Day 13 - All Hail Happy Cows

31 May 2012

I woke up quite late in the motel in Cimarron with only 15 mins to have a shower, whilst Tim packed up. There was no breakfast on offer with this slightly overpriced motel so at least we hadn't missed any goods on offer. We weren't expecting much from today as the SPC had only graded the potential area of storms with a 'see text' warning. This means it is not severe enough to warrant a 'slight' risk, but sometimes this is good as you enter the day with low expectations and any action is bunce!

The area in question today was northern New Mexico and southern Colorado - both firm favourite states of ours, so we were looking forward to the drive. We decided to head to Raton in northern New Mexico. On route we picked up some goodies for lunch in a grocery store in Johnson on the outskirts of southwest Kansas where some kids were selling lemonade outside. With lunch in tow we headed on further into Colorado and found a beautiful town called Springfield with a gorgeous park where some locals were celebrating a kid's birthday. We made some lunch and had a beer in the sunshine. Quite an unusual thing to do in the middle of the day but we had the feeling today was going to be a little more relaxed so a beer seemed appropriate with lunch.

Once we were out of the hail core we were a little lost as to what to do as there was not much else going on in the area. So we turned around and drove back through it! By this time, the hail had grown in size and must have been about 1.25 inches in diameter - well worthy of a report to spotter network! The hail was falling so fast that it actually turned the road white, making conditions quite treacherous and one car even went off the road - we saw him trying to get his big ute out of the central reservation.

Once emerging out from the other side of the core again, we stopped to get some photos of the vast quantity of hail Escapey had managed to collect along the way.

Actually, they weren't this big - this is one I made from collecting the hail off the car. But they can in fact get this large and even larger. We decided to stick with our cell and follow it further into the foothills where the views would be amazing. On the way we were treated to some more fantastic rainbow shows. It looked like snow had fallen in the area creating a blanket of white but this is in fact hail and in some places the road was up to 4 inches deep in slush.

Unfortunately a sparse network of roads in the area, there being one, meant we weren't able to stay with our cell for long, and as we drove we watched it move off into the distance. Our satellite data had actually detected rotation within the storm for quite a prolonged period of time and we congratulated ourselves being on the only potentially rotating storm in the whole of the US!

Now it was time to head for Amarillo, TX to position for the next day. We were so glad we made the effort to give the New Mexico storms a go - they had not disappointed and driving through the hail was epic fun. We took the same road out of New Mexico that we had previously taken nearer the start of our trip. New Mexico is truly beautiful and even the cows love life here. We stopped to capture 3 little calves running about in the field together away from the rest of the cow herd - something I'd never seen before. It wasn't long though before mummy cow came running along, mooing for her baby. To which one of the little calves looked at his friends, then looked at his mum, then looked at his friends again and slowly allowed mum to take him back to the herd. The other 2 calves stayed where they were, looking a bit bemused but knowing their playtime hadn't come to an end yet! Such happy cows!

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 2012

SPC Day 1 Weather Reports for the day.

SPC storm reports for Thu May 2012

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