It was at least forty degrees above warm. The day felt like a windowless kitchen where the oven had been left on high for an entire afternoon. Heat beat down from above and sizzled up from the dirt as the earth let off some much-needed steam. The sky had decided it had had quite enough, thank you, and had vacated the scene, leaving the air empty except for heat. No matter how wide a person opened his mouth that afternoon or how deep a breath was taken, there just wasn't enough oxygen in the air to breathe. The few remaining plants in people's gardens didn't droop, they passed out. And the flags that only days before had hung majestically on the top of local flagpoles no longer looked majestic, they looked like multicolored pieces of cloth that had climbed up and tragically hung themselves.
All this in and of itself was not too terribly unusual, but as the heavy sun started to melt away an odd, wild, uncoordinated wind began to pick up. Not a northerly wind or an easterly breeze, it was a wind with no direction or balance. It was as if the four corners of earth and heaven all decided to simultaneously blow, creating what the local weather personalities in Tin Culvert, Oklahoma, called "beyond frightening." Sure, people could breathe, but now they were getting blown away.