Tuesday, May 20, 2008
We learned a lot on our trip. For a storm chaser, it's all about logistics. We talked a lot about how we could have done things better (of course hindsight is 20/20). We felt we weren't aggressive enough at times, and too aggressive at other times. All in all we saw some pretty incredible sights. The tornado damage we saw near Picher, Oklahoma was nothing short of breathtaking, in a bad way. We came away that day with a much greater appreciation for nature's destruction. We put ourselves in front of an impressive line of storms on Tuesday which produced some amazing lightning and an onslaught of small hail. On Wednesday we raced into central Texas only to be pummeled by a supercell of which strength neither of us had ever seen. We just recently watched some of the raw video we took from that night and couldn't believe what we had tried to drive through (we came to our senses and pulled off eventually). We will be editing the video over the summer, so please let us know if you would like us to send you the final product once we are through. Because of how hard it was raining, it was hard to judge the hail size from that storm but we concluded based on the sound it made hitting the car, it was probably close to nickel or quarter sized. We didn't dare try to open the car door to find out first hand. The water on the main road through the town and its side streets was 2-3 feet deep in some places - something we were totally unaccustomed to and certainly not expecting to see.
Overall we had a lot of fun and are hoping to do a repeat trip next summer. The quest to see the almighty tornado will have to wait for a year, unless of course we can manage to get one here in North Carolina. Lately that has seemed very possible, so we will see. Thank you for keeping up with our blog. It was great knowing that a lot of people were checking in, and we apologize for not being more regular with posts and providing some better content. Again, let us know if you would like a copy of some video footage. We will probably have some more still photos downloaded and available as well.
Stanton and Robert
Monday, May 19, 2008
This is deffinately not our last storm chase and look to the future for many more.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Yesterday after sleeping in, we drove from east central Oklahoma(Salisaw) to almost dead central Texas(Lampasas) from about 10:30 a.m to 7:00 pm(around 500 miles). Our goal was to intercept the storm closer to Brady, a town we actually stopped in on Monday, but ran out of time. The town of Brady received a tornado in the Supercell we eventually intercepted in Lampasas. We received reports from a fellow chasing group of wall clouds, funnel clouds, and dustnado: likely a tornado. The Supercell that drop that tornado hit us about 25 minutes later. In Lampasas we received damaging winds, torrential rainfall and about penny size hail. The torrential rainfall actually hurt us in the end because of major flash flooding. We were surrounded in a parking lot with all roads impassable. The hail size was a little disappointing with reports of Vil around 80. But the heavy rain probably encompassed alot of that. It was very encouraging to see the cell to start to hook over Brady but at the same time we wish we could have been there earlier. We took some screen shots of the doppler around the time when we think the Supercell was tornadoing. We also included some pictures of the Super cell from our point of view and borrowed some pictures from a friend who was in the Brady area.
A major lesson we are learning in this trip is core punching a Supercell is not the best or safe thing to do. However due to time constraints and road locations core punching the supercells was our only option in seeing the storm. Using updated imagery we felt that both storms weren't conducive of producing a tornado at that time or location so we felt that weren't endangering our selfs too much.
We our taking it easy tonight so more pictures and video up later.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Yesterday evening we intercepted a mini-supercell that transposed into a line when it got to us. We set up our cameras in Rentiesville Ok, near the intersection of Hwy 69 and 40 (same road that goes through NC). Going by information given to us by the storm prediction center we were located dead center in the high-risk area for potential supercell development. We probably changed our position 5 times before deciding on a location as the storm approached. Unfortunately the storm’s slow movement put the center on top of us just after dusk. However, the lightning was incredible with designs similar to a spider web engulfing the entire sky. This lightning allowed for us to see the immense cloud structures and a possible wall cloud. It is a pretty frightening experience to be in a supercell after dark and having to rely on the lightning to show what’s coming your way. It was very unsettling to see clouds dropping down low in every flash of the lightning. In all we received pea size hail for about 10-15 minutes, severe lightning, rain (probably the strongest I have ever seen), and strong to damaging winds. The storm did weaken and we missed out on larger size hail that was reported west of us.
Currently we are driving back to Texas to intercept a dryline forming in central Texas. There is some severe weather that is pushing through eastern Texas at this time, but our lack of sleep the past few days took a toll on us and we missed out on early morning severe weather in Texas. We are hoping that as this storm pushes through clearing will allow for daytime heating increasing instability once again and initiate supercell development. We will be better with completing our next update tonight as we will have a more dependable internet connection and hopefully some pictures to show as well.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
Foundation wall of former federal building, acts as wall for the memorial site today.
Victim's daughter has left her mom a birthday card
150 empty chairs varying in size symbolize each victim
American Elm tree, lone tree to survive the blast. Now known as the survivor tree, it is used as memorial site icon on banners and signs.
spray painted by rescue worker on the day of the blast.
"We search for the truth
we seek justice
The courts require it.
The victims cry for it.
and God demands it!"