Scott, Peter and “The Twister”?
2004 05 10
MN to NE
It was a sunny but cool morning. The cold front that triggered the previous day’s thunderstorms had cleared things out quite nicely. I was feeling a bit better now - I found out later in the trip that it had been my mild allergy to grass causing all my problems. I guess with chasing on the Prairies I should have thought of this! Some allergy meds and all was fine again…D’oh!
There was no WI-FI at the Days Inn
At about , we decided we needed some food and stopped in Murdo, about half way across the state. We ate at The Diner and the locals didn’t know what to make of us at first. This is what I imagined towns on the Plains would be like – wind-weathered and dusty with simple but friendly people. They were mostly farmers, and once they figured out we were storm chasers, they had fun talking weather with us. And the food was great!
After a bit of looking, we realized
there was no chance of getting WI-FI in Murdo and
gave up on getting more data. A route to our south looked to give the most
options, so we headed down 83 toward
We entered the Rosebud Indian Reservation after we got off of 83 onto 18 - a very lonely road that would take us south and west. At around , we pulled off and got some pictures of neat wave clouds that were covering the sky. A little farther along, we found little whitish craters marring the landscape – there were hundreds of them! I noticed that near each one was a little Prairie Dog, and we had to pull over to get a better look. They were pretty cute, but very shy. A few stayed out of their holes long enough for us to get some video.
Photograph of wave clouds, facing roughly south.
The landscape heading south down 83.
We see the holes, now where are the dogs?
Come on, little doggie…
Aha…finally an appearance!
At around , we stopped in
“Well you said you wanted to see a Twister, didn’t ya?”, and Mark getting data at the station.
The radio station was a tiny
building in the middle of nothing but was inviting inside. His daughter and his
dog greeted us and he showed us around while we perused a bit of data on his
computer. There appeared to be some convection in our target area and the US
Storm Prediction Center (
The Twister bumper sticker.
At around , we stopped north of
Mark on the cell phone with Scott and Peter.
It was at this point that Scott McPartland and Peter Ventre,
veteran chasers from
Dave Lewison with Scott, Peter, Mark and Sarah.
It was getting late now, but the
only action was well west of us in
Photograph of the sun as it sets behind
distant storms, just inside the
“Drive-Up Liquor” at The State Line bar.
It was getting dark, so we headed back to Scottsbluff, disappointed. While we ate dinner, a severe warned storm hit giving some nice lightning and a bit of wind. With our target area being western Nebraska again the next day, we drove to Ogallala, Nebraska to sleep with storms raging all the way. We got into Ogallala at around .
All text and images by Dave Sills Copyright 2004
(except for Twister bumper sticker)
Unauthorized use prohibited. All rights reserved.