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Chase May 6 2001

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Route:DFW area (TX)
Chasepartner(s):Herman Harperink, Harald Edens and Floris Bijlsma


CHASE LOG:
About an hour after landing at DFW airport we could start our first chase. Just to the north of us, a huge cloud mass explodes into the atmosphere - quite unlike what we're used to see forming in Holland, usually. The air mass flows in from all directions and everything above us is rotating and growing violently... amazing! Seeing that, we decided to take our car right away and go chase that monster storm forming just to the north of us. We were dead-tired but couldn't resist the temptation. We drove around through suburbs of Dallas, going more or less in a northerly direction, inching our way towards the region of the storm where the tornado warning had been issued for. Suddenly, we notice a very obvious rotation of cloud material, curling around back into itself and lowering. It was about overhead and we could look straight into the core of this rotation. It looked menacing, but it was clear that there wasn't much of an organization in the rotation of the clouds; everything above us showed lots of turbulent motions. Amazingly, an airplane flew in the rotating storm!
After enjoying this sight for some time, we decided to go on driving to a severe downdraft ahead of us. The cloud base is pitch dark with rain/hail curtains and a piece of a rainbow. We drove on and eventually got into rain. Not knowing exactly how big the hailstones would be which were falling out of the storm, we decided to drive on and escape the rain. It would be bad to get our car damaged by hail on our very first day in the US...


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© 2001 Bernard Hulshof