Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Southwest TX relaxation

DAY 8 MAY 9, 2009

This morning we decided to check out the reported tornado's damage in Early, Texas. There were some branches down, some small things knocked over, but there were no broken windows. A Skywarn spotter on a motorcycle came up to us and told us about where the damaged roofs were located. We followed him and saw parts of a metal roof in a parking lot across the road from the original building. There was a news reporter and cameraman there already. A chainlink fence was pushed over. Everything seemed to be facing in one direction, which would suggest straight line or rear flank wind damage instead of a tornado. Chances are someone just saw the high winds and branches flying and instantly thought tornado. So in a way I am glad we missed the "tornado", although another chaser got on the supercell before sunset and did it ever look nice with a barrel updraft and wall cloud with the sun setting in behind.

Today we were to head southwest towards Junction. Ron figured we would have a shot at some night time storms to take some nice lightning pictures. When we stopped for gas in Menard, we noticed it was getting warmer. We were getting closer to the warm sector. As we neared Junction, the temperature rose about 1 degree per mile. The scenery in this area was quite nice and reminded me of New Mexico. When we got into town, we booked our rooms at a very nice Best Western and decided to hang around and wait for initiation.

We had a real Texas bbq dinner at Lum's and oh man was it ever good! I ordered a plate of brisket and I was quite pleased with the real bbq smokey flavor and tenderness. Afterwards, Sandra decided to go for a dip in the pool and Rita and I thought about dipping our feet in the water since we didn't bring our bathing suits. When Sandra got in, she said it was very nice, then Rita got tempted to jump in. Sandra said "Go ahead! You can do laundry after." So she slips into the pool. Then I got tempted. Unfortunately I was wearing pants (!) so I rolled them up. I got up and jumped in. SPLAAASSHHHH! Ah what the heck, I am on vacation! We swam around for a bit since it was refreshing, then the bugs started to come out. We saw some big beetle which decided to join the three of us. Uhhhh... these guys can swim? And go under water and survive?! Uhhhh. Okay time to get out now.

Unfortunately the skies seemed to getting clearer. A line of storms did fire on the Mexico side of the border and produced an outflow boundary but it died. Ah well... we still have all week yet.

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