Thursday, May 28, 2009

Never Too Late

Mammatus clouds north of Dallas, TX.

Well it is definitely possible to be a little too late. Although the past week has not been overwhelming with chasing, we've been doing enough to keep me busy. I'm online on my computer long enough to check email, Facebook, and Twitter, then I'm off to do something else. So let me briefly recap the past few days, with promises of pictures being filled in and more detail at a later date and perhaps with a better internet connection.

Saturday: North Platte.
Sunday: Drive to Texas.
Monday: Killing three supercells.
Tuesday: Dallas supercell.
Wednesday: Travel to Kansas and laundry.

Saturday: Saturday we left Hot Springs, SD to head back to North Platte, NE. Along the way, the CSWR team stopped in the Walmart parking lot for lunch, because we're classy like that.

It's like a family reunion, complete with pickup trucks.

About 100 miles away from our destination, we received a report of a sighted tornado in North Platte. We were not happy, and many people were skeptical of the report judging by the radar images and other information available to us at the time. Once we got to North Platte, another cell had developed and we deployed...DOW7 deployed in somebody's driveway.

They later showed up with a new stove in the back of the truck. They unloaded it and let the children run around without saying anything to the massive blue truck scanning in their driveway.

I was in the DOW Van, and was sent away from the storm to avoid any damage on the rental.

That night we stayed in a nice hotel, and saw The Weather Channel folk having a party in one of their rooms. Haha.

Sunday: On Sunday we drove from Nebraska to Amarillo, TX. The drive was long but we drove past and through some good storms. We saw a rainbow and some dust devils; all in all it was a very scenic drive. We kept ourselves entertained on a private radio frequency with bad puns and stories.

It's bad when you've gotten tired of seeing rainbows.

That night we ate at the Big Texan, famous for their 72oz. steak. The deal is, if anyone can finish the steak AND side dishes in one hour, the meal is free. Otherwise it's something like $70. Quite the incentive to finish! We saw two guys try and fail. They looked pretty miserable towards the end too.

Mother of All Steaks. Actually I guess that would be a cow.

Monday: Monday we killed three storms. There is no other way to put it. We had our sights on three individual promising-looking cells. As soon as we got to them and began to deploy, the storm began dying. No fair! I also got lost somewhere in either Oklahoma or Texas after ferrying someone around in the DOW Van. I never even caught up with the team for the second deployment/third storm (we didn't deploy on the first storm). I was too busy getting lost with a bad GPS and little radio contact. Probe12 eventually found me and we headed back to Childress for dinner. I ate dinner at 12 A.M. EST that night.


Tuesday: Tuesday was a decent day. After awhile of "hurry up and wait" in a gas station in Gainesville, TX (where it hit 100 degrees with a 70 degree dewpoint...think hot and humid), a cell suddenly developed near the Dallas/Ft. Worth metro area. Now our problem was, do we go after a cell we can't get around in a huge city? Or do we wait for the theoretical next one?

Thankfully the cell split and we had a very interesting situation where we followed the "left-moving" cell and it turned out to be a good opportunity. The cell developed an anticyclonic hook (also interesting) and there were reports of golf ball-sized hail, although we only received pea-sized. I was in Probe 14 that day and was able to participate in transects.

Not dead.

Ok that was a lot of terminology in that paragraph. I will explain in detail later when I go into depth about that deployment.

Severe-warned and thunder all over the place.

After ops were called off because it was 9 P.M. and dark, we headed towards Norman, OK. Some of us stopped at Chili's on the way and I think we got into the hotel around 1 A.M.

Wednesday: Yesterday was a travel day. Only CSWR left Norman to head into Kansas. The next couple of days will be down days. Yesterday a few of us got our laundry done (my first time at a laundromat!) and today we will be working on missions summaries to present tomorrow.

My first ever laundromat.

Speaking of which--that meeting is in 45 minutes and I still have to shower! Pics posted later! I will be making a Facebook album (or 6) and will post public links here.


  1. Hey Mallie!!! It sounds like you guys are making the most of a pretty crappy weather situation. I've been enjoying reading all of your blogs and trying to keep up with what you V2ers are up to. I'm jealous! Enjoy the rest of your time out in the Plains and keep in touch next year!

  2. Thanks for the update. I have a relative on the V2 project.

    The most amazing part of this post is that you made it to grad school without being in a laundromat before! Wow!

    We hope you all get some tornados soon.