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Non-Road Boards => Off-Topic => Weather => Topic started by: SignGeek101 on May 16, 2015, 06:32:03 PM

Title: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: SignGeek101 on May 16, 2015, 06:32:03 PM
What is the worst weather you have been through that you remember, while you were driving or otherwise?

I've never driven through a nasty storm, but as a passenger, there were a few times where I've seen funnel clouds and a possible tornado.

Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: jeffandnicole on May 16, 2015, 06:44:47 PM
I seem to miss the nasty weather.  I was down in Florida when Superstorm Sandy hit the area (as it turned out, my house was one of the few in the state that didn't lose electric during that storm!)

Driving-wise, I've been thru the typical thunderstorms and such which slows traffic to a crawl out of necessity because you simply can't see anything.  The worst I experienced was a fairly typical mid-day snowstorm; but when traffic lets out all at once during the day and the traffic lights aren't timed for a mid-day rush hour, it took a while just to leave the city.  The highway wasn't much faster.  All together, a normal 45-60 minute commute took 4 1/2 hours.
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: Zeffy on May 16, 2015, 06:47:59 PM
The worst was when I was caught in the middle of a hurricane back down in Florida in 1998 (1997?). I don't remember which one it was, but my family and I were in Miami, and we tried to get out of our hotel we were staying at by taking the elevator. Then the elevator died.

Other than that, the other two worst that come to mind are Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Irene.
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: empirestate on May 16, 2015, 07:05:58 PM
The worst, as in scariest, weather I've been through, I was indeed driving. It was a severe thunderstorm just north of Mt. Gretna, PA; I could see there was a storm just over the ridge, but as I came down the other side all hell broke loose. Torrential rain and high winds, yes, but lightning as I've never seen before, striking on all four sides of me at a rate approaching once per second.

It was the only time I've ever felt genuinely concerned for my life in a thunderstorm because of the intensity and proximity of the lightning. I was only a mile or two from home, and I wanted to get there as quickly as possible, but of course I got stuck behind another driver who decided to slow down almost completely (not that you could blame him, given the rain). When I did finally get home, I realized I'd left my bedroom window wide open by accident, and while I was initially glad to find the area below the window bone-dry, this was short-lived as I realized the side of the room completely opposite the window was absolutely drenched.

As far as the most significant weather event I've experienced, that's certainly the 1991 ice storm that hit Rochester and western NY. I was too young to drive then, and anyway it happened overnight, but I do remember hearing the strange sounds of branches falling constantly through the night, along with flashes from arcing transformers. (I hadn't known what either was until the morning; I vaguely thought the flashes were lightning, and the noise I was too sleepy to think about identifying.)
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: kkt on May 16, 2015, 07:42:39 PM
Scariest was fog, on I-5 in the Willamette Valley.
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: Big John on May 16, 2015, 08:35:35 PM
Scariest was a blizzard white-out conditions, US 45 near West Bend WI
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: corco on May 16, 2015, 08:49:38 PM
I drove I-80 from Laramie to Cheyenne back in December 2010 at about 6 PM and was one of the last cars to get through before they closed the freeway.

That was a scary drive. I had a passenger with me, and don't think I could have made it without her help. Essentially once we got up past Vedauwoo it was about 18 MPH all the way to Cheyenne, with her notifying me when I was getting too close to what appeared to be the edge of the road on the passenger side (or where the snow drifts were getting too high to drive over, the road was already definitely narrowed to about 1.25 lanes). I've never driven in worse visibility- I could see maybe a foot to the right of the car and 8 feet ahead with low beams on. Snow was coming down hard and it was incredibly windy.

We were going to see a Gordon Lightfoot concert, and you don't pass that up. We were going to drive back home to Laramie, but the freeway was obviously closed that night (as was 287 through Fort Collins and 34 through Wheatland), so we had to spend the night in Cheyenne. The next morning we ended up having to go most of the way up to Wheatland and come back down 34, since everything else was closed because there were drifts multiple feet high on I-80 and 287.

I'm a very experienced snow/bad conditions driver and have never been in the ditch, but I'd hazard that at least 33% of the time I do that drive in those conditions, I don't make it without going in the ditch.

We made it for the concert and had a good time, so I have no regrets, but man.
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: MikeTheActuary on May 16, 2015, 09:30:26 PM
I've been in five tornados and two hurricanes.  While they all had their moments, the actual scariest weather I've been through was "snowtober", the October winter storm that hit New England a few years ago.

I was probably in more danger from the tornados...but spending all night listening to trees breaking from the combined weight of heavy wet snow and leaves that hadn't yet fallen was freaky.

Sure, you get some of that effect during a hurricane, but there's plenty of other noise.  But that snowstorm...it was quiet, except for the groaning, cracking, and thudding of the trees.
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: Ian on May 16, 2015, 09:37:45 PM
A few days after Halloween last semester, there was a decent sized blizzard that hit Maine. On that day, me and a few buddies had the brilliant idea to drive down to Bangor to get food (about a 20 or so minute drive normally from Orono). Although fortunately we didn't wreck on the way there or back, but it was definitely scary nonetheless, especially coming back driving on I-95. Here's a photo I was able to take on my phone waiting to turn onto the I-95 northbound ramp from Hogan Road (exit 187) on that day.

(http://i.imgur.com/MfB2s7v.jpg)
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: 1995hoo on May 16, 2015, 10:10:01 PM
Probably Hurricane Fran in 1996. I've been through other hurricanes, but Fran sticks in memory. I was attending Duke Law at the time. Some of us were out at a pub when the storm hit. Driving home, probably not totally sober, was interesting since Durham County had taken down all the span-wire traffic lights. Got home and found only one parking space open, underneath a willow tree right outside my apartment. So I left and went to a different lot half a mile away with no trees, power lines, utility poles, etc. nearby. Walked home and found the guy two apartments away had just parked underneath the tree. He told me how stupid I was for not parking there. I said I didn't want a tree falling on my car, to which he told me I was stupid because a willow wouldn't fall over.

Next morning, 95% of Durham had no power (I never lost power thanks to Duke's backup generators). The willow tree had fallen over and destroyed that guy's car. I never said anything to him. Didn't see any reason to do so.
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: xcellntbuy on May 16, 2015, 10:13:27 PM
Hurricane Wilma, when I lived in south Florida.
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: vdeane on May 16, 2015, 10:20:08 PM
The notable ones for me are a freak rainstorm that I encountered once on the Thruway where it was raining so hard that I actually pulled over for a few minutes, a blizzard on I-81 where I passed SEVERAL multi-car pileups (and even had to pull off to let an ambulance pass at one point).

I also drove in this once, and this was on a recreational roadtrip:
(http://nysroads.com/images/gallery/NY/losp/100_7585-s.JPG)
Crazy?  Well, that was back when I had my snow tires, and to be fair, the majority of the trip wasn't remotely like that, just a small strip along Lake Ontario.  Just a mile inland and conditions were drastically different.
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: KEVIN_224 on May 16, 2015, 10:27:39 PM
Memorial Day weekend of 1995. Me and my brother were passengers on a NJ Transit train between Trenton and New York City. We had been in Philadelphia before that. KYW-AM 1060 had mentioned gusty thunderstorms or something like that. The EAS tones went off for the station I was listening to, mentioning the severe thunderstorm warning. I think the power flickered a couple of times on the train we were on. The sky had that sick pea green-gray color to it. Not fun! :(

Brushed by Hurricane Irene passing by my immediate west in August of 2011.

I was one of the few homes which didn't lose power during the freak pre-Halloween snow storm in October of 2011.

Central Connecticut was on the fringe of Hurricane Sandy, yet that evening was HORRIBLE! The lights must've dipped at least 5 times in about a 25 minute span. My brother somehow walked home from work that night. WOW!  :-o
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: Takumi on May 16, 2015, 10:48:37 PM
Hurricane Isabel in 2003. I was staying at my friend's house at the edge of a forest, and some time at night we heard a thump. We looked outside and a tree had uprooted and fallen inches from the house. At daybreak we ventured out and saw lots more trees that had fallen over. I think by the time it reached us it had weakened to a tropical storm, but the combination of the wind and rain (after a very wet summer) caused the damage to be extensive.

Irene in 2011 wasn't that bad, although a tree falling on a power line down the street from my house had my street without power for over a week. My dog, a year old at the time, was going stir-crazy from being in the house the whole day, however.
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: Brandon on May 16, 2015, 11:59:40 PM
This (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1990_Plainfield_tornado).
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: Thing 342 on May 17, 2015, 12:59:28 AM
The worst while driving would probably have to be the squall line that I passed through while on I-64 WB that somehow managed to dump six inches of rain in two hours when it reached my house.
Alternatively, it could also be the time when I traveled from Cheyenne to Denver to visit the Zoo (I was about 6), and encountered one of Denver's notorious April snowstorms, accompanied by a large temperature drop.

As for weather experienced overall, probably Isabel in 2003. We lost power for over a week, and many other houses had large portions of their sidings ripped off.

Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: berberry on May 17, 2015, 05:52:06 AM
That's easy, the Candlestick Park Tornado of 1966. I was just a kid, but I was in the building and I still remember it to the point that I sometimes have nightmares about it. It was an F-5 and killed dozens of people all around me. My mother was injured badly, but we all recovered completely.

I have never been through anything nearly that horrible since.
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: JakeFromNewEngland on May 17, 2015, 10:59:18 AM
The two worst storms I've been through are probably Blizzard Nemo and Hurricane Sandy. Blizzard Nemo dropped almost 4 feet of snow in Milford and we were basically snowed in for a few days. Hurricane Sandy was horrible for us since we live in a mostly wooded area so there were several trees in our yard that fell down and because of that we lost power. We were out of power for almost a week.
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: CNGL-Leudimin on May 17, 2015, 11:19:56 AM
The worst was when I was caught in the middle of a hurricane back down in Florida in 1998 (1997?). I don't remember which one it was, but my family and I were in Miami, and we tried to get out of our hotel we were staying at by taking the elevator. Then the elevator died.

Could it be hurricane Georges? It was mid-to-late September, but it is the only hurricane to hit the area in that time.

As for me, the worst I've been through was a hailstorm while out.
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 17, 2015, 02:13:11 PM
Worst, scariest thunderstorms I have ever experienced were on I-95 in Florida (between Fort Pierce and Jacksonville) and on Highway E18 in southern Finland.  The one in Florida because of the amazingly torrential downpours, the one in Finland because of a massive lightning show.

I have driven through a few hurricanes that have made landfall in Maryland (most recently Hurricane Irene in 2011), but they were not as scary as the thunderstorms above.

I've driven in the Midwestern states of the U.S. some, but have never encountered a severe thunderstorm or tornado ... so far ... there.

Have driven in some pretty heavy snowstorms, but never had a problem with those - just took it slow and keep out of the way of the kooks that thing they can stop their 4x4 vehicles as if the pavement was dry and bare.
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: triplemultiplex on May 17, 2015, 03:10:34 PM
July of 2010, this huge rainstorm parked itself over Milwaukee and just flooded the shit out of everything.  I think it dropped 8 inches of water in under an hour.
Second highest discharge ever recorded on the Milwaukee River.
(http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n208/triplemultiplex/Flood%202010/IMG_0828.jpg)
(looking south from North Ave)

Snow, even a lot of snow is usually a non-event for me.  And so far I've managed to avoid the worst of any wind-related fury of nature.
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: thenetwork on May 17, 2015, 10:08:42 PM
May, 2000:

I-10 West just west of San Antonio.  I have never seen it rain so hard in my life!  I guess everything is bigger in TX!
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: Scott5114 on May 17, 2015, 10:18:25 PM
A number or tornadic storms have affected Norman while I've been here, and I've taken shelter around a dozen times, but the actual vortex has never been closer than a few miles.

On May 6 we had an extremely severe storm that pelted us with pretty big hail. (I have a photo I'll upload when I get a chance). There was a tornado that hit the west side of Norman during the same event, but hail was the worst we got on the east side.
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: jakeroot on May 17, 2015, 10:59:54 PM
Worst weather I've ever experienced, in the rather tame northwest, was an ice storm in January 2012, the most recent ice storm since 1996.

Started with about 8-16 inches of snow, depending on your locale, and then was followed with a couple days of freezing rain. The snow was a lot for us (I screencapped the Weather Channel before the storm -- see below) but the ice really screwed everything up.

(http://i.imgur.com/bDfrBas.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/hYGLMdO.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/CUtuJ0U.png)
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: Scott5114 on May 18, 2015, 11:49:03 AM
A number or tornadic storms have affected Norman while I've been here, and I've taken shelter around a dozen times, but the actual vortex has never been closer than a few miles.

On May 6 we had an extremely severe storm that pelted us with pretty big hail. (I have a photo I'll upload when I get a chance). There was a tornado that hit the west side of Norman during the same event, but hail was the worst we got on the east side.

(http://i.imgur.com/LOVZdVk.jpg)
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: empirestate on May 18, 2015, 12:11:10 PM
(http://i.imgur.com/LOVZdVk.jpg)

Wow, that's big! I've heard of hailstones being quarter-sized, but that's a two-dollar bill! ;-)
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: roadman65 on May 18, 2015, 12:13:09 PM
The three hurricanes that hit Central Florida in 2004.
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: Pete from Boston on May 18, 2015, 01:01:13 PM
 I was a passenger driving from outside Baltimore to outside New York in Gloria back in 1985.  We never should have kept going.  Heavy rain reduces visibility more than almost anything else in my opinion.  Also followed a line of rainstorms across Illinois once that had me guessing where the jersey barrier was.  Never again (I hope).

But for scariest, I second the October snowstorm of 2011, for which I was in North Jersey. It happened much heavier and faster than predicted, and suddenly you had people trying to escape their normal Saturday routines before trees fell on them.  A tree fell in front of my truck, so I detoured and was waved off by firemen because of a large electrical fire in the middle of an intersection, then noticed on my third choice that the treetops were on fire from collapsing onto power lines.

It was hard to know where to park, and the sound of trees steadily falling all over made it sound like bombs were falling. 

What an incredible difference leaves make.
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: freebrickproductions on May 18, 2015, 02:49:42 PM
April 27, 2011.
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: slorydn1 on May 18, 2015, 05:04:34 PM
This (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1990_Plainfield_tornado).

Me too. I was on I-55 heading northbound when a state trooper came flying up in the left lane. He slowed just enough to yell TORNADO and point over his shoulder and then he left me in the dust. Once I was sure I was clear of danger and I turned around and went back towards Plainfield. Utter devastation.

Since then I have been through every hurricane to hit eastern NC since Bertha in 1996, and I spent the night of April 14 2011 at the Days Inn in Sallisaw OK while a tornado wiped out a town about 30 miles away and we thought it was headed for us (it wasn't, it was a seperate smaller thunderstorm)-that was probably the most scared I have ever been during a weather event.

This particular storm system "chased" me all the way from OK to NC (it rained from Memphis all the way to Asheville, a miserable day) on April 15, and then the afternoon of the 16th a tornado took out a subdivsion between New Bern and Havelock on US-70. My friends joked that I brought the tornadoes home with me-we usually don't get those kind of strong tornadoes here, usually they are weak spin-ups.
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: SSOWorld on May 18, 2015, 05:46:27 PM
June 16, 2014.  Two tornadoes I (or anyone else for that matter) didn't see coming to my town.  I got spared, but I was one of a select few to be not impacted at all. (even as simple as a power outage).
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: roadman on May 18, 2015, 07:20:37 PM
One of the worst storms I've ever experienced was in 1999 on the Ohio Turnpike westbound when I encountered a squall line.  Was expecting the bad weather, because I'd heard talk about it on the Turnpike operations frequency for about thirty miles beforehand, and also got an alert on the local NWS frequency about it.

Once the squall struck, visibility suddenly decreased - not zero-zero, but not the best either.  Within about twenty seconds, as I noticed the water bubbling on the top of the pavement, a little voice told me to pull over immediately.  Pulled up under an overpass at MM 52 and waited for the squall to pass.  Once the rain tapered off to a light, but steady, flow, I resumed driving.

Now, the reason I will ALWAYS remember the mile marker I pulled over at is because, as I passed MM 51, I encountered a serious four car crash that had just happened, most likely as the result of people encountering the squall and suddenly braking.  To this day, I am still convinced that, had I not pulled over, I would have been the fifth car involved in that crash.
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: empirestate on May 18, 2015, 08:06:43 PM
June 16, 2014.  Two tornadoes I (or anyone else for that matter) didn't see coming to my town.  I got spared, but I was one of a select few to be not impacted at all. (even as simple as a power outage).

The story I told above was in the same area as, but a year or two after, the tornado that hit Campbelltown, PA. I was in Mt. Gretna then, too, and I remember the storm that spawned it: unusually dark and menacing, even considering the almost weekly bouts of thunderstorms the area tends to receive in the summer. We were outside the immediate effects, but we did lose power that day. (Then again, that's common in the area; someone trips over an extension cord in Harrisburg and the power goes out in Mt. Gretna.)
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: bugo on May 18, 2015, 08:28:56 PM
Tornadoes, ice storms, blizzards, hail, high winds, drifting snow - I've driven through a bunch of bad weather. The worst was when I drove THROUGH a tornado. It was a weak tornado, but you could see debris circulating when we got to the middle of the storm. This was on AR 23 south of Booneville.
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: formulanone on May 18, 2015, 10:47:38 PM
April 27, 2011.

Which is why we have an underground shelter in our garage. That was a wake-up call.

Hurricane Wilma, when I lived in south Florida.

Leaky roof, seven large trees knocked over, fence damaged, and eleven days without power...thankfully it was cool for the first 4-5 nights due to a cold front/pressure differential. Neighborhood was a complete mess, and 98% of South Florida was without power for the first 24 hours.

Best part about it being able to see the Milky Way from my front yard, unaided (for the first two nights).
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: CNGL-Leudimin on May 19, 2015, 11:44:09 AM
The three hurricanes that hit Central Florida in 2004.

Which were Charley, Frances and Jeanne. All three were taken down from the list along with Ivan. Frances was going to be removed from the list anyway due to a request by France (Who else?).
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: formulanone on May 19, 2015, 01:57:52 PM
I missed a day of work each from Frances and Jeanne, so they can't be recalled. :P
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: Billy F 1988 on May 19, 2015, 11:21:08 PM
I think one day back in 2004, we had a microburst event near Huson, Montana where a mobile home was toppled over to its side. It was the one my mother was renting. Everything inside just toppled over, some parts blew up in the air. The Missoula National Weather Service office couldn't officially determine that it was a microburst, but I do think it was. There were 70 to 80 MPH winds, maybe close to 90, not sure.

The "snowpocalypse" event just recently in Western Montana in 1996 and in 2014 is another example I can think of.
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: noelbotevera on May 27, 2015, 11:41:50 PM
Sorry for the bump  :no:

My dad was driving on I-80 near the highest point (east of the Mississippi River) in the Appalachian Mountains, in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania. This happened in '91 (my dad doesn't remember - he thinks in 1991, but I'm thinking of the blizzard in '93). It was a WHITEOUT due to Lake Erie AND the mountains. My dad moved at snail speed, and was completely unaware if he was driving on the pavement or grass. He could not see a road sign or ANYTHING (maybe about 6 inches in front of the windshield - after that, it was just white). He decided to pull up somewhere and stopped.

In Ohio, the temperatures was so cold, that my dad's hand nearly stuck and FROZE to the metal door handle, due to nearby Lake Erie.

Three (or one) year(s) earlier, my dad drove through a tornado, and parked under an underpass. It was the Ohio Valley tornado of June 1990. He (thankfully) never got hit, but was certainly concerned.
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: DeaconG on June 07, 2015, 11:46:07 AM
I missed a day of work each from Frances and Jeanne, so they can't be recalled. :P

Yep, I worked at KSC at the time and they shut the center down for all three.

Stayed for Charley, ran from Frances then was forced to stay for Jeanne because I didn't have the funds to run to the Panhandle again. I can distinctly remember when Jeanne showed up not even two weeks after Frances and some jabrone police chief on the beaches was on TV telling people they had to leave and I'm screaming at the TV "WITH WHAT MONEY? We're all broke from running from Frances, you idiot!"
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: hm insulators on June 10, 2015, 04:13:47 PM
Many of you probably have heard of Hurricane Iniki (Ee-NEE-kee) which devastated the Hawaiian island of Kauai in 1992 with 145 mph winds. (Steven Spielberg had just finished filming Jurassic Park before the storm hit and he and a bunch of the actors and crew rode out Iniki in a hotel basement. About a 2-second bit of footage of Iniki is in the movie.) My parents went through that storm, but I was back living in California at the time.

A weaker, lesser-known hurricane hit Kauai ten years earlier. Called Hurricane Iwa (pronounced "Eva"), this one was still quite destructive, if not as nasty as Iniki. I went through Iwa and I still remember the walls of the house bending in and out because of the wind; it was as if the house was breathing (many Hawaiian houses are "single wall" construction as opposed to "double wall" like we have here on the Mainland). It was spooky wondering if the house was going to outlast the hurricane or the hurricane was going to outlast the house.

My parents ran a business that rented bicycles and mopeds at the time; it was called South Shore Activities. Its location was actually across the road and a couple hundred yards inland from the ocean, but such was Iwa's fury that the ocean washed all the way to the business and floated it like a boat an extra twenty yards inland while the wind tore the roof off. The mopeds had been tipped over but otherwise sustained no damage and during the first days after the storm, we used mopeds to get around as it was easier to dodge the fallen trees, telephone poles, etc. 
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: froggie on June 11, 2015, 09:40:20 AM
I've been through just about all of it, from hurricanes (Hurricane Katrina survivor) to tornadoes (multi-vortex F3) to blizzards (several) to thunderstorms where the lighting was so heavy and intense it was practically continuous (Singapore).  About the only thing I haven't directly experienced is a volcanic eruption, though I have come close to several active volcanoes (Chile, Italy, Philippines).
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: Dr Frankenstein on June 11, 2015, 11:51:03 AM
As a driver? The worst, IMO, was the solid rain I went through on TCH 2 in New Brunswick on the way back from the Portsmouth meet in 2013. Around 30 mph, constantly correcting whenever I could see the side of the highway coming in my windshield. Thankfully, there were almost no other drivers. As a ski reporter, I've been through the nastiest snow storms, but I find that heavy rain hurts visibility so much more and is more sudden. I pretty much drove right into a curtain... except that the curtain lasted for over a mile.

As a non-driver, the most damaging storm I've experienced was the 1998 ice storm (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_Ice_Storm_of_1998) in southwest Québec, eastern Ontario and NY's North Country. I lived smack in the middle of what they called the "Triangle of Darkness" and was out of power for over two weeks, despite my proximity with the Beauharnois power dam. Downed power line pylons were ubiquitous, though; some lines had to be rebuilt over several miles.
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: Brandon on June 11, 2015, 11:59:53 AM
The worst weather I've been through as a driver is this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/January_31_%E2%80%93_February_2,_2011_North_American_blizzard).  Yes, folks, I drove in it, at the height of it, and saw plenty of thundersnow.
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: JMoses24 on June 12, 2015, 12:17:37 AM
Well, I didn't drive in it, but I experienced an EF-0 in the back seat of a car in April 2013. It took the awning off a gas station right behind us!

I also walked in what were basically hurricane winds September 14, 2008, when the remnants of Hurricane Ike struck Ohio.
Title: Re: Worst Weather You Have Been Through
Post by: skaguy on June 12, 2015, 04:54:34 PM
Though it's a tossup, I'd have to say May 31st, 2013, the day of the infamous El Reno tornado is first.  The road networks were jammed full of people fleeing after an OKC meteorologist panicked people in to leaving their homes.  People were driving down the wrong side of the road on US 77 south of Norman with a possible tornado coming directly for where I was, which ended up not happening.  Also, the vast amount of storm chasers trying to get across the Canadian River earlier in the day was a nightmare.

A close second would be the April 27th, 2011 Alabama tornadoes.  I was blown to the ground ahead of a developing tornado in the wall cloud stage (one of the weaker ones) going in to a gas station to take shelter.  I thought we had tucked ourselves far enough north of anything that might develop, but ended up not happening.  I looked up in the rear view mirror and I'm like oh crap.  2 of the people went inside immediately and myself and another person took a couple pictures briefly and were just heading in as well.  The Phil Campbell tornado also knocked out power to northern Alabama and no one could get gas or food, even those areas not affected directly by the large tornado.  Thankfully, I filled up 30 minutes before it happened and we were able to get back to Tennessee to get gas.