26 May 2009










5/26/09:  North central TX

Left Norman around 9-9:30am to head SW on I-44.  Ate lunch and re-evaluated at the Cracker Barrel in Wichita Falls TX, as a slight risk showed up in the 1630 Day 1.  Decided to head SE out of Wichita Falls on Hwy 287 toward Decatur TX, where an outflow boundary from earlier convection was lingering ahead of a cold front moving through central TX.  Played a little football just N of Decatur for a while, watching flat Cu, until one finally started to tower and become dominant just SW.  Headed SW on a few state roads and intercepted the storm a few miles N of Weatherford TX.  Got into quarter size hail our first cut through the storm; then, since it was moving so slowly, we cut back through it twice on the same road J, finally finding some golf ball size hail on the third cut.

We decided to keep moving with the storm, heading through Weatherford to reposition a little E.  We did get to witness a real live car chase, with 6+ cops tailing a dude with a flat tire and a rather determined/pissed off expression.  After that excitement, we headed NE on a few more state roads to find hail again.  The hail we found was smaller but copious, with a barrage of mainly dime size hail.  We parked in a church parking lot to hang out and wait for the biggest hail, and while we were there, witnessed a slow-moving pickup truck pulling a trailer ease his car right into the ditch (?).  That cut off our SE return, so we looped N and then around to the E and S to get back to the storm.  We did notice a left split on radar around that time, but decided to hang with the right mover.  We followed it just S of Aledo TX, on the W side of Fort Worth TX.  By then, the storm was weakening as well as moving into the metro area, and we decided to let it go.  The left mover was intriguing, but we were too far S to have a good chance to get under it by dark (though it was dropping baseballs in Decatur right around that time).  We opted to call it a day and head W to position for tomorrow’s see-text chase.  We spent the night in Abilene TX at a much nicer Super 8 on the south side of town, celebrating our hail catch with a few wings and beers at Buffalo Wild Wings.