May 20, 2015: Down Day and Drive from Childress to Amarillo



chase images and log by William T. Hark, M.D.


Today was a down day. The only chances of severe storms were in far south Texas, close to the Mexican border. A surging cold ended the possibility of storms for the area. Although a few desperate storm chasers drove to far south Texas, we decided to skip today and go to Amarillo. We spent some time talking to Charles Edwards and George Kourounis of Cloud 9 Tours in the parking lot of the Childress, Texas Super 8. With blowing drizzle and a temperature of 50 degrees, it was very cold. The Cloud 9 folks also decided to blow off the day and go to Amarillo. They had a large tour group including many Australians. The participants really enjoy the two week storm chasing tours with Charles and George and they have many repeat customers from around the world. We also said goodbye to Mark, Jaclyn and Michel with The Weather Network. Their budget was over for U.S. plains chasing and they had to save for storm chasing across Canada and later for hurricanes.

After Childress, we drove in a big caravan northwest to Amarillo. Jason Persoff, Chris Kridler and I met for lunch before Jason had to return for work. He is a hospitalist and does regular shift work in Denver. He'll be out again next week. Chris, who had an encounter with a deer several days ago, managed to drive down from North Platte yesterday in time to chase storms in Texas. She was in a rental for a couple of weeks until her car was fixed. The rest of the group did laundry or necessities on the down day.

For dinner, we all met in the hotel lobby to take a complementary limo over to the Big Texan for dinner. This is the legendary restaurant featured in Man vs Food where one can eat a 72 oz steak plus sides within an hour and get it for free. Cloud 9 Tours was already there and one of the participants was trying the steak challenge. He didn't make it. This was a fun and relaxing dinner.

Cloud 9 Tours

Limo ride to the Big Texan

Inside the Big Texan

Checking out the view.
Scott McPartland, Bill Hark, Chris Kridler
image courtesy of Thad Bowling

72 oz steaks ready for battle


May 21, 2015: Down Day in Amarillo, Texas

This was a down day in Amarillo. We checked data in the morning, and there was no decent chance of severe weather. I had slept in and had the best sleep so far on this storm chase trip. I basically relaxed and worked on the computer since it was too cold and rainy for any outdoor activity. On a nice day, I would have gone hiking in Palo Duro Canyon. For dinner, we met at a small dive called Coyote Bluff Café on the recommendation of some locals. The restaurant had really tasty burgers.

The next two days would be chase days. The forecast was very challenging with multiple targets both days. Choosing one target for the following day might also make the decision for the following day's target due to distance and time. I really hate waking up totally out of position.

Checking data in the morning

Yummy burgers at Coyote Bluff Cafe

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All images Copyright 2015 William T. Hark