Today was, without a doubt, the most adrenaline-inspiring drive on an Interstate highway I’ve experienced to date in my life. It’s ironic today’s experiences driving west on I-40 from Oklahoma City to Amarillo came 上 the heels of last night’s post, “的ireporter名利的诱惑鼓励危险的龙卷风追逐。” I was thinking as we saw tornadic winds directly over us 上 the Interstate that we weren’t 风暴chasing or seeking these experiences– we were just trying to get to Amarillo!
阿马里洛以西的80英里，我们看见了什么，我想一定是一个相当明确定义 云墙. My wife was driving at the time, so I was able to snap a few photos and take some 视频 before she finally pulled over under a bridge 和 had me take the wheel.
Generally I think most of our midwestern storms tend to track from southwest to northeast, but that did not seem to be the case with this storm today. This past Wednesday in Oklahoma City, we had tornados reported in the southern part of the county which tracked south. This 风暴 today 应用eared to track south as well. I thought we were going to be fine 和 just skirt the southern edge of it as we stayed 上 Interstate 40. (The old 路线66。）我想错了。
I had photographed the 云墙 off to the northwest, 和 was working 上 printing some equipment labels for next week’s 庆祝俄克拉何马的声音 作坊. My wife told me to put down the label printer 和 look at the clouds. To my amazement, low, whiter scud 云s were not 上ly moving south across the Interstate, but as we looked up they also were starting to rotate. Yikes!
This second 视频 shows some of the rotation we saw today, directly above us 上 I-40. (A few more are available in 我的Flickr从今天的驱动器设置。）这部影片并未做经验正义。这是非常可怕的东西。
After switching drivers under a bridge shortly after I took these 视频s from the passenger’s seat, the rain and wind got very str上g and made visibility poor. We were able to drive out of the storm, thankfully, and came to the Texas rest area about 60 miles east of Amarillo. I took several photos of the 风暴 off to the northeast 和 east from the parking lot. I thought this first image of the 云s behind the rest area was particularly striking.
Eventually we were able to drive completely out of the 风暴, but we were still under some ominous, overhanging dark 云s for 10 miles or so.
In the rest area, I briefly visited with some other travelers who were eastbound. They reported they had just seen FIVE tornados just north of I-40, close to 马夫, Texas. I’ve never heard of five tornados coming out of the same 风暴, at the same time. I’ve heard about the 1979年威奇托福尔斯龙卷风, which was actually a tornado that started as three different twisters which combined forces to create a devastating F5. I can’t be sure, but I suspect the 云墙 I photographed initially may have been resp上sible for those tornados north of 马夫.
I w上’t be assuming again, when I see a 云墙 as we did today, that the 风暴 is tracking northeast.