Driving back to the field office last evening around dusk, I was feeling a bit unnerved by a large semicircle of wall cloud looming above my small truck. A wall cloud is as often as not a tornado waiting to happen and I hadn't heard anything about a tornado watch, although admittedly it is Kansas I'm driving around in. A wall cloud is the leading edge of something nasty and looks very much like a wall that's about to fall on you.
I'll be honest - between the approaching blackness and the fact that I was right under the wall of cloud and about 50 yards from a sizeable dust devil off to the north, I was as nervous as a sinner in a stalled elevator, looking and listening intently for a funnel to loom out of the murk. Then the wind hit and the wall of dust started sandpapering my windshield. In the middle of it, I called a friend on his cell phone, a wheat farmer born and raised there. No, no tornados, he reassured me."I'm about a half mile north of you working on a sprinkler and I can see the whole thing - I've never seen anything like this. I wish I had my camera."
In about 15 minutes the dust blew on, the sky cleared to a murky brown, the wind kept up for another half-hour, and aside from a stiff breeze it was gone. Some of the county roads are a bit lower than they were, some of the topsoil has new owners, there are probably a few shingles and small dogs unaccounted for. The drought is as biblical as the wind. What can happen next?
Oh shit, not again.