Earl and I drove through Texas today as we continued west. Always on the lookout for wild weather, I was delighted to see storm clouds gathering ahead of us on Interstate 40 between McLean and Groom, Texas. There wasn’t a peep on the weather radio about any severe storm watches or warnings, but there was quite a bit of wind and lightning dancing across the sky.
As we made our way down the interstate, we ran into a downpour. It was raining quite hard and I had to actually turn the wipers on high (which I refer to as “hysterical”). It rained for a couple of miles and then the rain stopped, but the wind and the lightning continued.
Then we heard a “bam”, followed by another and then another until it sounded like popcorn was popping. We were being bombarded with hail and it was making quite a racket on the hood. At first Earl thought he could help hold the soft top in place until his hand was hit by a hail stone; then he decided the roof could fend for itself.
After a few miles of being pelted, we came upon an overpass which was very crowded with cars, motorcycles and tractor trailers. I pulled over to the left side and wedged myself the Jeep between a car and the middle bridge support. The cars were four wide underneath. It was then we discovered just how big the hail stones were.
We also discovered the ten or so new dents in the hood of the Jeep. Thank the universe the windshield survived. Others weren’t so lucky.
After the hail gave way to rain, we got off at the next exit for some much needed fuel. A family stopped in right behind us with a hail stone in a ziplock bag to put in the freezer for safe keeping.
The hail stone was larger than a softball. The locals said they had never seen one so large.
So while we didn’t get to experience a tornado while passing through the area, Mother Nature did give us a magnificent display of her power.