This year I decided to do something I’ve never done before.. Spend a week out on the plains chasing storms and living the live of a nomad. Roaming from one spot to another, with no real plan or itinerary. Sure there we places and sites I wanted to see, but I didn’t set dates or times to visit them. It all depended on the weather. Of course, Mother Nature decided to take some what of a break most of the week. Here’s a recap of my week:
May 16, 2015:
1st day of the adventure! SPC has Kansas and Oklahoma in a “Moderate” risk area with a 15% tornado area. Would I get to see my 1st tornado of 2015 and first outside of Iowa? I departed from the homestead, targeting somewhere NW of Wichita. Traffic going through Kansas City delayed me about 30 min (orange cone season) so by the time I reached SE KS, multiple linear lines of storms were in progress across the area.
Of course, further to the south in SW OK, nice supercell storms were in progress with multiple tornadoes reported. Knowing I wasn’t going to make it to SW OK in time, I decided to dive off the turnpike and head towards the Greensburg area (place I wanted to visit). I stopped a few times along the way and took some general storm / landscape pics.
I arrived in Greensburg about 7pm and got checked into the local Best Western. For dinner, ended up grabbing a pie from Reggie’s Pizza (local joint) and chilled the rest of the evening.
My photos from the 16th:
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May 17, 2015:
After waking from a restful night’s sleep and grabbing some breakfast at the hotel, I headed out. Before leaving town, I snapped a variety of images from around and about town. Yep, I played tourist! 😀 Nothing weather wise was going on today, so I decided to make my way to Oklahoma City. What LONG and boring drive that was! It’d be a long time since I spent 60-90 minutes between towns!
I knew on my way to OKC, I had another place to stop before getting into town. The site just E/SE of El Reno, OK; the Twistex Memorial site. Though I may not have known Carl, Paul, or Tim personally, I still wanted to pay my respects. A more permanent memorial is being erected in the next couple of months.
In Oklahoma City, I stopped downtown (smart thinking to avoid the weekday mess) and toured the outside portion of the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial. What a beautiful, somber place. Here’s a few pics:
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After driving around town for a bit, I finally ended up in a hotel in Moore. One think I learned from driving in the OKC area — people like to drive like it’s the Indy 500!
May 18, 2015:
Today ended up being a travel day, as Mother Nature finally decided to let me have a shot at another storm chase. My travels took to Amarillo, Tx where I took a quick tour around town and basically camped out in the Motel room for the evening.
May 19, 2015:
Awoke today with massive quantities of rain coming down. Like so many of the chase days in 2015, today started off with the typical morning QCLS. Except in Amarillo, it came down hard and fast, quickly filling the streets up to their curbs with water. Of course that didn’t stop anybody. 😀
Also at the same hotel was Willard Sharp from madridiowaweather.com. We decided to team up and chase the day together. AFter looking at data and the model information, we opted to travel approx 1 hr south to Plainview, Texas and camp out there for the afternoon.
After several hours of teasing, Mother Nature finally decided to indulge us (and several other chasers) with a nice little storm which quickly formed near Happy, TX. Though looking great on radar at times, the storm never really got it’s act together. It did make for some great structure shots however. After playing with the storms for several hours, we ended up in Childress, TX for the night.
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May 20 & 21, 2015:
These 2 days were travel days as well as visiting days. On my way back north, I stopped in at The Twister Museum in Wakita, OK and had an absolute blast during my visit. I encourage not only all chasers, but the general public to stop in and visit. My overnight stop for May 20th was Wichita, KS. I didn’t tour the town much, as I was tired from the long drive up from Childress, TX.
A couple Wakita pics:
May 21st I overnighted in the KC area after visiting some friends in the area. Today would be my last day of the 2015 chasecation.
Total Miles: 2300
States visited: Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas
Cheapest gas: $2.29/gal in OKC