Andy Cole's Stormchase blog

Back on the plains in 2019 to share in nature's spectacle

Chris’ 2019 blog, Day 1: HOUSTON We Have Lift Off

We raised at 8.55am for a 9am breakfast cut off with groggy heads and prominent war wounds from the previous evening escapades. With some crispy (cremated to carbon) bacon, pancaked egg, fried coffee and raisin bran down us we were on the road to hunt down our first storm of the trip – a sizzling out Piece of Sh*t (PoS) that was brewing over the Gulf of Mexico. 

Anticipating the disappointment, the aim was to check our gear was working and Andy to craft his theatre of technology in the front passenger seat:

 – 2 x GoPro; 

 – 360 degree VR camera;

 – self mechanised and automated phone holder;

 – sat nav phone;

 – communication phone;

 – not sure what the third phone is for;

 – window surface lap top;

 – in car phone signal booster;

 – in car wifi receiver;

 – SLR camera.

50 miles towards Houston and half an hour at a service station later the tech hub was complete, similarly to our prospects of chasing a storm for the day. The identified potential weather system drifted east further past Houston and wasn’t worth the drive so we decided to test the kit with a very small nucleated weather front 50 miles due west. We parked up off road, ‘cos we can, and let it pass over us dropping rain and a few nice lightening bolts with the notoriously growling thunder.


The kit worked and we headed 120 miles west south west to the beautiful San Antonio that hosted arguably the most raucous night from three years ago. We treated ourselves to a more upmarket hotel in El Tropicana using a Hotels.com last minute special. Andy used the facilities wisely in taking an hour nap before we went for a romantic stroll along the creatively named San Antonio River to tuck into our first American style BBQ joint: The County Line. It was like opening a big present – full of excitement at first sight but underwhelming when ripping off the wrapping paper and discovering that 90% is packaging, it served well as a warm up for further BBQ joint visits this trip. Bellies full we meandered back along the river for an early night in preparation for the 300 mile morning drive west towards New Mexico which teases us with potential to be our first super cell.


The kit worked and we headed 120 miles west south west to the beautiful San Antonio that hosted arguably the most raucous night from three years ago. We treated ourselves to a more upmarket hotel in El Tropicana using a Hotels.com last minute special. Andy used the facilities wisely in taking an hour nap before we went for a romantic stroll along the creatively named San Antonio River to tuck into our first American style BBQ joint: The County Line. It was like opening a big present – full of excitement at first sight but underwhelming when ripping off the wrapping paper and discovering that 90% is packaging, it served well as a warm up for further BBQ joint visits this trip. Bellies full we meandered back along the river for an early night in preparation for the 300 mile morning drive west towards New Mexico which teases us with potential to be our first super cell..

Day miles driven: 226

Cumulative miles driven: 232

Total supercell count: 0

Tornado count: 0

States visited: Texas

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