Sights and Sounds Part Four

Texas’ Northern Panhandle has several large, modern cities including Amarillo and Lubbock.  It also contains many smaller communities whose fortunes ebb and flow with the vagaries of farming and petroleum production.  Many of these small towns border on becoming ghost towns as these photos taken in Matador, TX (population around 660) testify.

Road Hazards Friday, June 15th

Two of the things that storm chasers dread, road work delays and flat tires, happened today.  While in pursuit of developing storms in northeastern Colorado, we hit highway construction which stopped us for about 20 minutes.   Since we were stopped adjacent to a huge wind farm, I made the best of it by taking several photos of wind turbines.  Later, on our way to Denver the right rear tire on our van went flat.  While the tire was being changed, I again had time to take some more photos of the surrounding High Plains country.

Today is the last day of storm chasing for me this year; however, keep checking in as I will continue to post more sights and sounds from my storm chasing adventure.

Changing a flat tire along I-70 in Colorado.

A Day to Remember Thursday, June 14

From Goodland, KS, we drove to our target area around McCook, NE.  Storms initiated around 3:00 p.m. and the chase was on.  One storm absorbed the storms around it and grew into a beast.  A large wall cloud formed and the storm’s overall color and structure was amazing.  Eventually, the storm became outflow dominant and generated a massive dust storm. Winds at ground level reached  60 to 70 MPH.   While fleeing away from the oncoming dust, we were hit by several large hail stones.  As the dust blew across the highway in front of us, we noticed a huge gustnado on an intercept course with our vehicle.  We had no choice but to drive into it as it crossed the road.  Fortunately, I shot video of the intercept and will post it after I return home.  It was awesome!

By day’s end, we were in Colby, KS where we were treated to a beautiful display of clouds and lightning.  This has been the best day of my storm chasing outing so far.  There is promise of more storms tomorrow.

The edge of a supercell storm approaches our location.

Strong outflow winds begin to generate a dust storm.