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Big Start, Then A Slow Middle

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IanM

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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.....
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