Carrie and I had an awesome nights rest at a Best Western in Hot Springs,
AR. Since NOAA's having trouble forecasting the frontal system we decided to
hang out in the area and do a few things, rock hounding, horseback riding, or
I woke up around 9 and checked the radar...just in case. WHAT!?! There was a
strong line of storms crossing through Oklahoma. I smacked my forehead in
disbelief. I sure didn't wanna drive that, however it was there and I wanted
storms. I showed Carrie and she
said it before I did..."Plans just changed."
We needed to get out of Arkansas though. Can't chase when you can't see for
all the rolling hills, mountains and trees. So we loaded up and headed for
Oklahoma...again. We just entered the border and started to travel up when
Mark gave a call. We discussed options and explained we really wanted to get
around that tail end of the storm for photographs.
The drive to the Oklahoma border
was so slow. There are not many road options in the hills of
Arkansas. Definitely not an area to chase in. Still the drive was
scenic and we started seeing some mammatus from the isolated cell
that had formed in front of the cell.
Well, we didn't make it. Stopping at a gas station we saw these wicked
clouds on the end of the gust front headed for us. They looked like claws
hanging down from the sky raking the ground. Neon green showed behind and
Weather Defender put in some pretty strong wind and hail in it. One thing we
wanted was storms...without baseball sized hail braking my windows of my
year old RAV4.
We got video and photos of the storm just before getting slammed. Driving
down the road was a challenge in the strong winds and driving rain. We got a
text from Mark that baseball sized hail was in that storm on us...we pulled
into a church parking lot. I knew the storm was pretty bad and needed to
give it a chance to pass us. Not wild about core punching a storm with that
size hail. I was a little nervous and couldn't make a decision. Just out of
reaction I called Andrew. I didn't' tell him we were in danger, but just that
we were chasing. It was a quick phone call but helped my tired mind get back
into gear and know what to do next. We followed the storm in as far as we
could, but those hills ruined it for us.
||Baseball sized hail was reported
just up the road from us, we managed to dodge the bullet on this
one. We were stuck on a north to south running road and no other
options. Driving northward a bit managed to miss all the
hail...which is exactly what I was hoping.
I want to photograph and observe storms not
end up part of their feast.
We continued north to Fort Smith then all the way
back down towards Hot Springs in the off chance of catching the opportunity
for some cloud images.
Still we got some amazing shots. We stopped in Mount Ida for some rock
collecting. I love rocks..hehehe... Then we went to Hope Arkansas to stay
the night. We were worn out big time. The bed was like a stone
slab it was so stiff. We decided to head back home one day early.