Walt Grayson's Look Around: The calm before the storm - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Walt Grayson's Look Around: The calm before the storm

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Sunday afternoon of the weekend before Hurricane Isaac came through the state the weather was perfect for a late summer day at Lake Washington in the Delta. Things were pretty quiet here at the lake, but in the bean fields and cornfields in the area it was a different story. Sunday was no day of rest as planters were hurrying breakneck trying to harvest fields that were ready to be harvested because they had already been alerted to Isaac.

You wouldn't have known it by the weather that day. Or even the next for that matter. Monday mid-state was about a pretty a day as you'd want. A little warm. But it's August, after all. Years ago, farmers would have been in the dark about the impending storm in as little time as a day out. Maybe an old timer would have look up at the ragged little clouds in the clear sky and think something odd might be up if he saw it.

Even Tuesday's sunset sun-bathing the clouds. But I wonder even then if they'd have any idea 200 miles inland that the storm was already soaking the coast because at the same time the nearly full moon rose in a nearly clear sky mid-state.

Wednesday's clouds were different. This was no summer storm. This was bigger and would last longer. Ole timers would be calling attention to what was ahead by now. And attention would immediately turn to the crops back then, as it has this year. The corn is all but harvested. Much of the beans. But the cotton, which is just now setting bowls here in mid-state is far from being ready to harvest. And it's an excellent crop this year. Will it make it through hours of wind and rain and still turn out?

Too late to think about it now because by then the rain sets in: hard rain and blustery winds. Angry clouds fly across the sky between the downpours. And it sets in that way and it stays that way for a night and a day: rain and wind and angry clouds. All of nature is confused at this uncharacteristic weather.

The biggest difference between those days and these days is, because of radar and satellite data and computers that can digest the past and tell the future, we can see them days before they get here. But once they get here just like in decades past the only thing to do is wait them out and then assess the damages and then be thankful for what was spared.

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