Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Dusty and a Run for the Border

DAY 10 MAY 11, 2009

This morning I decided to hang out in the lobby to check Tuesday's forecast and watch The Weather Channel. Vortex 2 has a live news feed every day on TWC and today was another no go. I was getting very frustrated with the model runs... they kept changing! In the late morning, the crew went to the Big Texan for a breakfast buffet and then made a visit to Cadillac Ranch, just south of town since David (France) wanted to see it. It was still cool and cloudy out. I expect this weather back at home, but not down here! Ah well, we were going to go find us some warmth anyway.

The target today was southwest Texas near Odessa. Hopefully that area would be good to us again (we saw a tornado there in 2007). Close to 1 pm, we stopped in Happy and then continued south to Lubbock around 2:30. The temperatures were starting to improve finally, and at around close to 5 pm, we made it in the Midland area. Once we got past Odessa, we saw development just north of the Mexico border. The skies were clear and it was hot out. I could see the anvil from the distant storm to our south. Ron lead us through some back dusty roads. And when I say dusty I mean dusty. Okay that was an understatement. It was more like off-roading in the outback of Australia. Ron's van was quite ahead of our's and they would kick up a large thick plume of dust which would obscure our view of them. We ended up coming to a dead end, with Ron nowhere to be seen. Ummm okay where is he? I didn't know he could perform magic tricks! Jack eventually called Pam's phone (again I say she is smart for bringing her Blackberry!) and we finally met up with them.

We turned left and then David (France) asked what was off to the right. I looked and thought "Holy crap!". There was a massive dust devil in a field off in the distance! I mean massive! One that could pass as a F1 or F2 tornado! It was the biggest I have ever seen. We all jumped out to take pictures of it. It lasted for a couple minutes before dispersing into thin air. It was no storm but an incredible thing to see. It must have been wider than the road and was very tall. The pictures I took really put in scale.

As we got closer to the storm, I noticed the anvil was starting to soften. Oh dear, are we the storm killers now instead of storm chasers? Ron then noticed that the storm was making a run for the border back into Mexico. Well I guess that's all folks. Give me my stamp collection book.

After enjoying some authentic Mexican dinner at On the Border, we stayed at a Super 8 in Lubbock tonight and were planning to head north east tomorrow for a much more promising set up. It was still not a perfect set up, but there was a much higher chance of actually seeing something. Hopefully there is something before my stamp book gets too full.

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