13 People Share Their Stories of Crazy Weather Survival


There are few things that can strike fear into our hearts like severe weather. I don’t know if it is the sheer power of mother nature or my feelings of complete helplessness (maybe it’s both?), but the weather will humble me in a hurry. These 13 stories share times when people were held completely captive by the weather – and lived to tell the tale.

1. Disaster Movie

While driving to California from Mississippi, we got caught in a huge desert storm somewhere in Arizona (or possibly New Mexico). There was a lot of rain and wind but it started off normally enough. After about five minutes though it started getting crazy. The dirt and sand was so dry that all of the water coming down was kicking it up more than soaking it, so after a few minutes both sides of the road were completely hidden by dust going up about 30 feet, and then above that was just rain, with the freeway cutting through it. It looked like Moses parting the sea except it was a freeway parting a giant dust cloud. So that was kind of neat, but then it got intense – every time lightning flashed, you could see into the dust clouds, and there were multiple tornadoes/dust devils on each side of us.

Deciding to take shelter, we pulled into a motel that was ahead of us and ran into the lobby along with about four other people who had come off the road. Just as we were getting into the lobby the storm really took off and we started getting hail too. One guy slipped in the parking lot and started bleeding everywhere and me and my husband had to dash outside to literally drag him into the building. Then us, the guy, the others from the road, and about 6 people from the hotel including the staff just huddled in the lobby watching the security camera feed from outside on their desk computer. One by one, the cameras were getting taken out by hail or wind until eventually it was all just static and howling wind and dust outside the windows. Was like something from a disaster movie, I’ll never forget it.

2. Not down under anymore

My wife and I were driving through the desert in Arizona and got caught in a thunderstorm. It was bucketing down and our convertible top was leaking so we had to stuff towels across the top of the screen.

Then it got much heavier and there were multiple lightening strikes to the ground and cactus either side of the road. I was driving at about 10-15mph because I could hardly see the road, had headlights and emergency flashers on and wipers going full pelt.

Then in my rear vision mirror I saw red and blue flashing lights and a cop car slowly gaining on us. I said to my wife I am not stopping for this guy. He slowly pulled alongside and looked us over and continued on.

We have some intense thunderstorms in Australia but I have never been in anything like that before or since.

3. I can’t see you

I remember driving in a terrifying storm once, I think it was in New Mexico (moving from TX to California). It was raining so hard and was so dark that it suddenly became impossible to see anything more than 2-3 feet from our car. I knew we were surrounded by semi trucks that we couldn’t see anymore, and we were in the middle lane. Couldn’t really pull over so we just put our hazards on and slowed down. It was terrifying.

4. No joke

Experienced this so many times, I’ve lived in Arizona for 20 years. On the way to California we got caught in a dust storm unable to see feet ahead of us; such a scary drive because you could hardly see drivers. Also on the way back from Show Low through Globe, hit a massive monsoon storm that we literally thought we would crash. Lightning above us and all around, rain coming down hard and so dense. I remember my wife was telling my sister, who was driving at the time, to just keep looking at the white lines on the right side. She was so calm, we were freaking out; we ended up getting ahead of the storm near Gold Canyon. Another time I had to pull over and wait for the storm to pass. Not as dangerous in the city as it is on highways but holy moly that storm was huge. Monsoon/Haboob season here is no joke.

Edit: words

5. Nickname at its best

I was born in Yuma and when I was little my dad called me Dusty because he had to drive though a dust storm to the hospital when my mom went in labor with me.

6. Thunder blizzard?

I was in middle school and had some sort of after school event. It was late January and it had been lightly snowing all day and really cloudy. I called my mom with the phone at the school to let her know I was done.

I was sitting outside leaning on a bike rack while waiting for her to show up. I then hear thunder crack. I had never even heard of thunder blizzards before but I experienced one that day.

In the course of maybe 5 minutes a fog rolled in, the snow got super heavy, the wind began blowing hard, and lightening and thunder was going off every few seconds.

I moved away from the bike racks and into a small alcove to get out of the cold wind. After maybe 30 seconds from leaving the bike rack lightening stuck the bike rack I had just been leaning against.

That day was the most scared I’ve ever been from a storm. Growing up in the midwest thunder storms and blizzards are common so I wasn’t afraid of them, but both at the same time, combined with lightening striking where I had just been really got to me.

7. Missouri ain’t no joke

My husband and I were driving home from an out of state trip a few years ago, in late March (start of tornado season). We stopped in Joplin, MO to get dinner before finishing the last few hours of our drive into Oklahoma and I caught a glimpse of the television… it was a weather forecast showing a pretty nasty storm system a couple hundred miles away. It looked bad but it also appeared that we would just miss it if we left right then and stayed on the turnpike.

There is a zone between Missouri and Tulsa, OK where there’s like no exits anywhere to get off for gas or anything. The storm ahead of us looked pretty bad and we knew we needed to turn off but there literally were NO exits. Lightning struck the side of the road as we past by and that’s when I realized we were in trouble.

After a little while of staring at a wall cloud, my phone started buzzing that there was a tornado warning in our area. I showed my husband and not 5 seconds later a funnel cloud started forming in front of us, not a mile up the highway. Finally a fucking exit showed up and we swerved through it as this what at least appeared to be rather large tornado touched down (not sure how big We pulled into the gas station and ran inside with a bunch of strangers, then the power went out. I called my mom and told her what was happening and that I loved her. I was 100% sure I was about to be in serious pain.

At the last second, this big ass tornado turned away and destroyed a few houses I believe… I can’t remember if anyone died although I believe there were a few casualties 🙁 We got back in the car and drove home. It was one of the scariest moments of my life.

8. We’re all going to die

There was a huge storm that my dad and I were watching while standing in the garage with the garage door open. Finally, the storm got so intense that the power went out while the garage door was still open. My Dad (whose jokes are sometimes in poor taste) just put his hand over his mouth and said “Oh shit…”. Me, as a 10 year old, said “What? What?!”. My dad said “the power went out and the garage is still open…”. He sounded worried, so I frantically asked why that mattered. He simply said “well…it creates a negative pressure causing the house to explode”. I started crying and ran to find my mom. He thought it was hilarious

9. Can’t believe everything you hear

When I was in K-8, somebody somewhere in the school hierarchy heard that leaving a building’s doors open during a tornado would protect it from a negative pressure explosion. I remember the principal going through the school during a tornado warning, grumbling about some people believing anything they hear while shutting all the doors that had been propped open.

10. Tastes like fire

Walking home from a friend’s house and nearly got hit by lightning. The bolt was really thick, bright, and loud and I could taste the burning air. I’d say it struck about 400 feet behind my house.

11. No shit, just splinters

I was a kid at boy scout camp, for some reason alone in our campsite during a rain storm. I was catching rain dribbling off the tarp with my poncho when BOOM the loudest sound I can imagine-seemingly pushing the air out of my lungs. I jumped straight up and when I landed splinters were raining down everywhere, followed by a couple smaller branches and lots of shredded leaves. A tree about 30ft behind me had been struck and a split ran all the way down the trunk to the ground. I kept a 4-inch splinter that had stabbed through my poncho. I can’t believe I didn’t shit myself.

12. No New York New Years for you

My mom and sister and I were at the community pool once. I was probably 8 and my sister was maybe 5. This storm came in fast, with big black clouds and thunder, so they evacuated the pool area. The pool shared the parking lot with a church, which had this tall steeple with a ball on top.

As we were opening our car to leave, lightning struck the steeple of the church, and the ball flew off the steeple. I’d say we were 50-60 feet away.

It was SO SCARY. Also that was like 25 years ago and they still haven’t replaced that ball.

13. Crack!

This happened to my fiancé. We were visiting a museum when a freak thunderstorm hit and he had already gone to get the car. Lighting strike zapped and knocked a tree over about 20 feet from him. That video that was going around Facebook a while back “Lightning strike scared the grammar out of this guy,” that’s exactly what the strike was like. Fiancé was fine but seriously shaken up.

Can’t get enough? Read on playa.

20 Tumblr Posts About Christmas Good for a Post-Holiday Laugh

Cats Poof up Their Tails for a Very Specific Reason

The Best Ways to Be Eco-Friendly When You’re Dead