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April 4, 2010
February 1, 2010
“Day after” images shot in Dumas, TX after 13.5″ of snow fell. The morning after the Jan 28th significant snowfall in Dumas, TX, I ventured out on foot to photograph some of the scenes around the south part of town. I started out walking north along Hwy 287 about 3 or 4 blocks. I then walked one block west and through a small residential area before backtracking to Hwy 287 (Dumas Ave.) where I crossed the highway and did some more shooting in the residential area on the south-central part of town just a few blocks northwest of Pioneer Park. I then did some shooting in the park itself before heading back to Dumas Ave. and to my hotel. This was about an hour and a half walking shoot, and many of the images in the album below are from my walk.
Images 1-4: Days Inn Hotel
Image 5-8: Along Hwy 287 (Dumas Ave.)
Images 9-11: Residential area and adjacent businesses just east of Dumas Ave. at 13th St.
Images 12-22: Residential area east of Dumas Ave between 11th and 14th St.
Images 23-27: Pioneer Park
Images 28-31: Residential area between Dumas Ave. and Pioneer Park
Images 32-40: More shots from the Days Inn Hotel, including 1) a Wyoming traveler cleaning off his pickup, 2) a Colorado traveler who managed to get his Jeep stuck pulling a U-Haul trailer, and 3) a picnic area succumbed by a large snow drift.
Images 41-43: A huge line of semis coming into town from the north on Hwy 287. Hwy 54 was closed west of Stratford about 35 miles north of town, so many of the truckers detoured south through Dumas to Amarillo.
Images 44-48: Farm field blow-off drifting adjacent a residential road on the north side of Dumas.
Images 49-50: Cool snow drift in front of the door to a church on the north side of Dumas.
Image 51: This photo was taken about 4:00am on my way back home to Dodge City. This is in Stratford, TX where Highway 54 was closed from this point west into New Mexico. Truckers were basically stranded here that did not want to detour south. This view is looking west-southwest at the west-bound shoulder. Trucks were lined up about 2 miles!
January 30, 2010
Chase complete. Just pulled into the driveway. Since I did this winter storm chase right after midnigh shifts, my sleeping pattern was all out of whack.. and documenting the snowstorm didn’t help matters. I more or less slept in shifts the past few days. Much like yesterday. I slept from about 10:30pm to 2:30am, and was pretty much wide awake at that point, and since I was, decided just to pack up and head home right then and there. Hwy 287 from Dumas to Stratford was touch and go. There were stretches of dry pavement, but not long enough stretches to drive comfortably at 60 mph or higher since icy/snowpacked areas (mainly fairly bumpy snowpack) would come upon you quickly. Hwy 54 was still closed from Stratford west into New Mexico, but thankfully it was open east of Stratford. Almost the entire stretch from Stratford to Guymon, OK was snowpacked since the road orientation was southwest to northeast, parallel to the prevailing wind direction for the storm. I probably averaged 35mph during this stretch. I took some tripoded photos of the stranded truckers on Hwy 54 at Stratford as they awaited the re-opening of the highway west of town. They were lined up for a good couple miles along the shoulder of the west-bound lane! East of Guymon, it was pretty much smooth sailing from there, as the road was almost entirely dry from that point until I got home.
There was some dense freezing fog, apparently, last evening and overnight before I arrived along the Guymon to Liberal to Minneola stretch. Rime ice was pretty thick. Northeast of Liberal, I stopped briefly at a rest area and did a couple moonlit landscape photos of the rime ice. I think some of them turned out okay. Then, at sunrise, as I approached Minneola, the rime ice became much more evident to the eye with increasing light. Minneola was an amazing sight with tall trees in the neighborhoods coated with thick rime ice. The white landscape was amazing! I spent the better part of a half hour to 45 minutes photographing the scenes in Minneola before driving the final leg back home. I arrived home shortly after 9:00am, which was about a 6-hour trip home, counting all the times I stopped to photograph, so drive-time was probably just under 5 hours, for what would usually be a 3-hour drive. I have two more albums to upload: 1) the “day after” sequence of about 50 images shot in Dumas yesterday and 2) Rime ice photos from outside of Liberal in the moonlight and also at sunrise in Minneola. Look for these albums within the next couple days hopefully. In the meantime, here is what I missed back home… this is my driveway:
January 29, 2010
A Dumas 287 Bottleneck! After I dug my Jeep out from the Days Inn parking lot, I decided to survey Hwy 287 in and just outside of town, to see what I would be up against tomorrow morning. I was pleasantly surprised to see Hwy 287 was in halfway decent shape just outside of town to the north… as I drove about 3 miles north of town before I turned around. Before exiting town, however, I took a couple of journalistic-style photos of huge bottleneck of semis on the south-bound lane of Hwy 287 coming into Dumas from the north. Hwy 287 in the city limits is a joke right now. The road is like 2 to 4 inches of very bumpy ice from all the compacted snow. The plows never really had a chance at 287 in town because there was so much traffic compacting during the storm. Outside of town in the open areas, the snow either blow off the road during the storm, or it piled up without too much compacting from traffic that plowing was easier. I feel pretty confident I’ll get back to Dodge City by early afternoon, as I plan to leave very early before sunrise. I’m allowing myself a solid 6-7 hours travel time tomorrow for what is usually a 3-hour drive from Dumas to Dodge City. Below is an image of the bottleneck as semis come into the Dumas 287 Ice Rink from the north:
The Great Dumas Dig-out Underway! I got some exercise in this morning walking around the south part of Dumas photographing some of the snow scenes here. Pretty impressive stuff with drifts of 4-5 feet common. There were even a few 6-footers in between houses in some of the neighborhoods I walked through. My Jeep is semi-buried in the front, so I’ll spend this afternoon digging that out. I’m glad I packed the shovel. I am staying here in Dumas one more night and leaving first thing in the morning to head back to Dodge. My shovel has come in handy already, as a Colorado resident in a Jeep pulling a small trailer with a dirt bike was stuck in the parking lot trying to leave. Kind of ironic if you ask me. His 4WD didn’t kick in, so he is just spinning his back tires. I got a few pictures of that. Anyway, I’ll post another big album of “day after” images later on today.
Below is an album of images shot on January 28, 2010 during the winter storm that produced 13.5″ of snow during the daytime and evening hours in Dumas, TX. All images were shot around the hotel area on the south side of town, walking around on foot during the snowfall. It was a challenge to keep the camera dry and to stay warm during the shoot times, but I think I came away with a good series of images that portray what it was like in Dumas during this awesome snowstorm. Near-blizzard conditions were observed during the midday and afternoon hours as wind gusts occasionally reached 35 mph. At the height of the storm, when the snowfall rate was around 2″ per hour, the combined rate of snowfall and blowing snow with the wind reduced visibility to 75 to 100 yards at times!
Snow ended. 13.5″ storm total snowfall in Dumas. Snow came to an end late this evening. Since it was still snowing at the time of the 12″ snow depth observation at 7:00pm, another 1.5″ or so accumulated between then and midnight, therefore I am calling it 13.5″. There is already settling/compacting going on and the mean snow depth is around 12″ walking around the hotel grounds at midnight. I will be staying another night in Dumas, since there is really no rush to leave as I am not due in to work until Saturday afternoon, so I will spend Friday in Dumas and probably leave here early Saturday morning. This has been a very fun event to cover (the snow aspect of it). The forecast worked out very well, and the final storm total snowfall fell right in the middle of the 12-15″ forecast I had for here.
January 28, 2010
Dumas, TX at a stand-still with average snow depth of 12″ as of 7:00pm. I spent the better part of the last couple hours photographing on foot. By now, there is very little traffic, and some of the vehicles traveling down Hwy 287 are towing another vehicle! The biggie drift in front of the hotel is a solid 5 feet now. I have a couple decent images of it, including one with the metal yard stick as a reference. This drift dwarfs the yard stick. Since the forecast verified here, the plan now is to photograph the “digging out” process around town tomorrow and stay a third night here… and by Saturday morning, the hope is that Hwy 287 will be cleared enough for safe travel back to Dodge City.
Radar shows Dumas is still in a moderate-heavy snow band just north of the mid-level circulation that can be seen on radar. Later this evening after I eat something and wind down a little bit, I’ll get more images uploaded.
These images were shot early this afternoon from around the hotel I’m staying at in Dumas. Estimated new snowfall for this storm is 8″, but I’ll go out and measure again at about 3pm or so.
6″ snowfall in Dumas so far as of 12:30pm CST. I went out and measured all around the hotel grounds and came up with around 6″ average depth. There are a lot of 12 to 18″ drifts as well as a few bare spots (mainly on pavement areas). We should stay in the 1-2″ per hour rate for another couple hours before some drier mid level air and not-so-strong upward vertical motion approaches.