Metallic thunder

Way back when I was in junior high school (as it was called then), I took a class in radio drama. We wrote scripts, performed them, and recorded them. I remember the sound effect for thunder being produced used something metallic, I think a thin metal sheet.

It sounded metallic, which is not what thunder had ever sounded like to me, and so I wasn’t much impressed.

Last night, I had gone to sleep, maybe a bit early. I awoke to that metallic sound. As I stirred, I saw that lightning was flashing through my window blinds. And the interval between flash and thunder was short, about one second, so I knew the storm was close.

It would likely have been quite a show had I bothered to get up and open the blinds. I was too tired. From the sound, the storm seemed to surround my apartment on at least two sides. The sound became more like thunder as I’m used to hearing it.

Eventually, I heard an alert on both my phones from the dining room. It was a flash flood warning. A bit late now, I thought to myself.

I went back to sleep. But now I know: When it’s close enough, thunder can indeed sound metallic.

This morning, I awoke to a report of debris on Streets Run Road, a heavily-used roadway not far from my apartment.[1] It would not be the first time I’ve seen debris on the roads following a storm here, but I guess this was sufficient to attract the notice of a local reporter.

The road in question is already closed in another section a bit closer to my apartment for work to repair slide damage from earlier storms.[2]


There is a new blog post entitled, “The Disunited Kingdom.”

Steven Morris, “No-deal Brexit would endanger rural life, says Welsh leader,” Guardian, July 30, 2019,

Siobhán O’Grady, “Why Boris Johnson is already clashing with Ireland over Brexit,” Washington Post, July 30, 2019,

Boer Deng and Oliver Wright, “Congress warns that Irish border is key to trade deal with US,” Times, July 31, 2019,

Amanda Ferguson and William Booth, “Northern Ireland’s politicians don’t agree on much. Except that Boris Johnson’s no-deal Brexit would be a disaster,” Washington Post, July 31, 2019,

Andrew Sentance and David Blanchflower, “‘No-deal Brexit talk has hit home hard’ – two experts debate the data,” Guardian, July 31, 2019,

  1. [1]Eric Heyl, “Debris On Baldwin Roads Causing Problems For Motorists,” Patch, July 31, 2019,
  2. [2]KDKA, “Streets Run Road To Close For A Month-Long Project,” July 9, 2019,

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