17 May

Day 7, Chasing rainbows with a Trembling Trailblazer

Posted by in 2015 Season at May 17, 2015


Another late night post from the Midnight Balla.  A lot of hype went in to today and for good reason.  Lots of different colours showing up on SPC’s convective outlook page, centering around the tornado prone state of Oklahoma, and on a Saturday, no less.  As we expected, the GR level 3 window lit up with more storm chaser contacts than a Cylon basestar’s full raider compliment on the Galactica’s Dradis console.  Too long a sci-fi reference?  Well too bad.  Smiley face.

Anywho, my team was well on our way southward from northern Kansas to this major event, when suddenly our vehicle began to shake rather noticeably above a certain RPM.  Quickly ruling earthquakes out as a possibility, it was determined that our muddy dirt road adventures of the previous day had thrown things out of wack with our tire alignment (I’m not the auto expert of the group either).  So we did what all Americans do on a Saturday afternoon and headed for the nearest Walmart to try and solve this problem on time before things southward start to heat up.  They fixed the shaking in due time but were unable, or perhaps unwilling to figure out the truck’s other problem involving the brakes.  Again, I don’t know enough about automotive specs to interpret it well enough, only that it was not an issue that would hinder our ability to drive safely.

With that delay, we had to quickly change plans.  GR level 3 now looked as though the Death Star launched all its Tie Fighters to converge on the rebel fleet being the Oklahoma/Texas panhandle storms.  You had to zoom in real close to be able to read everyone’s individual icon name.  So we decided to avoid that cluster f-word and head for some developing cells west of the main group.  No tornadoes this time, but lots of interesting structure none the less.  And to shed colourful light on to my initial title reference, as we rounded the back side of a storm in northern Texas, I witnessed the most rainbows I have ever seen in a 20 minute period.  This storm seemed to be the last in the overall lineup of cells so there was nothing behind it but clear skies to shed a little light on the heavy rain.  And on a more personal note, this area of the US may not have a lot of trees but with all this rain, the plant life that is present here seemed as flushed out and colourful as it could possibly get.  For example, the species of Yucca that grows here had countless creamy yellow coloured flowers on display along the roadsides.

Oklahoma got pretty crazy in the early evening hours with tornado warnings sparking up across the whole state.  We were done for the day by then either way.  Haven’t seen the final reports but hopefully no one’s been hurt.  Still no tornado for me yet, but it was a very interesting day.

Catch you later,

=> Shane

Tweets @mesoholics