Day 1 - 2012 begins

19 May 2012

We had our statutory Cafe Rouge breakfast at the airport; Eggs Benedict and a pint of Stella to set us on our way. We then stocked up on duty free bits and airport goodies, including a can of baked beans, which was a last minute moment of inspiration. They don't sell them the States without bits of beef mince mixed into them, which isn't quite to a vegetarian's taste, or a non-vegetarian's taste for that matter. They are pretty gross. These are planned to be eaten after the first tornado is found, as a celebration.

We heard the last call over the tannoy and ran to the gate as the last passengers to board. To make matters worse, Tim was randomly chosen to be searched. This meant going through his hand luggage with a fine tooth comb. They really picked the wrong bag with this one. Amongst a mass of electrical equipment, we were also carrying metal datacards wrapped up so carefully so as not to be damaged with wires being held together with bluetack. This was only to be mistaken as a bomb being held together with semtax. Tim explained to very confused officials the purpose of such items and they begrudgingly let us though, but they confiscated our bluetack.

The flight was fine apart from the fact that we had seats right at the back of the plane in the middle and that meant no windows. Not even ones far away ones on each side as we were the row RIGHT at the back and had loos on either side. So we were kind of travelling blind. Being at the back also meant you had to accept whatever food was left that no-one else wanted. My only choice was spicy pasta with olives. Pretty yucky, but didn't really care as the beer was free.

The flight entertainment had the potential to be good with a huge selection of films to choose from but unfortunately they were having problems with the system and had to keep restarting it. By the third attempt of watching Sherlock Holmes, we gave up. But again, no love was lost. It wasn't possible to put a dampener on our moods however much they tried. We were off storm chasing!

We had to stop over in Atlanta, Georgia for a couple of hours, which gave us just enough time to get through customs etc. Tim's official was horrible and told him off for not having his own set of flight times etc. printed out and wanted extensive details about the trip. Mine was a dude though and thought it was so cool we were going storm chasing, he started raving about how Texas is awesome and waved me off saying 'tell them y'all I say hi'. Who exactly 'them y'all' are I don't know, just Texans I guess, but what a friendly guy.

Anyway, on our second flight we saw some lovely looking anvils (tops of storm clouds) from above and wondered what may be happening below (25 tornadoes it would soon to be discovered - slightly gutting) but maybe we can say we saw them from above?!

We then went to collect our hire car and it was exactly the one we wanted. A Ford Escape, now known as 'Escapey'! He is a slightly smaller version of the first car we ever hired, 'Explorey' the Ford Explorer. He is like his little younger brother who is just as nippy but a bit better with his cash.

Now it was time to get all the equipment set up. We wanted more than ever to get straight on it and go and chase those storms we had seen from above, but that was never going to happen. It takes any length of time from an evening to a good couple of days to get all the equipment up and running. And that's for someone of exceedingly superior IT knowledge to most. If I was to attempt to get us up and running, we'd eventually have to give up storm chasing as a hobby.

The datacard which gives us access to the internet just wasn't playing ball and was refusing to connect, so we drove and poached some WiFi from a nearby motel only to discover the people we buy our data from have tightened their security policy and you can no longer enter english credit card details to purchase data. But Walmart the Great came to the rescue by selling pre-paid internet cards and whilst I had a snooze in the car, parked up in some dodgy part of Dallas, Tim worked away trying to get everything running. He woke me when he succeeded and we celebrated by the getting the f*ck outta  dodge and found a great little motel for $49 dollars in aptly named Weatherford, TX for the night.

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

SPC 01:00UTC day 1 forecast for Sat May 2012

SPC Day 1 Weather Reports for the day.

SPC storm reports for Sat May 2012

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