Wednesday, April 18, 2012

04/14/12 IA/NE High Risk Craptastic, HP Crapfest.

Decided to take a shot at the triple point taking aim at IA/NE this run. Models all seemed to agree that conditions were ripe for a wedgefest on or near the borders.

With an initial target of Lincoln NE, I headed down 35 for the long, arduous, trip to what I thought was going to be a twister turkey shoot. I whiled away the time thinking of the grand total I was going to encounter and just how close I was willing to get to the action being a solo.

My determination was to get through the Omaha area as quick as possible to avoid the weekend stumble of Home Depot and Target shoppers. Dodged that, but headed right into a cell that dumped quite a bit of rain in my path and made me rethink my decision of target.

I decided to stick with my guns as it was still early in the game and I gave myself some latitude thinking my adjustments would be more East/West than North/South.

Boy, could I have been more wrong?

After a brief stop in Lincoln, it was off to Nebraska City to sit and look at things and weigh my options. Dive South to KS? or make a leisurely easterly trip across southern IA in the hope that initiation would occur further north and east as I had predicted.

As I made my way east on IA State Hwy 2, things began to take an interesting turn as the sky literally exploded over me.

At some point, I actually became positioned ahead of the storms and as you can see, I was within fourty five minutes of meeting the Thurman storm face to face. Being impatient, I continued my drive across Hwy 2 with the thinking that a cell would initialize south of Hwy 2 and I would find myself in perfect position for an intercept.

Once the cell initiated and took out the town of Thurman, it stayed north of Hwy 2 and ran parallel to my course. This was an HP cell that was fully letting loose. I decided that it wasn't worth the risk to run the core not knowing what was on the other side. So I continued on Hwy 2. toward I35 hopefully making some headway east and into something more organized and visible.

Made it to I35 and headed north toward Des Moines as things looked like they were becoming active up there completely ignoring what was going on to my south in KS. That turned out to be the biggest mistake of this chase.

As I barreled up 35 while trying to make some sense of the radar, an alarm begins screaming from the back of my vehicle. Something I'd never heard before, especially in the REAR of the truck... Great.

When I finally had the opportunity to pull over to check things, I'd realized the only thing back in the area was my inverter and batteries. Yes, my Inverter was screaming that I was on borrowed time. Apparently, this inverter alarms when the battery level reaches a certain point. A point I'd never reached up to then.

With no way to silence the alarm, I had to make a choice. Listen to this damn thing scream all the way to Des Moines? or shut it down and hope the various equipment's own batteries would get me there.

I shut it down.

From that point things went down hill... Quickly.

What was once a promising day quickly turned to crap as the last of my day's opportunities became a huge linear squall. as I moved north to Des Moines.

Meanwhile as you can see, KS exploded. So did a cell I left behind 30 minutes earlier in Osceola IA.

An expensive lesson to learn that sometimes, Mother Nature drives a hard bargain...

Plenty more of the season left...

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