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Stormchase 2012 - Day 1

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HeadcornWx

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blog-0303465001336747332.jpgWhat an amazing day!
For those of you not watching the livestream, todays chase started in Irving Texas. A quick drive thru downdown Dallas, then the long drive south via Waco and Austin where the skies soon began to look interesting!

After passing through the MCS (Mesoscale Convective System) we finally reached a stream of supercells headed up from Mexico. Bang! A huge lump of hail hit the roof of the car - Just one piece but it sounded like a rock hitting.

We headed into the town of Kenedy as the sirens sounded and the skies turned green. We turned and headed to our vantage point in the clear. The storm had developed an impressive wall cloud with significant rotation visible.

We pulled off the road near a farm and watched as the slow moving system gathered pace. It moved very slow with a long updraft tail feeding the developing storm.

Keeping a close eye on the Barons satellite radar system, it was time to move on. This time around 5 miles down the road to a good vantage point near a construction site. Lightning was amazing by this time. Stong CG bolts in the distance at first and then closer.

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It was time to move. Lightning was all around and the rain curtain was rapidly approaching. This is known as the bears cage. Within the rain curtain of a High Precipitation (HP) Storm can lurk a rain wrapped tornado. Not something you want to stumble into by choice!

We moved on to see supercell after supercell. One farm we stopped outside provided a great view of the wall cloud for the live stream. We spoke to a young farmer and his mother, originally from Kansas who spoke of the sheer fury of some of the storms she's witnessed in her lifetime.

The day ended with a fireworks display, Texas style! Lightning like I've never seen before. Crawling across the night sky over open fields of corn lighting the sky almost constantly whilst in the distance a lowering and rotating wall cloud ominously edged ever closer.

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After 700 miles we headed into Corpus Christi. An eerie calm before the storm.
Just five minutes after arriving at the Restaurant the heavens opened. Rain rate of 4 inches per hour, palm trees blowing, CG lightning flashing. An eventful end to what seemed like a week rather than a day.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKTqx7KudPg

Just a few days ago we thought we were coming out here sunbathing. Chances of storms were fading. How things change in just a few days.

Friday looks to be a South Texas day again. Already reports of Waterspouts off the Mexican coast. After that, headed west, across into New Mexico. Maybe a spot of Alien chasing and hopefully some awesome storms to come.

Watch this space...

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Great write up Nick, thanks for doing it. Sounds like you had a cracking first day :D

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Yep, brilliant. Good idea to have an online diary, hopefully someone can keep it going for all the tours

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