Perseverance. It can be a learned art form, and spending weeks on the road in search of storms can test how much of it you possess. After a major vehicle breakdown, we limped into Dumas TX with a totally shot transmission. With Memorial Day weekend looming, we knew prospects of getting it fixed were not good. After taking the van to the local Chrysler dealer (Edwards Chrysler in Dumas…a top-notch owner Gary Edwards and his staff went out of their way to try to help us), we discovered that the repair was a major one and parts would not be available until after the holiday weekend. Time to move on and figure a way to get everyone back on the road. After a trip to Amarillo and returning with a rental van, we were off to Colorado in search of a storm.
We targeted Colorado once again on Saturday, and intercepted a spectacular supercell near La Junta, which became tornado-warned after we had been observing it for a while. Perched on a hillside overlooking the town, the storm produced a spectacular wall cloud with a readily-observable clear slot and RFD. The storm cycled a few times, producing new wall clouds, moving ever-closer to our position. Inflow into the storm was impressive, with plumes of dust (of which we have seen very little this trip) racing inward toward the circulation. We never saw an obvious tornado, but this was one of those storms that didn’t need it…the storm itself was plenty.