Sunday, September 30, 2007

September 30, 2007 - Severe WX

Well, it looks like we may get to see a good comparison between the old warning system and the storm-based warning system in one week's time. September went out with a bang. Sunday 9/30 brought some severe weather to the Ozarks.
Polk county went under a radar indicated tornado warning for a storm north of Bolivar. The hook echo persisted for several frames of radar, and it was pretty well defined. However, I don't think anything ever touched down there.
At around 9pm, the SkyWarn folks asked for spotter information from the Christian County panhandle for a "storm of interest". I was prepared to go mobile all day, so I headed towards Clever immediately. As I got out of Nixa, I hit very heavy rainfall which made it hard to see. I was following a truck that was about 1/4 mile ahead of me, and as I crossed the river before Clever I hit a very large blue bag that took up most of the lane. It appeared to be filled with sticks and such. That scared the crap out of me. I was faced with the decision to swerve (not a good one) or to drive through it. I drove through it, and obliterated the bag. How do I know I obliterated it you say? Well, on the way back to Nixa, all that was left was a bunch of leaves and sticks in the road. Monday night, I drove out and snapped a picture of what was left of the bag on the side of the road. I just wanted to make sure I didn't run over an old lady hiding in a bag or something. In all seriousness, this bag was so large and full, I was scared my airbag was going to deploy when I hit it. I just had to go back and see it.
Anyway, after getting back to Nixa, I saw LOTS of lighting south of Nixa in what appeared to be an escalating storm. I checked into SkyWarn again and offered to stay mobile stand by in case something else popped, but they said I could wrap it up. As soon as I cleared, I hear "Stand By" come across. Sure enough, that storm did develop and a Severe Thunderstorm warning was issued for Christian and Norther Taney.
I headed to 160, then south about 6 miles, but was unable to intercept this storm. There were a few guys on it, so I headed home for the night, still a bit shaken up from what I feared was going to be a very bad outcome from hitting that large object in the road.

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