Were you afraid of thunder?

Thomas Loades

(Probabaly should've made this a poll, but I'm largely computer-illiterate. :oops: )

Anyway: I used to be utterly terrified of thunder when I was really young (ca. age 2–7), to the point where, at the most distant, non-loud rumble of thunder, I would cover my ears and wait for the storm to go. It used to be really scary at night for no real reason — just was. It would always wake me up, and no pillow or anything to plug the ears would dampen the noise.

Now, it's different . . . I'm not scared at all. Maybe I outgrew it, or something. But I still jump at the REALLY loud (close) ones — they tend to make the walls of my house vibrate.

That said, when I was four — the peak of the scared period — there was this awesome storm that came over the house we lived in at the time (not in the inexplicable weather void our present one is in); the clouds were green, and I'll never forget that, or the hail, which is still the largest I've ever seen — golf-ball size. (I wanted to run out and catch them, and my mother had to restrain me.) I was so utterly entranced by the hail and clouds that while I remember all the clamor the stones maade falling on the sheet-metal carport, I didn't hear the thunder at all (though it was there).
Childhood experience

This reminded me of when I was a kid growing up (my childhood years), I used to sit by my bedroom window late at night and watch the sky for lightning during storms. I'm hearing-impaired and because it was way past my bedtime, I had taken my hearing aids off.

When I see a lightning flash close by, I would place my hand on the window pane so that I can feel the "rumble" of the thunder as it passes by. Sometimes there would be a bright flash and I didn't need to feel the glass, I felt the "rumble" in my body. This early fascination with storms probably what led me to my current interest in storm chasing.

Another incident that I remembered was when I was coming home from a afternoon in the farm fields. I was helping my dad in disking a wheat field in the summer. We were interrupted late in the afternoon by storms that seems to be popping up all around us. On my way home I ran into heavy downpours. Even though I had a cab on the tractor, the rain was being blown thru the cab's open windows and into my face. I stopped at one point to take my aids off and put them in my pants pockets to keep them from getting wet.

I was about 1/4 mile from home, when out of the corner of my eye, there was a bright flash. I looked over to my right and I saw the lingering traces of where the lightning bolt was. About that same instant, I heard and felt the "rumble". Actually it was more like a "Boom". :shock: I was amazed that I was able to hear that thunder even though I was, in clinical terms, "profoundly deaf". That means that thunder had to be over 100 decibels in sound level in order for me to hear that boom. :shock:

Sorry this turned out longer that I had anticipated. Makes good reading, right?? :lol:
When I was about 3-4 years old I can remember being scared of thunder. One evening there was a bad storm in Amarillo where we were living and I got up because of the thunder and my dad explained to me what thunder was and why it rolled the way it did. After that evening I was never scared of thunder again. I have never been afraid of lightning, even as a child I was fascinated by the sight of it. I have had lightning strike REAL close before, to the point where it locked my jaw muscles and left a copper-like taste in my mouth but I still enjoy lightning very much.
Depends on how close it is... If its constant, and close enough that the thunder follows immediately after the flash, then I get alot more cautious. If its distant (about 5-10 seconds between flash and thunder), I will stand out and watch it (unless its pouring down rain of course).
I remeber being scared during at least one storm when I was very young 3 or 4, I think because it caused other problems. Other than that I haven't been scared since, and rather enjoy the noise!
Originally posted by Jenifer Henslee
I remeber being scared during at least one storm when I was very young 3 or 4, I think because it caused other problems. Other than that I haven't been scared since, and rather enjoy the noise!

The loud the better IMO... Its just the actual "bolt" that startles me, cause its so fast, and you don't know where the next strike will be...
Yep, the louder, the better :) !! I love the house shakers and the "ridge rumblers" (For those who do not know, ridge rumblers occur when thunder starts in one end of the valley, and is "trapped" in the valley until it gets to the other end. 'Tis a really cool sound effect :D !!).
Anybody besides me do some of your best sleeping when there's a nighttime storm in progress?
No.. I have to watch it. I cannot stay in bed during a storm so I usually get no sleep during night time storms.
I've always thought this an interesting topic, because I was terrified of storms when I was little. Several other friends, including a storm chaser and a meteorologist-to-be were also scared of storms. It wasn't thunder, it was everything.

I grew up in tornado alley (Abilene, TX) and have always wondered what experience others had. My fear became fascination (as I recall) no later than the age of 10 or 11.

I thought there might be something there that fear turns into fascination when one grows up, but looking at these comments, I suppose the three of us having been fearful when very young is just a coincidence.
Originally posted by mrobinson
No.. I have to watch it. I cannot stay in bed during a storm so I usually get no sleep during night time storms.

I am the same way. If there are storms in the area at night I will stay up and monitor the activity and if they are close enough I will go out and get some good lightning video. I have taken off to chase at 4:00am before just for the good night time video.
I don't really remember ever being scared, but I remember my big sister telling me (and me being 6 or 7 I believed it) that God was bowling lmao!!
I used to be scared of storms when I was young. I dunno why, just did... I remember my mom trying to force me out onto the porch during a storm to watch it, I did not want to, so I hid behind her back. I am glad she made me though... because over the years as I learned more and more, I grew a respect for storms, and found them extremely fascinating. I remember at one point being interested in storms, but terrified of tornadoes.... I remember taking a huge picture of a tornado from the newspaper, I think it was the Edmonton Alberta F4 from 1987, and sticking it on my closet. I eventualy had bad tornado dreams so I took it down. I recall one time we had a tornado watch, I packed up my favorite things, I was a bit frightened. But as the years went on, and the more I learned, I became more and more interested in storms. I guess my interest in storms was meant to be, despite some of the fear I had when I was a kid. It must be in my blood. Heck, my mom told me a long while ago that when I was 6 yrs old, I would draw pictures of storms and tornadoes... they thought I had depression or something LOL.

And I will be honest... I've never heard of storm chasing until Twister came out. I never knew people did that kind of thing. When we got the Internet, I researched it, and was amazed at all the stuff I found on the web. So by 1998, my knowledge has totally expanded and I thought... why don't I chase too?

As for storms at night? I get my best sleep during a gentle thunderstorm... I will lay there listening to it, and just go out like a light. It's soooo relaxing for me. But if I hear hail or gusty wind, I will get out of bed to watch.
I use to be scared to death of storms, especially loud thunderstorms.

I remember once a storm was coming in. It wasn't a severe storm at all. My parents and the neighbors were outside watching the lightning. They persuaded me to go outside, but I was only there for a few moments. I went inside, grabbed my blankets and pillows and went to lay down in the hallway with my head covered. I think I was about 5-6 at the time.

I was scared of storms up until late middle school. From the time I was 7-11 or 12 any time I was outside with friends and a grey cloud appeared in the sky, I would become sick to my stomach and call my mom to come pick me up--no matter if it was a storm cloud or not. If I was staying the night at a friend's my parent's would have to come pick me up in the middle of the night if it started to storm.

In high school, I pretty much got over my fear until a tornado hit Parsons. My fear was reignited and at the slightest sign of a storm, i would become sick to my stomach again. I remember driving to my parents' house at 1am, rang the door bell frantically because there was a tornado warning in the next county over. My dad was so angry at me that I never went over there again during a storm.

Finally, I'm able to appreciate a storm. When it storms at night, I usually get up to monitor it unless it comes in while I'm asleep and I don't hear it.
I use to be afarid of thunder and lighting when I was a kid even up to when I was 21 years old. But, now I love to listen to the thunder and watch the lighting. It took being caught under a storm in Georgia for it to break my fear of it. Funny thing about that one storm, it spawned a f2 tornado a few counties over.
When I was 5, I was woken up by a thunderstorm around 5am and hid under my bed. That was the only time I remember being afraid of thunder though. I did go through a phase of being afraid of tornadoes as well, but I got over that by the time I was 9. From then on forward I actively looked forward to seeing both.
Anybody besides me do some of your best sleeping when there's a nighttime storm in progress?

It used to be that I would find it rather difficult to fall asleep when I can seen the lightning outside my bedroom window and I feel the thunder rumbling against the walls. :shock:

But now that I'm married (Nov. 2002), I can relax and fall asleep sooner. Must be the company of my lovely wife, Diane, and our three dogs, all sleeping in the same bed, that's helping me. Also I'm hearing impaired so any low thunder rumble is NOT deafing since I take my aids off at night :lol:

I used to be so scared of thunder as a child only because I was afraid it wasn't thunder, yet the sound of an approaching tornado.
Sometimes I still get that sneaky feeling when I hear a sudden break of thunder that sounds a little off.

One girl I knew a few years back said she loved having trees around because how she knew a tornado was coming was when she heard the trees snapping and debris hitting the house.

Don't know how much of it's true, but it made me look at trees in a whole different light after that.
how to overcome fear of lightning

When I was about 2, lightning struck a tree across the street, sending Mom and me hurtling across the livingroom. I had occasional lightning nightmares for the 19 years afterward, and while I loved storms, I never ever considered chasing, or often even being out in the open during a storm.

Then, one late July day in '94, some friends and I were caught on top of iron rich red rock in Garden of the Gods for an unforecasted Pike's Peak surprise, and had to run down the hill in a downpour of rain and numerous close CGs. Anyone who's ever been that close can testify that at such range, you can hear the electrical ZZZZZT! sound the microsecond before the thunder hits like a gunshot. Anyway, after that experience, I respect lightning even more, but got over the fear of being hit. Nothing like confronting your fears, whether you plan to or not :wink: