North TX/ OK BUST CHASE 03/10/2010
North TX/ OK BUST CHASE 03/10/2010

Sometimes storm chases result in failure. This could be the result of making a bad forecast.
Other times doom comes in the guise of equipment failures, faulty decision-making or plain old bad luck.
Such chases are known as "bust" chases. It is only fair
to include the bad with the good so here is my account of a bust chase.

I have been trying to come up with the best words to accurately describe my
chase on 03/10/2010 and I think I've found them:
Bust, dang, crap, oops, D'oh, FAIL, and crud. Please contact me for the R rated version.

I began the day spotting in the western part of Dallas county,TX as a line of storms
containing heavy rain and some small hail moved through around 10am.
I stayed with the storms on I-30 as they worked their way east, north east.
Getting ahead of the storms near Mount Vernon, TX it appeared that they were becoming disorganized junk.
Originally I had targeted Texarkana but decided that since it was still early in the day
I would try my backup target area, NE OK. Abandoning that line of storms I made
my way up north to Hugo, OK where I entered the Indian Nation Turnpike.

As soon as I cleared the first tollbooth I was pulled over by an OK state trooper.
I wasn't speeding and had paid my toll so I couldn't figure out why I was being stopped.
He thought one of my brake lights may have flickered as I stopped to pay
the toll but amazingly it was working fine as I tested it during the traffic stop.
He was very nice about the whole situation and appeared to be more interested in the fact
that I was chasing storms. I received only a warning from him and he even followed me
to a nearby gas station in the center median of the turnpike to see if they had a replacement
bulb (of course they didn't). After this brief delay I continued up the turnpike sans OK trooper.

A few miles further up the road my phone rang. I discovered that the cells I had abandoned
in Texas had now strengthened and were even showing signs of rotation... how nice.
As there were now no places to turn around or exit the turnpike I was now unwillingly
committed to my second target area. When I arrived in NE OK it appeared that my second target area
was a complete bust and waste of time. The cells nearby were not cooperating.
The ones that looked decent were still out of range and racing NNE at nearly 40mph.

I made it up to Adair, OK and turned west to connect with the Will Rogers Turnpike
to go SW toward Tulsa, Oklahoma City and eventually back home to Dallas arriving a little after 11pm.
My gas mileage increased dramatically as I was constantly relieved of many of my
pesky, heavy coins at the never-ending tollbooths along the way.

Lessons learned from this days chase: Never dismiss your original target area until you
are absolutely sure without a doubt that the storms you are on are trashed.
Oklahoma state troopers really like storm chasers.
Oklahoma loves turnpikes, be sure to carry big sacks full of coins for the conveniently placed
tollbooths (about every other mile or so it seemed).

Miles Driven: 721

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