Storm Highway by Dan Robinson
Weather, photography and the open roadClick for an important message

DAY 6: May 29 - New Mexico, Texas lightning

Sunday, May 29 - We were on the road westbound out of Wichita at 9AM for a target of Elkhart, Kansas in the southwest corner of the state. The setup didn't look great today but we figured on some lightning and storm structure opportunities. Our only two stops were at Dodge City for fuel and a data check, and again for wind farm/train photos at Montezuma.

Video captures - click to enlarge

Digital photo - click to enlarge

We finally caught up with Kurt along with a caravan of storm observers including Amos Magliocco and Tony Laubach in Boise City, Oklahoma, a few miles southwest of our original target. We decided to head to northeastern New Mexico for a slim supercell possibility, making it to our first storm in the Clayton area. Southwest of Clayton, we wrestled to get on the inflow side of a rapidly evolving multicell cluster of storms that we felt held our only shot. Lightning in this activity was staggering as we drove beneath the storms, with bright strikes raining down on all sides. Close strikes were common, including one that hit a telephone pole directly in front of us. Bill and I teamed up to film this display as we drove:

Video Clip, WMV 1MB - Close strike to pole

Video captures - click to enlarge

Digital photos - click to enlarge

Kurt, Bill and I eventually broke off from the caravan to focus on lightning for the rest of the evening and after dark, witnessing a bright double rainbow and an intense downpour of small hail.

Digital photos - click to enlarge

We crossed into Texas briefly after sunset to film the last remnants of a waning lightning show.

Video captures - click to enlarge

We ended the long day in Clayton NM, where we looked forward to a better night's sleep, but not before an interesting situation involving my car, a 'no parking' sign, and the Clayton Police department. Details to come on a later entry, I'm too tired to elaborate now. Monday's target looks to be in the same general area as today's, so we won't have far to travel. A good thing considering the past few days have seen all-day marathon drives. We need the break.

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