Day 14 - Clouds are in space, they're pretty far up, man

01 June 2012

We awoke in the noisy Walmart car park of Amarillo. This isn't our favourite city and the car park looked like a tornado had hit the garden goods area in front of us, and people were driving around in all directions like some kind of automotive zombies. So we grabbed our statutory daily food goods from the shop and headed for the city park. It looked like the weather was going to be in this area today, so we just needed to kill some time.

We got to the park and sat by a lake until the odd little larvae flies got the better of us so we moved to an alternative car park. The amenities here included toilets that were so skanky that when the cleaners tended to them they just fired a pressure hose at them for a while before going off to the next ones.

Anyway it wasn't as bad as I'm making it sound, it was a hot day and a little time to catch up on this and that before the chase starts can be good to have.

The set up for today looked pretty shoddy mostly because of the lack of moisture. Although it was likely there would be storms, the lack of moisture meant they would be high based clouds (again). These pose a far lower risk for tornadoes, making them generally less scary, and the structure is less interesting when seen from afar.

After a couple of hours we decided to make a move north as we saw a couple of clouds on visible satellite imagery. Shortly after we left the SPC issued a mesoscale discussion based on the same clouds as we'd set off for, which reassured us!

As we got a little closer the storm presented a pretty good display of Mammatus.

We neared the storms from a reasonable angle and got a good view of their green undersides. With binoculars that is. These clouds were high up. Still they did have some lightning. And a bit of rain. We followed it around for a while and got a few pictures of its somewhat benign progress around the place...

 

The SPC had decided that this storm warranted a thunderstorm warning. The slightly odd thing about the warning was the use of line breaks in their message, and how that translated to the place we were reading it. On first glance to appeared to say:

"THIS IS A DANGEROUS STORM. IF YOU ARE IN ITS PATH...PREPARE

IMMEDIATELY FOR DAMAGING WINDS...DESTRUCTIVE HAIL...AND DEADLY CLOUD"

The bit that was on the next line was "TO GROUND LIGHTNING". But it seemed much more entertaining to consider the potential for deadly clouds. Judging by how high up these ones were it was probably going to have to take quite an effort if they were going to bite us.

After a little more time watching the lazy and possibly bitey storms fail to amount to much we made a move out towards the next day's target, which really wasn't far. We stopped on route as another of the days few photo opportunities arose.

So we took the rare opportunity of some more spare time to get an earlier motel in Dulhart, Texas, and go out for some hot food. It was a simple place we found to eat, but it was nice to be reminded what a hot meal was like.

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

SPC 01:00UTC day 1 forecast for Fri June 2012

SPC Day 1 Weather Reports for the day.

SPC storm reports for Fri June 2012

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