3/18/06 REPORTS: W TX

I had given up on the day, what with the cloud cover all day here in Ft Stockton, but when I returned from dinner and re-fired the computer, lo and behold..... A line just to my west. Even before I could get the door open, a crack of thunder greeted me, and the tail-end charlie was almost over my head!

I quickly got the car re-stocked with essentials, fired 'er up, and punched through the developing line eastward on I-10. The sun was setting as I reached US67 about 15 miles east of here, and there was a pretty good lowering at the tail end of the line, but I could really only see it from lightning flashes at this point, so I couldn't tell if it was rotating. I would estimate that it was about 300 feet from the ground. The boundary layer was perfect....about 70/60, I think, and bases were no more than about 600-700 feet now, I would estimate.

Well, I stayed out in front of it for about another half hour, then called off the chase due to a) darkness b ) lack of internet service c) lack of cell service (thus no nowcasting help), and d) not very good road network to work with. I have the experience to night chase, but there's a time and a place, and this wasn't it.

The first storm of the year is always special, ain't it? (especially since it was my first chase in my car...my CHASE car!... since June 28, 2003.)