From: Bruce Haynie (kbhaynie@FLASH.NET): Lon Curtis wrote: ...deletia... >As I turn northwest on SH195 north of Georgetown, Bruce Haynie calls >from Austin (it is 3:55pm, give or take a minute) and wants to know >where I am and where he should go. I tell him to head northwest, out US183, >toward Cedar Park and Liberty Hill. Bruce gets out in time to catch the next >tornado at Cedar Park, but I'll let him tell that story himself. ...snip... >Lon Curtis >Belton, TX I suppose that Lon has put me on the spot :). The Cedar Park, TX storm chase account follows... As Lon mentioned in his chase account, May 27 dawned quite unstable. For a more detailed look at the forecast parameters, refer back to Lon's chase report. As the morning progressed, I stayed abreast of the potential situation using the Quick Weather section of the NWSFO LBB home page (http:// dryline.nws.noaa.gov) and Greg Thompson's Real Time Weather home page (http:// www.rap.ucar.edu). Thankfully, my job is such that I can surf the net intermittently(sp) using a Sun SparcStation 2, allowing me to multitask to my heart's content. While plowing through several ARC/INFO sessions I peeked at the hourly output from the LBB and UCAR weather sites occasionally; watching visible satellite images (UCAR) and surface plots (LBB) of the Central Texas area. The two obvious clues: 1) a stationary boundary (s), 2) enormous instabilities. The latter approaching or possibly exceeding the instability numbers on June 8, 1995. Around 1:30 PM, I checked the latest visible image... "HOLY COW!!", I nearly shouted. My co-workers looked at me a bit strangely. A huge storm, located in southern McClennan County, had a magnificent over-shooting top and a flanking line was easily seen. It was obvious that this storm was located right on the boundary. Immediately, I get antsy and start looking for warnings... a couple of tornado warnings had already been issued. Further investigation of radar data indicated an extremely deviant storm motion to the south-southwest ALONG the boundary. My production on the job decreased some after that. Now... it's approximately 3:20 and I try to call Lon on his cell phone from the office... no answer. I didn't know that he was photographing what would be called the Jarrell tornado. At 3:45, I can't stand it any longer and ask my supervisor for an hour off to be made up the next morning. He agrees... and out of the building I run with camera gear in tow (I had taken my gear to the office in anticipation of an after work chase). North bound on I35, it's 3:55 PM and I try Lon on the cell phone again from my chase vehicle. He answers, nearly out of breath (I would be too after seeing what he did), and tells me what he has seen and gives me some much needed info which confirms my suspicions of storm motion and how the meso's are evolving over time. Lon says: "Go up US 183 northwest!" I do exactly that. Proceeding northwest on 183, toward a darkening sky, a frantic call on the ham radio exclaims: "Tornado in Cedar Park! I'm turning around!" Hmmm... I'm approaching the intersection of 620 and 183 and looking in the direction of Cedar Park... I didn't see any tornado. I turn back to the east-northeast on 620 to get out of the traffic... as I do, I catch a glimpse of what appears to be a loose column of smoke suspended over north sections of Cedar Park. Uh oh... my interest is beginning to peak. Lon calls: "Tornado Warning for the Cedar Park area." I make a u-turn at a crossover on 620 and head back toward 183. A small funnel comes into view to the northwest as I make the u-turn. Tornado at 4:23 PM from my perspective. Dust (and unseen debris) is being pulled skyward as the condensation funnel thickens, extends closer to the ground and moves south-southwest. I start looking for a suitable place to take video and stills. After some meandering, I find a place at Lakeline Mall on a small hill to stop. I begin to video and take stills for approximately 5 minutes as the tornado unfortunately moves through the Buttercup Creek subdivision of Cedar Park. The tornado, with condensation 7/8 to the ground and a very tight debris cloud, veers more to the west and gradually becomes wrapped in rain. I become concerned about getting pounded by the core and try to go south and then west towards Lake Travis only to become stranded in traffic gridlock on 360. Cringing as the core moves over me, I get lucky some how and miss all but heavy rain and some 1/4" diameter hail. That's where the chase ends for me. Unfortunately, another tornado develops and moves through the Hazy Hills area very near Lake Travis and takes the life of a 25 year old man. My deepest sympathies to the families and friends who were affected by this tornado outbreak. Bruce "Happiness is Lubbock in my front windshield!" ------------ Bruce Haynie Austin, TX email@example.com Cartographer/ **Standard Disclaimer** firstname.lastname@example.org Automation Specialist "Those who live by the extended models shall also die by the extended models."
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