April 13th, 2012 - Oklahoma

We hauled south today to the next area of interest, which ended up taking us as far south as the Wichita Mountains, just Southwest of Chickasha, Oklahoma.

Driving through thousands of miles of open country... splatters bugs to their deaths on the dome.  So, a squeegee is a necessary tool.  (This was the last time this one ever was seen alive... it was lost off of the top of the van somewhere.  Don't tell anyone.)

Mountain Dew is a requirement as well, so we can stay alert while driving.  It's a lot of miles.

Once again, the skies started with some beautiful billowing and pretty light.  There was a lot of great structure ahead today.

Not all of the plains are flat.  Oklahoma has a few mountainous tricks up its sleeve.

And possibly what was my favorite moment of the entire day, pulling into this little town where the tornado sirens were blaring, and this insanely beautiful shelfy structure was looming ahead, GLOWING (positively, glowing,) with hail and light.  It was spectacular, and my heart was pounding.  It was the first real moment of some adrenaline for me - mixed with awe-inspiring beauty.  These images don't even do it justice.  If I'd been sitting on top of the car with a super wide angle lens, I may have had a better shot of getting it across.

Skip in front of the beast that would eventually produce a tornado, after we scooted out of the way to avoid getting run over by the storm.  It was severely rain-wrapped, so I am glad we pushed out of the way to be safe, instead of taking our chances.

As we started to lose light, things started to ramp up (as was forecasted,) - these storms were really dragging closely to the ground, and at the end of the night we DID get a skinny tornado, but it was there and gone so quickly that I did not get a photo.