Early Spring Storm Chase in Texas

I was in Dallas last week for the USITT Conference (where I gave a talk on networking, of course).  On Wednesday, on the way back from lunch to my session, I saw asperatus clouds for the first time.  By the time I got to a clearing they were starting to move away but it was still pretty cool to see:

Transient
Transient

My session went great:

Transient

The next day, a slight risk was issued for severe storms, so after a morning meeting (I had to do some work!) I hit the road with my former student and now colleague Erin G. The setup was marginal, but initiation was forecast along a dryline, which I had not been able to chase before. So we went out with the objective only of finding and seeing the dryline, and we accomplished that.  We also stumbled across the very cool Running N Ranch:

Transient

These poles apparently line up to make a single shadow on each equinox.

Transient
Transient

Saw a very low Lake Texoma, partial subject of one my favorite James McMurtry songs, Choctaw Bingo:

Transient

We watched on the radar as severe storms exploded and formed tornadoes up in Arkansas, and then eventually decided to call it a day and head back to Fort Worth.  But coming back to Gainesville, the storm I had been literally watching in the rear view mirror really ramped up and made an anvil.  So, we turned around to see what it was, and stumbled across giant figures by Glenn Goode, the fiberglass man:

Transient
Transient

In the distance you can see the storms firing, and we found a spot and watched them just develop beautifully in the sunset:

Transient
Transient
Transient
Transient
Transient
Transient
Transient

We had already started setting up to meet people back in Fort Worth, but then Erin noticed how much lightning the storm was making, and then we figured we had to go for it, and ended up moving south west and staying for a couple hours as this storm just pumped out lightning and hail east of McKinney, Texas.  We ended up in an areay with a lot of trees so we had to climb over a barbed wire fence into a cow pasture to find an open sky:

Transient
Transient
Transient
Transient
Transient

I made a little pseudo time lapse of the 300 or so shots I took of this one storm:

Here's our track (ending at an In n' Out Burger--I didn't know they had those in Texas!

More photos here.

On Friday, Fort Worth was under a severe thunderstorm watch, and after my morning sessions there were supercells down south reportedly pouring out 3" hail, so John M and I blasted south to see what we could see.  We ended up a bit late for the fast moving storms, and got beat with marble size hail for a few minutes.  Afterwards, we punched through the rest of the storm and there were some pretty cool mammatus clouds persisting for a long time along the dryline:

Transient