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« Day 9: Down Day in Texas | Main | Day 7: Off Day and Tourist Day »

Day 8: The Day That Tried So Hard

Well, today was a frustrating chase day. We traveled all the way down to Amarillo, Texas and it looked like the storms were popping up around Odessa, Texas so we drove all the way there (4.5 hrs from Amarillo). The storms started firing off early (around 1:00pm) which wasn't expected. We got on a few storms that looked promising but unfortunately there was a lot of cold air being fed into the storms so they ended up dying.

We did witness one storm was was wrapping up really good and was so close to dropping a tornado but again, the cold air got into it and it died. We did see a lot of incredible lightning and beautiful mammatus clouds. We also got a good look around Texas and just how frustrating and lack-luster the road networks are.

I did get to hear my very first "hail roar". For those of you who don't know, hail roar is the sound you hear coming from large storms that are full of large hail. You're hearing the roar of the large hail stones moving around and hitting each other up in the cloud. It's an eerie sound to hear and I didn't realize that's what it was until an experienced chaser pointed it out... I thought it was a truck or something. It's a scary and humbling sound.

The only reported tornado today was in New Mexico. We did meet up with Brad's boss, Dave Sills who is also working on the government funded (Canadian and American) tornado research called "Vortex II". He said they did witness a brief tornado early in the morning but that was it.

Cloud 9 Tours (a tornado chase tour company, Mark is good friends with the people that run it) are large pranksters, especially George Kourounis. Meghan found our van in the parking lot with all the videos, antennas and windshield wipers taped up so she took all the tape off. Then, going from past experience, Mark said we needed to check under the van. Sure enough, they had taped an alarm under the car to go off at around 3:30pm. Needless to say, we took the alarm off and put it in the van but forgot to shut it off. It went off at 3:30pm and scared the crap out of us. Here's a picture of Charles Edwards, one of the Cloud 9 master minds.


Tomorrow is looking slim for a chase day but we're going to stay in Odessa (because we're tired) for the night then probably make our way back to Oklahoma tomorrow.

New pictures added to the photo album.

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