Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Now's the time to relax

May 3, 2010

After checking the forecast models and getting a good night's sleep, the crew picked up David from France in Oklahoma City around noon today. The models were showing a rather quiet period for a few days this week due to a lack of moisture, and by mid-week, the GFS has been hinting at a possible chase for the central plains. I have been eyeing that system for over a week now, and the GFS has been somewhat consistent with it... there is definitely something there. Plus there would be a couple of quiet days before next week, when there is a sign of a very active chase period to be had!

Today we decided to play with a very marginal setup west of Dallas, TX. By marginal, I mean not even reaching severe limits. What the heck, we are down here and on vacation! Afterall, you can't win if you don't play the game. After picking up David, we headed south on I35. A cold front was sweeping by, which could trigger some thunderstorms around the Dallas area. I was hoping we could at least get some lightning shots at best or maybe even run into some hail.

When we were west of Flower Mound, we pulled over. I loaded the radar and a surface observation map on the laptop. The cold front was near us now, and a small line of non severe thunderstorms sprang up just west of where we were. I looked out the front windshield and saw a CG, followed by a rumble of thunder. I got out of the car and was very grateful to smell that "thunderstorm" smell once again while standing in the blowing wind. You have no idea how good that feels after not having seen any storms for quite a while! Okay I admit, I must seem very weird to you non storm chaser folk! I decided to grab my Kestrel and take some wind readings. The max gusts reached 20 knots.

Unfortunately this was all to be had today. The cold front was hauling due east, and the storms would not build any further. It was time to head back to Oklahoma City for the night at the Days Inn, once again.

We finally have Spotter Network working again. Darn technology, geesh.

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