This one was originally slated for Tuesday, but I decided at the last minute to throw in the previous comic to add a more realistic view of storm spotting. This is particularly evident in Panel 3, where it is difficult to tell that Chris has pulled over to the side of the road and had his flashers on. Originally, Percy was going to be giving them directions to the site, and so only the right blinker was needed. However, a good storm spotter would have already been at his or her site, so the change was made. I was quite satisfied by the radar hook echo over the road map on Percy’s computer screen; it’s not often that I draw using only the computer and I thought it turned out quite well. And while I’m throwing out terms, the low hanging cloud in Panel 1 is a wall cloud. Rotation is taking place in this area of updraft, but no tornado has formed.
And speaking of tornadoes, the NWS radio reference to “Hallam County” is a tribute to the town of Hallam, Nebraska, which got decimated during the May 2004 tornadoes. I have been to Hallam since, which has recovered nicely (although the lack of large trees is definitely noticeable) and I participated in some of the clean-up near Fairfield, NE (about two hours west, but still hit pretty hard). I also did my student teaching at Norris High School this past semester, which had been hit by the same tornado that hit Hallam as well.