Panhandled

28 May 2015

We awoke in Canyon, Texas, to a fresh morning, largely clear of the mosquitos that had plagued the previous night’s efforts to get to get to sleep. Indeed we were in a particularly nice place looking out to a river and off to parkland and golf courses, which is an improvement on some mornings where it’s the side of a lorry and a couple of stacks of pallets. It was a good morning to be in such a situation as we needed to wait a while to make a decision. Forecasting today would be tricky with overnight storms and a host of other synoptic features making for a complex set of boundaries flying about the place. There are some great tools online that allow you to watch loops of satellite imagery - both normal visible light as well as infrared and microwave radiation allowing analysis of the clouds from above as well as movements and changes in temperature of water vapour, from which you can interpret air pressure changes and all sorts. Today was one of those days where the longer you stared at the images the more things you saw, to the point it became best to forget about them and pick somewhere with a lucky sounding name.

We concluded that we thought the best area looked to be in the northeast of the Texas Panhandle, it was a close call between this and some more traditional parameters on the west side, so we procrastinated for ages, only moving a little bit to a town called Panhandle, which is, of course, in the Panhandle. Here we waited for a while as some clouds came and went, but eventually some looked to be taking hold to our west and north. We still couldn’t make up our minds straight away, but eventually we decided on heading north.

We arrived on the storms there as they were fairly late in their lifecycle, but they were still going strong and we found a couple of nice places to take pictures.

Storm And A Tree Cup

Tree And A Shelf Cloud

We ended up stopping at the point where the road we were on finished and the only option would have been to head north directly into the storms, so we and pretty much everyone else around stopped there. Several of the others around happened to be people we knew, with 2 other brits so we had a random chat about the queen, big ben and teapots and all that good stuff. It didn’t take long for the storms, under the pressure of so many cameras, to fail and fade. But it had been good to watch them, and to catch up with people.

We headed back to Dalhart enjoying some of the scenes of the decaying storms well lit up by the end of day sun.

Contrast Storm Cloud

We found a great motel in Dalhart where, eventually, the last of the day’s storms would rumble us off to sleep.

SPC Day 1 Weather Outlook as at 06:00UTC (01:00 Central Time the night before)

SPC 01:00UTC day 1 forecast for Thu May 2015

SPC Day 1 Weather Reports for the day.

SPC storm reports for Thu May 2015

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