Trees On

19 May 2015

Today’s setup was a relatively messy one with ongoing storms from the night before creating general middle-atmospheric mayhem amidst a background of a somewhat benign, ambling and altogether unmotivated upper atmosphere. I think all the effort it put into the weather a few days ago must have worn it out. Nevertheless there were storms due to fire somewhere in Texas, and with a well defined target area roughly the size of England we headed towards an area we’d seen showing an outflow boundary forming on visible satellite, but hedging our bets by heading to a junction that would allow us to head north to an alternative element to the setup if need be. A bit like leaving home for Swansea to see some friends but you might pop to Leeds if the night out sounds better.

When we reached the Severn Bridge we teetered on the brink of turning for Leeds, but there were a few, seemingly lifeless, storms firing not far from us, so we decided to give them and their nice Welsh accents a chance.

So far as the storms went, it was a good choice. We closed in on one as a tornado was reported on it. That had lifted by the time we were able to get a good view of it, but the view itself was pretty good. That was until we found somewhere to stop, and in the 90 seconds between deciding to take a picture and stopping to take it, the storm started dumping its load, and suddenly all the features were gone in place of a grey wall of rain. Finding a view of the storm and its siblings, as it turned out, would be the issue of the day. The storms had all elected to fire along a narrow band of Texan geography that includes lots of hills and trees. The storm showed good structure on radar, but we were rarely able to get a decent view of it.

Tornado Warned Storm

As it became tornado warned for a third time we stopped in a layby to watch it pass to our north. While we sat their a sweet yet a bit ‘spitty’ truck driver came over and explained a few things about storms to us, and recounted some great stories of the many tornadoes he’d seen in the last couple of weeks. Some close to him, some on his head and definitely all out of his bum, but he meant well and was excited to recount the stories, and explain to us how the next storm coming up was “flicking out” (making a hook echo, probably about to put a nada on us), but we didn’t freak out too much, based on the fact that he was pointing at about 3 different storms to make the shape of this bad omen.

In fact the storm seemed to be losing it, and being overtaken by new convection behind it, so we headed up the road to get in front of the growing system, get a motel, and enjoy getting munched.

We found somewhere to stay, got some beers, and moved the room’s sofa to the window to watch the weather roll over.

After Storm Beer

Unfortunately it never really came. Everything just petered out as it reached us. We still managed to watch some pretty intense lightning for a good hour or two, and later on we did eventually get rained on quite a bit. Bit like going to Swansea would probably have been!

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

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

SPC Day 1 Weather Reports for the day.

SPC storm reports for Tue May 2015

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