Thursday, March 26, 2009

We're Not Crazy, I Promise! (storm chase post)

Monday morning Justin, Sarah, Jacob, and I headed out from my house at about 10:30 am. Justin had been watching the weather models for a couple of days and Sunday night had decided (in a very giddy, jumpy manner) that it would be a good day to go storm chasing in Oklahoma. He picked Ponca City as our starting point (about 4 1/2 hours away).
We started the drive with some of Justin's "traditional" storm chase songs.
Heather's view of the songs: The guy couldn't sing (not Justin, the guy on the CD) and his band couldn't play. But they were funny to listen to. And funny to see Justin get hyper about all the weather stuff in the songs.
Justin's view: In my defense sure the guy can't sing, he's a meteorologist. And no, the band can't play, you have to focus on the words, they're great! I've never heard such poetic works of inspirational music, words such as supercell, tornado, skywarn...wonderful music!
When we got to Ponca City we joined up with some of Justin's colleagues from Mizzou and followed them around.

Justin doing his "nerd" thing with the HAM radio (his words, not mine!)

3:30; Getting near the storm

4:30; wall cloud forming

4:30; along I-35, near OK/KS border. The clouds in the top center of the picture were rotating. This is where a tornado would form. This storm actually produced a weak tornado, we were just in the wrong spot (stuck in traffic).

Jacob in front of the second storm we chased

Justin and me!


Arkansas City, KS.

In between the 2nd and 3rd storm chases.

7:00; the 3rd storm, which kept building like crazy.

8:00; we decided to head home. It was getting dark and we couldn't get around the 3rd storm. Justin decided to wait for about fifteen minutes to see if the storm over the interstate would clear so we wouldn't go straight through the middle of the storm (otherwise known as core-punching). Well, we ended up core-punching anyway! :0) At that point everything kind of started going...wrong. Besides core-punching, the a/c in Justin's Jeep (which has 235K miles on it) messed up, so the windshield was fogging up. Made it slightly difficult to see (I was glad I wasn't driving). We got out of the storm about Tulsa.
11:30; home! We traveled about 760 miles that day (Justin was hoping we'd get up over 1000). I think I'm now addicted to storm chasing. (Justin: "My job has been done.") So I'm definitely looking forward to more!

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