May 17, 2005: Stepping back, planning for June
We've taken a cold, hard look at the situation at hand and decided that leaving even this Saturday would likely be a fruitless endeavor. May is simply not going to produce as expected. Bill has cancelled his Friday evening flight to Tulsa, and we've abandoned our plans to be in the Plains for the last week of the month. Time to step back and start over. The tentative plan now is to leave on Friday the 27th and stay in the Plains until the first weekend in June, possibly even until the second weekend.
The kicker is that all of us have scheduling/work issues to contend with. Our trip now is at the mercy of our employers, and the county has summoned me for jury duty starting on June 6. Will they be willing to let us shift our trip dates back two weeks at such short notice? Will the weather pattern improve in the Plains by then? The answer to these two questions will determine our course of action. It's just a waiting game at this point.
Once again, I'm not upset or anxious. This is what real storm observing is like - this is what they didn't show you in 'Twister'. After you do this for so many years, you come to expect the changing plans, uncooperative weather patterns and unexpected complications. All things considered, a tornado sighting is truly an against-all-odds blessing for a storm observer. But if you're persistent, flexible and have a few things go your way once in a while, you'll get what you're looking for. We're hoping that happens this time around.
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