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May 25-26, 2002 Storm Event Log : May 25-26, 2002

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Saturday, May 25
Saturday turned out to be more of a 'travel and rest' day than an expedition day, so we positioned ourselves north in Elk City, OK in anticipation of the next day's small severe weather forecast.

Sunday, May 26
Sunday morning, I awoke, packed up, and locked my gear in my truck - along with my keys. AAA membership paid off, and I was back in my truck in 30 minutes - in time to make it to an awesome church service at a truck stop in Sayre, OK put on by the local Baptist church. Just what I needed. Even on vacation, you need to keep your focus where it really belongs.

After church, our team regrouped in the hotel parking lot for a pre-chase briefing by Greg (below left - RealVideo clip, 468KB). We were finally heading west - but not before I locked my keys in my truck - yes, for the second time in 1 hour - in the Wal-Mart parking lot in Elk City. Thankfully, the team has a sense of humor - from that point on, I was required to show my keys to everyone before I closed my door at each stop! After the locksmith came and made his $25 for the day, we continued on - stopping in Shamrock, Texas (below center and right) to reassess our target area before heading south (second row; left, center, and right).

As we headed south, we could see cells beginning to develop, but not very rapidly. (Video: As we head south, Greg explains the current weather situation: RealVideo clip, 215KB). Finally, cells begain to grow bigger, producing lightning, pileus (below right), and beautiful rain curtains (second row; right, center, and left). Our chase team convoy, now at 7 vehicles and 17 people (below left), pulled over about 40 miles east of Lubbock to film the lightning show.

We stopped a few more times for lightning/cloud photo sessions (below left, center and right; second row, right and left) before arriving at Lubbock later in the evening.

After dinner, Bill, Jesse and I drove southeast near Post, TX to film spectacular lightning from several cells still firing after sunset (below).

After the cells suddenly dissipated, we headed back north toward Crosbyton, nearly hitting a deer and a coyote on separate occasions. After turning west on Rt. 82, a new line of cells suddenly exploded to the north. The towers were illuminated by the full moon as they threw out spectacular lightning (right), many of them positive-CG discharges that arced from the tops of the storms outside the cloud to the ground. Despite the fact that it was 3:30AM, we stopped again for 30 minutes to take more slides and video before heading back to the hotel (below left, center and right).

NEXT: Monster Supercell in Texas >

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