Saturday, May 09, 2009

A somewhat down day and bust

DAY 5 MAY 6, 2009

We left Abilene and headed on our way southeast today towards the Waco area. The atmosphere had tons of instability and there was a triple point low and dryline bulge setting up to the west. Timing was for it to be around Waco around 0z and cause the capping inversion to break. We decided to take the scenic route on some interesting Texas back roads. Texas in May is truly a beautiful site to behold... wildflowers in all sorts of colors were everywhere. We drove past a ranch and happened to see a cute horse trying to scratch his itchy spot. He rubbed along the fence and stomped around, it was pretty funny to see. Also along the way, Lorene chuckled at something. Then the green van turned around to stop. It turns out there were some interesting metal structures out in the field of a giraffe and an elephant. A little while later, we saw smoke coming from the field... so Ron wanted to check it out. We drove on some windy dusty road to try to get closer to the fire. We saw some flames shooting up above the trees. It could have been garbage burning or a controlled burn.

Of course I cannot forget a moment when I was sitting up front with Pam when Ron got on the radio and asked if I was there. I replied and said yes. It went something like this:

Ron: "Hello? Laura?"

Laura: "I'm here, Ron. Can you hear me?"

Ron: "Laura?"

Laura: "Can you hear me?"

Ron: "Laaaurrrraaaaaa... you there?"

At this point I started to chuckle.

Ron: "Are you on channel 7? Laura?"

I laughed harder. Then Pam laughed.

Laura: "I'm on channel 7, are you?"

Pam and I then figured Ron was playing one his pranks on us again.

Ron: "Is the PL on?"

Now we were not quite sure if Ron was really playing or not. We pulled onto the shoulder and Ron walked over to check my radio. He seemed to adjust something and tested it.

We took off again and Ron could hear me again. Unfortunately when he radioed me, I could hear Sandra and Rita laughing their butts off. Gosh darn dang it! I got pranked again! That'll teach me. Of course I am a good sport so I had a laugh myself.

When we arrived in Waco, we pulled into a Sonic to get something to eat. There was a cumulus field building but they seemed a bit feathery. We were not really expecting much today but figured we would try anyways since we were in Texas. SPC issued a 2% tornado risk for an area just east of our target. There was a stationary front to our west.

Unfortunately as the day progressed, the cumulus clouds were not getting any bigger and harder looking. It was time to reassess the setup. It turns out there was no inversion at all and it was releasing all the energy into the atmosphere. Also since the front was stationary, it was just not moving. We had no lifting force to kick up all this energy into storms. We decided to call off the chase, and went to Wal Mart for a bit. We then went to Olive Garden for dinner, and headed north on I35 to stay in Plano for the night. I don't like the Dallas area... what a pain in the butt to drive around here, plus I could feel the smog irritating my eyes and throat... blech! It was dark out so we pulled into some parking lot to take pictures of the skyscrapers, with all the times turned on.

Tomorrow we are planning to head north towards Oklahoma City.

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