Saturday, February 16, 2008 (South TX, 995 mi.)

Synopsis

A multi-day excursion down to I-10 in southeast Texas, with little to show for it.

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Just another wintertime trip of desperation that ended in bust. Brandon, Bryan and I left Friday evening and spent the night at a friend of Brandon's house on the south side of Dallas. By morning, the setup looked a bit less promising than before, as a cold front providing the focus for the setup had pushed farther southward than previously expected. This meant either committing to driving further from home than anticipated, or simply turning around after having gone to the trouble to come down in the first place. I was leaning slightly towards the latter, but we ended up pressing onwards. We headed down I-45 to Buffalo, then dropped southwest on US-79 towards Rockdale, and finally south on US-77 to I-10 at Schulenburg. By this time, it was late afternoon, and ample instability had gathered on the Texas Gulf Coast along with moderate shear. However, little in the way of convection had developed south of the cold front by this time. When initiation finally began, it quickly became linear in nature and hampered the tornado threat. We flew east on I-10 as far as Columbus to stay ahead of the line, hoping something might spin up on the tail end, but it quickly became obvious it was a lost cause. We abandoned the chase sometime shortly after 5:00 PM, and decided to head west for I-35 to avoid the widespread, intense convection going on to our east. While approaching Austin from the south, elevated storms behind the cold front provided a nice sunset scene, so we stopped for a few pictures.

Later on, we stopped near Temple for a delicious and much-needed dinner at a local BBQ joint, which was certainly the highlight of the day, and made it home around midnight. Remind me never to chase before March again.