Hail PecosJune 9, 2014 at 10:23 PM | Posted in Storm Chasing Vacation 2014 | Leave a comment
Tags: clouds, hail, pecos, SLC, straight line winds, texas
Yesterday’s chase started out in New Mexico again. We spent a while looking at this storm as it came over the mountains hoping that it was strong enough to pull itself together.
As it rose over us we headed back out to follow it. There was a moment when we had to stop because he hail core was crossing the road in front of us. When we started out again we were greeted with this on the side of the road.
This lovely storm didn’t produce a tornado but it sure liked posing for pictures. I think the green inside these storms is right up there as a favorite color.
It even gave a beautiful sunset.
Just look at these ridiculous clouds! This was shot looking up.
The most excitement of the day was when we were heading for Pecos, TX. The core of the storm and the road conspired together to keep us in a dangerous spot. Inside the powerful hail core. There were no roads to escape therefore we had to keep going. All we could see out the side of the van was darkness.
This storm was a beast inside. Straight line winds from the left pushing against the van, whipping rain across so rapidly the lines of the road were barely visible. The only time we had to stop was because on radar there was a strong rotation just in front of us. There were some power flashes as the straight line winds picked up in that moment. It wasn’t a tornado but there was wind rotating in a dangerous manner. Further down the road we started seeing things explode on the road so we knew big hail was starting to come down. It was big, it was loud and there was a lot. We saw a few on the road that were easily the size of baseballs. It seemed like the 3-4″ hail was dropping on the same spot above my head. It cracked the windshield in a couple of spots and later we found it broke part of the windshield wiper blade.
I fully admit to being frightened and I was texting both my mother and my husband during the onslaught.
We were in that storm for what felt like forever, but was more like half an hour to an hour.
We finally got in front of it just as we rolled into Pecos. We drove around finding a safe place to shelter while the storm went through the town. We parked under the covering of the drive-thru of a bank. Thankfully for the town the hail core skimmed to the side and it’s intensity dropped drastically.
We finally collapsed into our hotel rooms after the longest visit to Denny’s due to the whole wait staff having been shipped in the day before to help out and try to get the restaurant back in working order. However long it took at least the food tasted fresh and good.
It may look like fun or exciting on TV to punch the core of a strong thunderstorm, I don’t recommend it. This is why no matter what time of the year it is, pay attention to the weather forecast before traveling. Even if you’re just driving to work. Weather forecasts are no longer in the realm of palmistry or guessing. There is a lot of technology that is aiding them make accurate forecasts based on past data and current trends. This is why you start hearing about possible tornado outbreaks days in advance.
Having more information is always a good thing.
Knowledge is power as they say.