HUNTING UNICORNS

Yesterday, Silver Lining Tours and I might as well have been hunting unicorns as tornadoes. Tornadoes? We didn’t even see a towering cumulus! For awhile, we thought we might have chance at a big storm far to our west just north of the Kansas border in Nebraska, but, like legislation in the U.S. Congress, it went nowhere. So, we ran up the white flag and boogied for Salina, Kansas, where we caught up on our sleep.

We saw a lot of these yesterday…

But none of these…

We might have had a shot at some action in Missouri yesterday, but the SLT guys don’t like chasing there: too many trees and too many hills, and it would have put us way out of position for today’s target area near the Red River in northern Texas. (There was a tornado watch issued for northern Missouri/southern Iowa yesterday, but the only twister reported was near the Mississippi River, a couple of hundred miles from where we were.)

We won’t catch a tornado today, the conditions just aren’t right, but we might be able to lasso a high-based supercell or two spinning off the dry line. More importantly, it will put us close to Oklahoma City where we’ll bed down tonight and then say our goodbyes tomorrow morning.

So, I got skunked, but I knew going in that was a possibility. As I said earlier, this was all in the name of making the backdrop of Supercell as real as possible.

Yeah, there were long days, a couple of crummy motels and waaay too much fast food, but the bottom line is IT WAS WORTH IT. To witness the birth of a monster supercell on the high plains of West Texas. To pursue a cell through a lightning-flecked Nebraska night and watch it spit out a funnel. To listen to a chorus of coyotes singing counterpoint to a rumbling storm near the Red River.

Priceless.

-May 4, 2012-

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