(Today’s chapter continues the magical holiday Adventure of the UCK meteorology juniors. Read Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 to learn how they got here.)

Fuller emptied a cup of coins he kept in his car onto a table in a dimly lit dive bar. The coins rolled onto a pile of bills the other students had placed there.

“That’s it?” M.T. asked his brother. “I knew we shouldn’t have stopped at Dairy Queen.”

Fuller retorted, “When you don’t get your license revoked for forgetting to attend traffic school, you can make these decisions. Besides, I still had half my cup left.”

“I wanna know why Samantha only had 3 bucks to pitch in seeing as she’s from Johnson county,” Erin griped, which immediately caused the boys to come to Samantha Royle’s defense.

“Hey now! That’s unfair to Samantha Royle,” Brian replied.

“Yeah, Erin. Johnson County folks probably use credit cards for everything,” Fuller said.

“Yeah, Erin. And this was your idea anyway,” M.T. added.

“I’m sorry, Erin Wallace,” said Samantha Royle. “I wish I was carrying more, but I had no idea we’d be literally paying a hooker today.”

The Panhandle Hooker exhaled smoke from her seat across the table as she gazed at the students impatiently.

“I’m sorry, Samantha. That was rude of me,” Erin replied. “I suppose I’m just worried that we won’t have enough time with the hooker.”

“I’m willing to make y’all a deal,” said The Panhandle Hooker. The 5 meteorology juniors turned to face her. “I knew y’all wouldn’t have a lot. Y’all are college students after all. But the 5 of you together got, let’s see here, 47, 48 dollars and 32 cents. That’s normally worth about 2 hours of my time, but I told Misty I’d help you out.”

“So you’ll guide us for a whole storm chase?” Erin asked with excitement.

“4 hours,” The Panhandle Hooker replied. “I still have other customers you know.”

“We’ll take it,” said Fuller. “Now let’s get a move on it! As much as I love that this bar hasn’t ID’d us, the cap should be breaking any minute now and we gotta get north.”

“We’ll see about that,” The Panhandle Hooker chuckled as she corralled their change and stood up. She along with the students walked out the bar into the relatively bright Oklahoma Panhadle sunshine. Sitting roughly 35 degrees above the horizon, the noon sun near the winter solstice would not rise any higher that day. Daylight was at a premium and the UCK meteorology juniors would need to take advantage.

Only Fuller appeared to be in hurry however, as the others argued over seating arrangements inside his ’97 Malibu. The bickering halted abruptly as the horn beeped and the lights flashed on the car next to them, a shiny white Mercedes Benz c300 with a hail cage attached to the roof.

The Panhandle Hooker smiled at them and asked, “How’d you girls like to ride with me?”


“Should be any minute now!” Fuller reiterated nervously from the parking lot of the Garden City, Kansas Dairy Queen.

“You’ve been saying that for 2 hours,” said M.T. as he threw his arms up. “It’s kind of hard for the cap to break when surface heating brings temps out here up to a whopping 36 degrees.”

“This is nothing new, you guys,” Fuller argued. “Is it even a real storm chase if you don’t wait around at multiple DQs for storms to pop up?”

“Usually it’s not freezing outside while we wait!” Brian snarled.

“Look, I’m sorry the heater broke. The Malibu’s been-” Fuller was interrupted by a voice from the drive thru speaker welcoming the white Mercedes.

“YES, WE’D LIKE 3 BLIZZARDS PLEASE!” shouted The Panhandle Hooker. “2 CANDY CANE OREO, AND ONE, what kind did you want, Samantha Royle? Oh okay. AND ONE CHOCOLATE XTREME.”

“That is so not fair,” M.T. grumbled. “We all paid her, but only the girls get blizzards.”

“I know, right?” Brian added. “I told Samantha Royle I’D buy her a blizzard.”

“Wait, you still have money leftover?” Fuller asked in shock.

“Go pay the hooker, right now!” M.T. screamed as he pointed to the Mercedes. “We need all the time with her we can get.”

Brian trotted over to the Mercedes. “Ms. Hooker,” he said while tapping on the glass. The window rolled down letting steamy air from the car warm his face. “I just realized I have an extra 6 dollars. How much more time can that get us with you?”

“I wish I could help you, kid,” the Panhandle Hooker said as she pushed away his hand with the cash. “Unfortunately I already have another appointment after y’all.”

“How are we supposed to find a snownado without you guiding us?” M.T. said as Brian jumped not realizing the twins had walked up behind him.

“My cousin taught you the 5 ingredients, right? You can find it if you remember those,” said The Panhandle Hooker.

The students stared at her skeptically. After a few seconds of silence, M.T. said, “That’s only if storms even pop up in the first place.”

“I think you kids just needs some cheerin’ up,” The Panhandle Hooker chimed. “Do y’all like Christmas carols?” Her raspy voice began singing to the tune of “Carol of the Bells” and the students joined to provide backup vocals.

Hark how the hail,
big golfball hail,
All seem to rain,
Through window panes

Danger is here,
Bringing good fear,
To young and old,
Meek and the bold.

Ping pong ping pong (sung by the boys)
That is their song
With woeful ping
All damaging.

One seems to hear
Words of good fear
From everywhere
Raiding the air.

Oh how they pound,
Raising the sound,
Lightning and hail,
Telling their tale.

Hail they ping
While people sing
Songs of good fear,
Danger is here.

Very, Very, Very, Very Dangerous (sung by the girls)
Very, Very, Very, Very Dangerous. (sung by the girls)

On on they dent,
On without end,
Their woeful tone
To every home.

Ping pong ping pong (sung by the boys)
Ping pong ping pong (sung by the boys)

Hark how the hail,
big golfball hail,
All seem to rain,
Through window panes

Danger is here,
Bringing good fear,
To young and old,
Meek and the bold.

Oh how they pound,
Raising the sound,
Lightning and hail,
Telling their tale.

Hail they ping
While people sing
Songs of good fear,
Danger is here.

Very, Very, Very, Very Dangerous, (sung by the girls)
Very Dangerous
Very, Very, Very, Very Dangerous, (sung by the girls)
Very Dangerous

On on they dent,
On without end,
Their woeful tone
To every home.

As the storm chasers reached the crescendo of their carol, a shadow moved across the Dairy Queen parking lot darkening the sky.

“Clouds!” exclaimed Erin as the song finished. “Those are cumulus congestus towers!”

“There’s a whole line of them popping up!” Brian exclaimed while showing the group the visible satellite image on his phone.

“And the surface temps behind the line are all below freezing!” Samantha Royle added also holding up her phone. “It’s the cold front!”

“It’s happening!” announced The Panhandle Hooker as she waved her arms in the air.

“I knew you’d be right, Erin!” Fuller exclaimed. “You’re nailing this forecast.”

“Wow, this almost feels to good to be true,” M.T. said timidly nodding. “Which way should we drive, Samantha Royle? I’m excited to see your Johnson County navigation skills in action.”

“Yeah! Your Johnson County navigating will get us right to the snownado, Samantha Royle,” said Fuller. “Where to?”

“Hmmm,” Samantha Royle pondered while the boys leaned in closer. “I think…” She stared the map silently for a few seconds.

“Is everything alright, Samantha?” Erin asked.

“Yeah,” said Samantha Royle. “It’s just that…well…I haven’t been completely honest about where I’m from.”

To Be Continued

(Next: The Great Snownado Miracle – Chapter 4)

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