June 13 - Silverton, Texas
- Tornado Watch
- Today was our last kick at the can.
Starting tomorrow, we begin the long journey home but we certainly
went out with a bang! Several, very loud bangs actually.
- After waking up and realizing that
our forecast target had shifted dramatically overnight from Eastern
Colorado to the Texas Panhandle, we knew that it was going to
be a challenge to get down there in time. We gathered everyone
up and aimed south.
- After a mind numbingly long drive south
(almost running out of gas along the way in a remote corner of
Colorado grassland) we saw numerous storms begin to go up. The
most promising one was east of Tulia and approaching Silverton.
Since we were approaching from the north, we had to punch through
the heaviest rain and hail to get to the better visibility on
the south side of the storm. We knew that there might be the
possibility of a rain wrapped tornado in there so we kept a very
close eye on the radar as we maneuvered through the heaviest
- While storm chasing, you never know
what will happen next. In the middle of the rain and hail, the
car in front of me starts driving in a very erratic manner, first
hugging the center line, then pulling off into the oncoming lane
in bad visibility AND on a hill. I tried to pass, but he kept
cutting me off, after I did eventually get past, he remained
glued to my bumper the whole way. This person was either very
drunk or very scared.
- Once we made it through, this storm
had a very menacing look with a very low wall cloud and plenty
of blowing dust & dirt. We even saw a brief tornado spin
up but it did not last long.
- As we sat at the side of the road,
I saw what looked like snowballs whiz past... Here comes the
- I put my helmet on and headed outside
to see these huge stones, mostly golf ball sized, but many of
them approaching tennis balls, smash onto the road and explode!
I gathered up a bunch as quickly as I could and brought them
back to the car. The wind was picking up and we found ourselves
in a "Hurricane Hailer" with the ice chunks flying
- I moved the car to minimize the chance
of broken side glass (How I didn't lose any today I'll never
know) and film some cattle getting hit. At this point, Jack and
Mark were a mile or two up the road and I could only describe
on the radio what was happening to us at the time.
- All in all, I ended up with more cracks
in my windshield, more dents on the hood and one really big dent
just above one of the rear windows that must have been caused
by a giant stone. The sound was totally deafening. I can't wait
to review the video.