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March 27, 2010 - Arkansas Storm Chase



Here is video:



I started off the day in Waldron, AR (south of Fort smith) visiting my mother. We left from there towards Fort Smith when the first blips starting showing on radar in the areas west of Fort Smith and NW Arkansas. I eventually made my way up to Winslow where I intercepted this storm. I got into some pea and dime size hail in Winslow a few minutes later.


I then headed back south towards a severe storm near Fort Smith. I intercepted that area of storms near Ozark. They did not look good at all and I continued east on I-40 and eventually made my way over towards Russellville where I waited on a strong storm coming in from the SW. It was amazing to look on radar and then look up to see only this little rain core. The rain bands were swirling all around constantly changing.


As the storm passed over it began to drop some pea to maybe even a few penny size hail stones just west of Russellville. I continued east on I-40 to intercept a couple of severe storms that were south of there. The southern storm looked great on radar with a hook and all so I focused on getting to that and ignoring the nothern cell. I could see the northern cell clearly and eventually over by Plumerville I looked back to see a large cone shaped funnel halfway to the ground. Theres not much doubt in my mind about it. By the time I pulled over you could see it being pulled back up and by the time I got my camera out this was all that was left.


I did see a few little dips below cloud base but nothing close to that large funnel. I waited on that storm near Menifee but by the time it got to me it was looking pretty ragged so I headed south to the other stronger cell. It did drop some hail and some stones were getting pretty close to quarter size.


I ended up on the southern shore of Lake Conway and stayed in that area for the rest of the chase. The strong cell passed over and some rotation was obvious but it was very elevated. I caught the rotation well in a series of pics taken but you should be able to see it from this pic as well and I also got a little lightning there.


I had to move east a little to get out of some hail (1 inch hail was reported in the area) but I eventually made my way back to this little park. I was about to head home but I noticed another little storm would pass right over within 30 minutes so I waited and hoped to get a lightning strike. It wasnt putting down many strikes but I still got lucky and caught one of the better lightning shots Ive gotten! This strike was shot at a wide angle lens at 10mm so it is much closer than it appears. You can see it struck the water (or a dead tree in the water) and hit no more than around 500ft out.



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