Tim and I were talking at coffee the other morning, he brought up storm spotting and a class being taught up near the county line. Having seen the storms that can move through an Iowa summer, I agreed and have signed up to be a spotter after taking the National Weather Service 2010 Spotter Training.
Now admittedly, attending a 2 hour class makes me as much of a meteorologist as having a single bullet in his pocket made Barney Fife a Deputy, but I think the hope of the weather service is that an extra set of eyes on the ground makes their ability to warn of dangerous weather easier. Not only do they wish for spotters to report what they see in the sky, but also watch for flash flooding.
As I drove back from the training, I was thinking about the videos they showed, many from storm chasers (not just spotters) who’s thrill comes from video making of storms. The soundtrack from these home videos, in addition to swear words of exclamation as something gets blown over, is the line “We’ve got debris”.
Do you remember who made this line famous? It was Helen Hunt in the movie “Twister”. Helen Hunt, Bill Paxton, Jami Gertz make up an odd love triangle (okay a foursome if you count the tornado).
So Hunt plays a free spirited storm researcher — Gertz is the more structured analyst. It’s a typical “brains vs beauty” choice for Paxton, although both are beautiful women.
The “we’ve got debris” line may be the most famous, but my favorite line is buried deeper in the film. Gertz, the straight woman to the more emotional Hunt, says this to Paxton as he rediscovers his love of storm chasing. Gertz and Paxton have just come through a terrifying storm and Gertz says to him:
“When you used to tell me that you chase tornadoes, deep down I thought it was just a metaphor.”
Makes me smile every time I think of it.