we started talking. So we’re standing there watching the sky and there are all these swirlies in the clouds, threatening to make a tornado and my New Friend Doug i
s like, “yeah, we don’t really have to worry about those until we see a funnel cloud forming… *pause* uh, like that one.”
I looked up and there was a FUNNEL CLOUD FORMING DIRECTLY OVER MY HEAD. It started to drop down from the clouds and Doug and I took off for the tower where we could hide and be safe. Luckily, it didn’t touch down and the storm passed after another half hour or so.
The weather cleared up and we continued racing… That is until we were hit with *another* supercell. A tornado was spotted 2 miles from the track and everyone was “evacuated” to the tower. The very moment the last person was safely inside, it started hailing. Golf-ball sized hail all over the place, coming in sideways. It was absolute chaos. After the hail was torrential rain and black-green skies. I was pretty much crying and shaking at this point because the funnel cloud had really scared the hell out of me. Eventually that storm passed and no cars were damaged by the hail whatsoever. …and the racing started again.
We got hit with a third supercell right as Erik and I were leaving the track and luckily we got out of its path quickly. Driving to the highway we saw the most spectacular 180* complete rainbow in a field off in the distance. It was the most intense, bright and perfectly-formed rainbow I had ever seen. Pretty cool end to a pretty devastating storm (sadly, several people were killed%2
That night we went out to dinner with some friends and people from a local shop. A couple weeks ago I had seen a blue Miata at my work. Really clean, modified tastefully, etc. So as we pulled into the parking lot, I saw that very same Miata sitting there! We went inside and it belonged to one of the people we were having dinner with. I asked him what he was doing at *address here* and he said he worked there. I was like ‘nowai! me too!’ and he said he worked at TMP and I laughed and said me too. Small world huh? 😉
Sunday was uneventful compared to the storms the day before but still wonderful. The weather was completely opposite of Saturday – 70*, not a cloud in the sky and just a slight breeze. Erik drove well. He didn’t wreck and the car didn’t explode so it was definitely a success.
Overall, this was definitely one crazy weekend… I”m just bummed I was too busy running for cover to snap a picture of the funnel cloud. Oh well, maybe next time.
In other news: I sold Wilma yesterday (my ’89 Nissan 240SX).
Erik had been bitching for a while that he wanted me to get rid of her since I never drove her and she just sat in the driveway… Well, Eugene posted a for sale ad on Craigslist and my inbox got flooded with emails and my phone wouldn’t stop ringing and by 10pm, I had cash in hand and Wilma had a new family. I’m gonna miss her…</font%

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