14 May (Friday): Let's smoke 'em out
Howdy from Midland, Texas, hometown of George W. Bush! On our second day in west Texas, we encountered hail, heavy rain but no tornadoes. Despite our best efforts, we were unable to smoke any tornadoes out of their holes. Then again, that's not our mission - our mission is to meaure precip.
A target storm was declared early afternoon to the northeast of Kermit, Texas. A tornado was spotted with the storm but it was gone by the time we arrived. We probably would not have seen it anyway because we drove into the precip from the west to deploy our instruments. After several deployments, we dropped south and raced east to get ahead of the storms. I-20 slowed to a crawl near Odessa, which made us a little late to the show. We core-punced the storm from behind and took some good sized hail. We were informed by the radio traffic that the mobile radars were already scanning, so our fearless (and dry) leader ordered us to deploy in the core of a severe thunderstom. We we a little nervous, but did as we were told. Danielle and I deployed after George and Carlos, getting completely soaked all the way through. Evan and Stephanie didn't miss out on the weather whipping either; they jumped out to help deploy as well. We were also thrashed by hail, and it hurt! It wasn't too large, but it was large enough to feel it!
We gathered data while the radars scanned, but we looked like drowned rats afterwards. The seats in the car were still wet this morning, but at least we're dry - for now.