17 June 2010

oh, hail, no!

Since this post was written, the damage has been repaired. But we'll leave it to your imagination - hailstones the size of grapefruits and baseballs, thunking on the roof of the truck. And little quarter-sized ones bouncing off the hood.

This was on the drive from Alpine to Study Butte. We were too far from civilization to find shelter, so we turned into a drive and angled the truck to keep the windshield from getting too many direct hits. Shards of hail littered the ground everything white in the photos above = ice chunks.

Leaving Alpine - the topography of the area is fantastic, regardless of low light due to epic storm. So in the ~60 mph gusts, we tried to skirt south of the storm.

We wound our way down to Study Butte with little more to note, other than a lot of folks who had stopped on their way north to wait for the storm to die down. Smart people. It was a beautiful lightning show.

One stop on the way down was in the Christmas Mountains, where one our of birding gave way to distant clouds and the ominous darkness that urged us to continue to our evening destination.

Upon arrival, the sky to the north was dark, but we could see the mountains. Wind was gradually picking up and the view from the motel porch was perfect for weather watching. In the photo above, between the large cottonwood tree and the white building to its right - look for the 2 large white yucca blossoms that are blowing straight sideways. Windy.

When the dust clouds rolled in, they blotted out the mountains and made visibility shrink to less than 1/8 of a mile. While it never did hail on us, it rained mud with a strength usually reserved for tropical depressions!

Texas weather is ridiculously awesome.

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