STORM CHASING USA 2011

Distance driven today: 514kms | Total so far: 14795kms

No report for yesterday, considering I sacrificed storms in Missouri to relocate myself to the border of Nebraska / S Dakota for some possible tornado action tomorrow. I am happy to report that I had rather a marvelous evening wandering the main street of little Norfolk in Nebraska. I'd just been listening to the Blues Brothers in the car when I happened upon a live band playing blues and classic 70s rock outdoors. I was irresistably drawn in for a bevvy, and consequently a delicious meal of alaskan salmon. A delicious meal in America?! I am living the dream! Traveling alone often tempts me to talk to strangers and it was awesome to do so with a couple who live in a tiny town of 300 people about 50kms to the SW. They'd escaped their kids for the night and were in a good mood. So was I. An incredible 2003 Italian Una Grappa Chardonnay, which was almost as sweet as a Sav Blanc (for you wine snobs), didn't hurt either.

Err.. back to storms... today the NWS (National Weather Service) had storms on the cards for this area, but nothing came through until way after dark and it was incredibly foggy, making lightning spotting (let alone structure spotting) pretty much impossible. I chased anyway, hoping to get out of the fog, but it was frustratingly and claustrophobically omnipotent. I also lost radar out in the boondocks, and so was flying blind from that perspective too. The gods were against me. Again.

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Having said that, standing in the middle of nowhere in near complete darkness broken only by the all-encompassing lightning flashes was pretty cool.

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Very eerie, with no sound apart from the rustling trees and my heartbeat anticipating possible hail at any moment. Or the boogie man. I nearly jumped out of my skin when a horrible huge monster started galloping towards me, which was actually a cow in a muddy field taking a few lazy steps in the mud.

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I eventually gave up and headed N, which I thought may lead me into the storm, but I kept an ear out (eyes weren't seeing anything!), and I reached the town of Yankton just over the S Dakota border unscathed.

First thing I did when I landed in my room was check the radar. A small line had formed but was N of me and moving away.

And as usual, to rub salt into the wound, these storms started in the town I stayed at last night. This is happening with scary regularity.