01 May 2013 – CHASE 2013 – DAY 1 – Oklahoma and Texas
06:15 – Wake; morning chores;; pack bags
07:30 – Drop bags at Holiday Inn; return rental car
08:00 – Return to Wyngate via shuttle; eat breakfast.
08:30 – Walk to Holiday Inn; meet other chasers; do introductions and safety briefing,
10:30 – Pack vans, grab cameras and head for Wichita Falls , TX then toward Abilene.
12:50 – Rest stop then lunch 20 minutes later (just north of Wichita Falls, TX).
13:20 – Continue southwest from Wichita Falls on US277.
15:12 – stop at Munday for bathrooms, fuel, food. Continue southeast
17:15 – turn back north from Albany on US283. Storms with 55,000 foot have developed along I44 in southern OK, with the line spreading into our area. We are in a severe storm watch box.
18:00 – sky stop. We see a storm with a hard back sheared, take photos as it evolves.
19:35 – we duck south, bit by bit, trying to keep out of monster (2.5-inch or larger) hail. At one point we can to the hail roar of the storm. (Hail roar is the sound of large hail hitting the ground, cars, rooftops, etc. It can sound like thunder only it can last for minutes at a time.)
20:30 – We stop west of Albany,TX, where we witness a spectacular display of spider lightning. I have embarrassing camera issues here, because I miss a control setting. Our team leader helps me figure it out, but I miss the best part of the lightning. To add insult to injury, the Storm Prediction Center indicates an unfavorable weather pattern (for storm chasers) for at least three days. I feel terribly frustrated.
Still, I captured a little bit:
22:30 – We depart for our hotel after a fast food dinner at the Dairy Queen in Fort Griffin.
23:00 – We check into The Ridge Motel in Breckinridge,TX.
23:46 – turn in for the night. I’m exhausted physically and emotionally.