We got the heck out of Dodge (City, KS) on Sunday, a day on which everyone was afraid they'd missed Mother's Day. Most of CSWR stayed to work on the DOWs and other vehicle problems until later in the evening, but a group of 6 of us left early to do a little local sightseeing at Fort Supply Lake on our way to Clinton, OK. Clouds overtook us, however, and we were almost constantly "virga bombed" the rest of the way to our hotel. Basically it got very windy quite suddenly multiple times between our dinner stop in Woodward, OK and our final destination.
We turned right back around the next day and moved to a place we'd passed through, awaiting the rest of the V2 gang. While waiting we went into a 90 degree F pool and swam around for over an hour, then all piled into the van again to bring 10 people to a local BBQ joint. As we left the BBQ joint, we passed a bunch of the other PI's and some of our friends from other crews--dinner options in town were limited, and the word spread that this place was good. From there we moved to Dairy Queen where we overwhelmed the high schoolers working there; they did a fast job nonetheless. Then last night we went to the hotel bar and hung out, played some pool, and caught up with some friends from other groups. Laundry was also done.
Hanging out...again (Photo: Andrew Arnold)
This morning was the first day I had a chance to exercise (yay!) so I got up early to do that. From there I went straight to the continental breakfast (which was excellent) and caught up with even more friends from last year. The all-hands V2 meeting was today! We got briefed on safety issues by Josh and were reminded that a lot of PI's are miked for Discovery/The Weather Channel/NHK/??? so to keep our conversations professional. It is very odd to be involved with a reality show while doing science...we showed up at the hotel yesterday to have one of the crews run over and put boom mics over us while we were cutting up in the parking lot.
Today became another down day which involved sitting in the sun, catered lunch, a probe vehicles meeting to review procedures, dinner at the hotel restaurant, and some television-watching at the end of the day. The internet access has been horrible! This happened quite often last year when over 100 of us swooped in on a single hotel; I am concerned because I have grades to submit this week. Looks like tomorrow is a travel day with potential for marginal operations on Thursday.
It would also be remiss of me to not mention that Monday was the 11th anniversary of the 5/3/99 Moore, Oklahoma F5 tornado, and Tuesday was the 3rd anniversary of the 5/4/07 Greensburg, KS EF5 tornado. These events are significant together: the Greensburg storm was the first tornado since the Moore event to be given the (E)F5 ranking, an eight year time span. Almost a year later the Parkersburg, IA storm was the next and most recent storm (in the United States) to be classified EF5. The Manitoba tornado in Canada also received an EF5 ranking in 2007. It is important to realize these events, without "direct" measurements like those obtained by mobile radars/tornado pods/the TIV, are classified based on damage surveys conducted after the event and may not necessarily be representative of the true maximum low-level wind speed of the tornado. More on this later... ;)