Jump to content
Holidays
Local
Radar
Windy?
Sign in to follow this  
  • entries
    3
  • comments
    0
  • views
    7,528

About this blog

From the drivers perspective, red bull, pro plus and 5000 miles a tour

Entries in this blog

 

Big Start, Then A Slow Middle

Saturday finds us heading for Mount Pleasant as the warm area, after a calm bimble we check the charts and see that Dallas is being battered by hail storms as we sit and contemplate where our system will spring from. Something was helping us, as new cells kicked off a few miles south west, making for a quick ssw blast for 30 miles to intercept. The area is heavily forested, but by more luck than planning we found our selves at an intersection with clear skies around to watch a rapidly developing rotating storm descend to the tree line. It seemed almost in touching distance as we pulled the cameras for the first proper opportunity. I decided to stand on the side of the car and shoot back accross the roof, not me best decision as it turns out. A huge bolt of lightning struck close by, sending the powerlines into a crackling frenzy, and my insides nearly beat me back into the drivers seat!

The storm meanwhile looked like it was about to lift its skirts and rush over us, so we jumped back on the road and headed the way we had come as the rotating cloud pushed to keep up, we found another clear area and watched as the cloud and CG lightning pushed past us and back into the forested area.

By now it was starting to get dark, and with half an eye on the next days risk zone and the chance for some lightning shots, we headed for Texarkana (which isn't a theme park with stetsons as rides). The weather decided otherwise and new storms blasted out of the night skies leaving us with a night chase option, which rapidly became a night run away option as small tornadic cell crossed in front of us after a second cell had led us into a cul de sac and started dropping CG like candy on halloween.

Finally we followed the lightning toward our motel for the night, where the promised lines of storms never materialised, leaving us to get some rest before travelling to the green and pleasant lands of Arkansas the next day.

The dat started promisingly with SPC showing good risk along the I30, and us slap bang in the middle of a large warned area. So we pushed on into the tree lined horror show of Arkansas expeciting to get at least some storm action. After many miles, multiple changes of plan and some signs of hope with energy forcing the clouds to grow in front of us, we called it a day, again with the thought that at least that nights storms would bring some lightnting shots. However, the SPC, the weather and the brightly lit car park all conspired against us, so a chinese all you can eat buffet later we hit the sack.

Next Episode : Man vs. Food has nothing on us.....

IanM

IanM

 

Early Starts

Day One - The Chase begins

But before the chase a little highlight show of the past 48 hours....

Heathrow early Thursday and while breakfasting airside the images from Wednesday nights outbreak are flashing round the news screens, a stark reminder of how powerful and dangerous tornadoes can be. With the list of those dead, missing or injured still growing now it is almost too big to contemplate. We can only send our condolences and thoughts to those affected and keep away from the areas involved.

Finally our flight is called and the long walk accross T5 gets us to the gate in time to board. We sit, wait and as the plane pulls off the gate it literally stalls. The auxiliary power unit fails, meaning a tow to a different gate for power to be supplied from the ground. Some 45 mins later without air con we finally get the green light and are off again. Only two planes ahead of us on the run way and the pilot announces that he has electrical failure and back we go for spares and repairs. At 15:45 our 11:25 flight finally leaves the ground.

Skip forwards 12 hours and we finally hit the hotel.

Only to find that they have helpfully rejected the shipment containing the network dongles, so after many calls we have rearranged them to be re delivered on saturday morning. Ok so on with the car installs, streaming works, grl3 works, radios are communicating and Barons......doesn't.

Then Barons does work after an hour of tinkering and calling support, cue dancing in the car park.

Then it doesn't work anymore, after another 3 or 4 hours of trying everything possible we decide to leave it overnight and rely on the chasing Barons effect - it normally just works again on Day 2. If you don;t know what Barons is, it is a piece of sattelite enabled software that dipslays the latest weather information instantly, including the data vital to getting to track storms, from the starting benign conditions through to actualyl chasing storm structures in the field.

Update on that later.

Today will see us heading off for ne Texas, and sw Arkansas for the first supercells of the tour, not bad for Day 1 and only travelling a handful of miles. The models finally played ball after a few days of teasing, and now we have 5% warned cells to watch explode into the stratosphere from lunch time today.

Catch you later - it's 6am here and I'm off to hit barons with a hammer and see if it works

Ian

Update - We have Barons!! I will never stress over it on set up day again, it's just not good at getting out of bed quickly I guess

IanM

IanM

 

One More Sleep....

This is it, no more work until I am safely parked outside of the Best Western.

Having said that, the packing is still painfully slow, this is the first year I have flown out for the first tour, so the gadget and equipment levels seem to be dominating the suitcase.

Thankfully my very understanding and long suffering wife, Sue, has taken charge. I now have multiple packs of 5 days worth of clothes in vacuum bags. The tour t shirts are compressed to wafer thin and somehow we have managed to beat the 23Kg weight limit. The next challenge is hand luggage, two laptops, two cameras and assorted lenses, plus all the usual bits and bobs we seem to need to survive 10 hours - will my life be over if I don't have instant access to any of this stuff?

I'm thinking the clear bag of liquids can be junked, the hotel is right next door to a Walmart the size of a small town so a quick shopping trip for toothpaste, mouthwash and deodorant is in order. Failing that, I'm room sharing with Paul the first night, so I'll distract him with talk of supercells, structures and couplets, wait for the lecture to start and then nick his toiletries.

Catch you Stateside

Ian

IanM

IanM

Sign in to follow this  
×