Some of my Opera friends knows a story about the worst storm I experienced in my life. It was in July 2nd, 1987. and I am pretty sure I will never forget that day. I was in Croatia, just turned 18, spending summer holidays in a small mountain village in Gorski kotar. The day was hot and humid, unlike what it usually look like there. But in the evening, some dark clouds started to gather and it was obvious we will have to expect some raining. Aroun 9 p.m. my friend Henrik asked me to make him company to escort his girlfriend back to her home, in a 2 km nearby village. I accepted mostly because I wanted to be out in the open more than to spend whole evening in some pub. On the way there, I grabbed an umbrella from my home, just in case, because I truly believed we will come back before rain starts.
I was wrong. It started when we were at the half way to that village and the beginning was with a BIG brrrrraaaannnnggggggggg behind a nearby mountain. My friend murmured something about thunders and mountain fire but another brang muted the rest of his words. His girlfriend told us to turn back and go home immediately but it would mean we are afraid, so we denied it, trying to hide what we really felt. Suddenly, I started to remember some stories my grandmother told me about kids dying of the lightning out in the open.
Finaly we were close to her house, they kissed and she ran away while two of us looked at each other. There was something serious I saw in his eyes as well as he probaly saw the same in mine. It was 2 kilometers of a road we needed to walk back. By the time we left her, wind pulled the storm directly above our heads and between two lightnings I could see a top of a hills hidden in clouds, about maybe 30 meters above our heads. And then it started with full of its strength. Flashes from lightnings were almost constant and my eyes hurt if I tried to keep them opened. So I looked down to the road. We walked close to each other, trying to hold poor umbrella against wind, knowing how stupid that was. We were wet down to the underwear and umbrella served just to protect our eyes from a wind. My friend tried to tell me something but thunders muted him so we just increased our speed. Around us scenery was visible as in daylight, except the shadows of nearby trees were too sharp. I could feel my friend shaking a little. My stomack hurt, muscles tightenend in a fear but my head was clear enough to notice where are we going and keeping that way.
We passed Škuri okret, a part of a road where animals used to cross it in a dark nights. My friend told me a year ago that he saw a bear there who scared him so much he passed away after running few hundred meters. We laughed then, teasing him that a bear was probably scared as well. But this evening there were no bears or wolves. I swear, I would be happy to see one, hell, I would rather meet a pack of wolves than to be in that storm at the moment. But the worst was yet to come.
We were almost reaching first houses of a village when storm became even harder. I was thinking how it was even possible, umbrella bended by side, broken and ground shook like it was an earthquake. And then I felt the worst fear attack in my life so far. A thunder hit an ash tree about 30 meters from where we were and by the corner of my eye I could see splinters flying through the air, a big branch falling down, smoke. There was only one thought in my head: to run away from there, no matter what just to run. I was shaking, mouth dry and a panick in my chest, preventing me from breathing.
But I didn`t. A moment later I took few deep breaths, felt my friends hand holding my biceps, pulling me to follow him and in a minute we were under the canopy of a nearby house. Shaking as hell but at least we were under some roof. We looked at each other, eyes opened wide, unable to speak. I felt an urge to pee and I did it in the corner, while my friend tried to dig some cigarettes from his soaking wet shirt. His hands were shaking so hard he broke two of them before he managed to lit one – I was thinking how great Zippo lighters are :happy: We shared that cigarette and after about half an hour decided to go home. At home, in bed under the warm sheets and blanket I thought of what we just experienced and couldn`t fall asleep for the rest of the night. Storm ended in 6 in the morning, thunders hit the church tower twice that night.
After that I never felt a fear of a storm. There were few by now, hard as that one but I never got scared again. Even more, I enjoy to stay in balcony, even out and watch lightnings, counting time till I hear sound. 3 seconds means 1 km. If time shortens, storm is aproaching my way. It is fun now.
Last friday we had a short storm with a lot of thunders and some hail. Raining as hell. In my personal scale I could measure it as a light moderate and not dangerous at all. Except the wind broke a tree few kilometers from my appartment.
The following video is made after I came home, missing the best part while I was in a bus. Sorry for a bad quality of sound. I wish I was at home earlier :awww:

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87 Responses to Storm

  1. Cois says:

    Whoa dude :eyes:

  2. intothedeep says:

    :eyes:I wonder if that region of the world is more prone to fierce thunder storms? Medjuorje is known to have them quite often, and when I was there, I got to sit through one, BUT I was indoors. I've always enjoyed a good storm, but this one was unbelievable and extremely frightening, leaving me on the edge and hoping it would pass! 😆 I remember praying hard for the people who were caught outside in it, many had climbed the mountain that afternoon :yikes: Thank goodness there were no casualties. Great story! Felt like I was there too! 🙂

  3. gdare says:

    What? Do you like it? 🙂

  4. rose-marie says:

    Wow, what a story! I think I'd get an urge to pee too! :eyes:And that was quite some lightning you had going on there…Personally, I'm ok with storms, as long as I'm indoors. Lightning can be pretty amazing to watch – from a safe distance, of course. 😀

  5. gdare says:

    Well, I don`t know if Balkan is different than the rest of the world (I don`t think so) but I remember few very hard storms in northern part of Serbia too. Once, it almost got me drowned in a hill near Slankamen, a village where my grand parents has a small vineyard. this part of Serbia is 90% flat land and there is no natuarl shelters from a wind when it starts to blow hundreds of kilometers away from Hungaria omn the north or Croatia on the west. By the time it comes there wind has a strength to rip a tree out of ground. But in whole my life I remember only few of storms with that strength.In Herzegovina, where you have been (Medjugorje), it could be some bad storms, similar to one I described up there 🙂

  6. thaodp says:

    *Shivers* I've never experienced a storm. I'm always scare of strong thunders :insane:

  7. SittingFox says:

    Wow. I think I would have burrowed into the ground like a marmot :insane: I think it was winter of that year that we had a huge windstorm up here in England. (Well, they have very high winds in Scotland quite often but there are fewer trees there, so it doesn't matter so much!)(And trust me, meeting a pack of wolves isn't a scary experience at all…)

  8. Furie says:

    Sounds amazing. I love storms. :happy: We don't get many here. :awww:

  9. Furie says:

    *does a little dance for finally being able to get to this post then goes to read it*

  10. Dacotah says:

    Oh my, glad you and your friend were ok. Cool video Darko. I wish I would of caught on tape the 3 lighting bolts in a white cloud I saw once. It was a beautiful day out, not a cloud in the sky but one and in that cloud 3 lighting bolts dancing around inside it. It was so cool to see.

  11. PainterWoman says:

    That was some storm story! If it'd been me, I would have stayed at your friend's gf's house. I would NOT have walked home. We have storms like that here but not too often. Mainly they are in the summer. The rain is welcoming because the desert is so dry but the strong winds and lightening scare the bejeebers out of me. North Dakota where one of my daughters live has even stronger storms. We had one in the middle of the night while I was visiting once. They lived in a tiny town called Hope at the time. I slept right through the storm but, at one point, they were almost considering waking me up and going into the basement. North Dakota is at the northern end of 'Tornado Alley'. If you google that, you can see the middle section of the U.S. where that is. The next morning we drove around their small town and I took photos of all the trees knocked over and some broken in half. When I find the photos I will post them.

  12. gdare says:

    Rose, I though you are much braver 😛 Anyway, it feels good to be under the roof and watch nature behave badly sometimes. It is beautiful :)Adele, you`ve met a pack of wolves? :eyes: I want to know more about that. I envy you. Again :awww:Mit, this is natural reaction. In a middle of that rage you could feel how small we humans are :)Mik, we have them during summers mostly but only one in a few years is stronger and more dangerous than the rest :left:Pam, thinking of that, I am not sure her father would be happy to see us 😆 On the other hand we were young and brave :insane:I know about Tornado Alley, I have talked with one of my friends who lived in Brasil, when he travelled back to Belgrade it was always over some USA airport. He mentioned it because once he spent a day in some airport because the storm was too strong and authorities needed to close it :)Carol, that was really cool to see :yes:

  13. SittingFox says:

    I've seen wolves in the wild about a dozen times. You've seen my wolf video from Alberta, I think. I've seen larger packs in Yellowstone. Mostly single wolves in Canada though. I haven't actually seen a wild wolf since 2004, when a driver in Jasper killed one almost in front of me 😦 They're getting hard to find in the Canadian Rockies, truth be told. Several of the old territories are now empty. The last good wolf sighting I had was also in 2004, about three weeks before the Jasper accident, and that was in Saskatchewan.I'll probably go to Prince Albert NP in northern Saskatchewan when I can afford it. Wolves have slightly better odds up there. Fewer roads, and slightly better protection from hunters. It's not a good world for wolves right now.

  14. sanshan says:

    What a story! I experienced a storm like that when I was camping in Eastern Canada. I swear the lightning was constant all night. The ground felt hot despite all the rain. Didn't sleep at all!

  15. Cois says:

    Loved it Dark.. The lightning bits sounds like you came pretty close at getting bbqued :insane:.We sometimes get a few heavy storms but it's pretty slim..

  16. gdare says:

    San, that was quite an experience, right? Did you stay under the tents?

  17. L2D2 says:

    Neat video Dare. I talked with you recently about Tornado Alley also, because I live in Tornado Alley in Texas. We have so many trees here in East Texas that when we do have a bad thunderstorm or tornado, we get a lot of damaged or uprooted trees, and often those trees fall on houses and cause damage (and cars).I live in a mobile home. Anyone who does will be familiar with the fact that when the wind blows, the roof rolls and makes a sound like thunder. And rain on the roof sounds very loud. Sometimes the noise is so loud it drowns out the TV.

  18. L2D2 says:

    Another name for mobile home is manufactured housing. Used to be called Trailers. Mine is 14' wide by 70' long. They come with axels and wheels and are towed from the sales place to your private property or a lot in a mobile home park (that is my situation). I pay lot rent, and that gives me water and sewer as part of my lot rent. There is a power pole for hookup of electricity and it has the electricity meter. Each tenant pays for his own electricity bill.There are all sizes and are common housing alternative for people who do not want to live in apartments but want to own their own house. You can look them up on the internet. The above is just an example.

  19. gdare says:

    Clint, that tree was down in a walley from the road and I thought how it is possible that lightning "choosed" it instead of us… or some other tree up on the hill. I can`t say I am disappointed, btw :happy:Adele, yes I have seen that video. Last wolf I have seen was in Belgrade Zoo, it was few years ago and the poor animal was blind. Some animal protection activists have found him in southern Serbia I think, and took it from a family who deliberately blinded him for God knows what reason :furious: I will go to zoo soon to see if he is still alive. As you`ve said, not a good times for wolves :awww:

  20. gdare says:

    Never heard of it. Thanks for the info :up:

  21. gdare says:

    Linda, yes, I remembered now. Was it on Stardancer`s post about tornadoes? What is a mobile home? Something you can move by a truck or it has engine in itself?San, yes, I know what you mean 😆 I wanted to sleep out of a mountain shelter once when I was in mountain hiking with friends, I think it was in 1988. I changed my mind after we saw a bear marks around. The same bear watched us through a window on that shelter :eyes:

  22. sanshan says:

    I didn't dare leave the tent. I had the chance to sleep in the cabins with everyone else but I wanted privacy. Well, after that sleepless night I really didn't care about privacy anymore.

  23. gdare says:

    Me too. Also, the bears. There is a nice sentence in one of Jim Jarmush` movies "Gost Dog""In ancient cultures bears were considered equal with men."

  24. AnitaMargita says:

    Wow! What an unpleasant experience!!! :faint: Imaš rodbinu u Hrvatskoj? 🙂

  25. gdare says:

    Graham, thanks.I know wolves disappeared from Scotland, Adele made a nice posts about wildlife there, you should go and check on it.

  26. L2D2 says:

    Graham, there is a huge controversy going on in our far northern states about the reintroduction of gray wolves into Yellowstone National Park. The ranchers want everyone of them killed, the conservationists are fighting them. I am on the wolf's side. If the ranchers hadn't killed off all their natural prey, like prairie dogs, the wolves would not be killing their cattle. And they only kill the old and weak anyway. Also, some kind of disease is killing off most of the wolf pups born in the wild to these wolves, so their status is VERY fragile.Again, I am all for protecting the wolves.

  27. SittingFox says:

    Hi Graham, as someone who has hiked and lived in wolf habitat in North America, I have to say that they're a non-issue when it comes to safety. On an ecological level, Scotland needs them, desperately. I was in the mountains earlier this month and it really hit home to me that I was seeing exactly the same problems as I've seen in Alberta where wolves are on the brink. It's not just that wolves limit deer numbers, it's that they move them around and keep them out of certain areas, all of which gives saplings the chance to grow. Wolves are bang at the centre of the ecological web.@L2D2 – that would be parvo killing the pups, most likely…I think the Yellowstone argument is just going to run and run, alas. I've come to believe that the best way to help wolves is to boycott the products of the industry that is killing them. We boycotted tuna for dolphins; it makes perfect sense to boycott beef for wolves. (And for everything else that runs into trouble on ranches. The feds kill something like 60,000 coyotes each year as well.)

  28. L2D2 says:

    Well, Obama rolled back the ruling about removing the wolves from the endangered species list in some states, but not all where they range, so I believe wolf hunts are still going on in some of those states. I felt the disease might be canine parvo, but everything I have read says some "unknown disease".Anyway, it makes me furious that humans are hell bent on destroying themselves by destroying nature. One of my Soap Box issues.:(

  29. Words says:

    Great story and a wild adventure. Weather is amazing, but fearsome at times.

  30. edwardpiercy says:

    Thor's hammer! 😀

  31. Dacotah says:


  32. ellinidata says:

    I knew the story but reading it again as a whole it really makes it more scary than I remembered it….thanks for sharing the video…stay safe!

  33. gdare says:

    Anita, pola moje familije je iz Hrvatske, moja majka je tamo rodjena :)Graham, thanks for the photo :up:Adele, thank you for explaining things, I don`t think there is more competent person in MyOpera than you are, when it comes to wild life :up:Linda, people tend to think in a short terms, concerned mostly about their problems, avoiding to see the whole picture. Also, I think there are better ways for protecting cattle from wolves instead of killing them.Words, thanks 🙂 After few days I realised a level of danger we put ourselves in :left:Ed, exactly, and Thor must have been very angry at us :insane:Carol :)Angeliki – I remember I`ve told the story to someone, so you are the one of them 🙂

  34. AnitaMargita says:

    Ok 🙂 Sa Hrvatskog primorja imam jedne od najlepših uspomena iz detinjstva. Skoro svako leto smo provodili u Jelsi, Hvaru na Hvaru… 😀

  35. gdare says:

    Samo sam jednom bio u Jelsi, mislim da sam imao 5 godina ili tako nešto :DLeta sam uglavnom provodio na severnom primorju izmedju Crikvenice i Opatije 🙂 Mada, srednji Jadran je najlepši :yes:

  36. AnitaMargita says:

    :yes: slažem se! 😀

  37. studio41 says:

    wow! terrifying! I don't recall the exact day, but the summer of '87 produced an huge STORM in MN… our basement flooded and we were scrambling to bucket out the water… last summer a tree fell on our car and smashed it, but amazingly did not scathe our van that was operable, although was in a crash later in the year– it entirely missed our house and garage! was grateful.

  38. gdare says:

    Originally posted by studio41:

    it entirely missed our house and garage!

    This must have been really scary :eyes:

  39. gdare says:

    Rage of nature makes us understand how small and insignificant we are. And our so called problems :left:

  40. wickedlizard says:

    We often have those sort of storms here! I love them and fear them! :eyes: Nature is amazing!

  41. wickedlizard says:

    uh huh… :left:

  42. gdare says:

    Last time when I was in Rijeka, there was a storm with so much rain it started to push lids from manholes 2 meters up :insane:

  43. MirabelaTM says:

    Such an interesting story Darko! Sećam se kad smo letovali u Hrvatskoj jednom je bilo jako nevreme i kiša padala ko iz kabla, stajala sam pored prozora i gledala ulicu, izgledala je kao reka, voda je nabujala i tekla baš brzo 🙂

  44. L2D2 says:

    That is a lot of water, Dare.:eyes:

  45. L2D2 says:

    Good way to release tension, laughter. It is really scary when thunder bursts right over my rooftop. Sounds as though the world is exploding.

  46. AnitaMargita says:

    Ne sećam se nevermena dok smo išli u Hrvatsku, ali pamtim kad smo jednom bili u CG, neku godinu posle bombardovanja, bilo je takvo nevreme da je grmelo i sevalo, mislili smo-ponovo bombarduju… :yikes:

  47. AnitaMargita says:

    O, yes, i remember that storm… For that was so close that period, we thought, they decided to continue bombing … :eyes:

  48. gdare says:

    Linda, I have never seen that before but my cousins told me it may happen – and it did :)Anita, several days after the NATO campaign was over, there was a big storm in Belgrade, with thunders. I was sitting in cafe with some friends and in one moment a thunder hit something, probably lightning arester in the same building :yikes: Everything was shaking for a while and there was a strange silence in cafe. Then one of the guests said: `This one was close`, refering to a days when bombs and rockets were fallen around. After that we all burst to laughter 😛

  49. AnitaMargita says:

    Indeed, it was 😀

  50. gdare says:

    Anita, that was scary and funny at the same time :DLinda, after that no one payed attention to storm outside 😀

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