Well its under 6 months until StormChase Heaven begins - Just have to get the Cold and Dreary winter out of the way, once we get past Xmas it will come around really quickly!
2011 Bring it on!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sunday, 18 July 2010
Started the Day in McCook Nebraska with a Chase Target of Kimball in the Nebraska Panhandle. Storm were expected to fire along the Wyoming Front Range and roll eastwards. The Best Looking Storm and the one we intercepted was near ScottsBluff. We set up due east of the Supercell and noted a few Wall Clouds and Minor Rotation but this Storm was transitioning quickly into a HP Hail Monster. Some serious 4" Hailstones were falling to our North so we got out of the way and sampled the next Storm to follow an almost identical Path just North of Scottsbluff. This would be the Storm that nearly every chaser in the US Was on, the South East road out of ScottsBluff looked like the M25 At Rush Hour, insane driving was also noted. We stopped briefly to observe Power Flashes to our West and I at the time put it down to Wind Damage from what looked a very Outflow Dominant Storm but it turns out from Verne Carlson's Video that this was a brief Multi Vortex Tornado that was throwing Billboards into Power Lines.
Richard has some great footage of us approaching the town of Bridgeport with Tornado Sirens blaring for about 10 mins, rotation on the road in front of us and the towns flag getting ripped apart. Just west of town the dreaded Level Crossing Lights were flashing, 4" Hail just behind us and Tornado Sirens wailing, somehow we got through and fled South of Town towards Sidney with the masses, the only Car going the other way was the TIV (Lol) Let the MCS Smash into the Hotel at Sidney and ate dinner and shot some Lightning with Wall Clouds.
Another Slight Risk for Nebraska today, SPC Go 2% on the Tornado Risk. As we were driving along I-70 West towards Colby a Huge Anvil caught my eye to my North west, this I thought was about 80 miles away, turned out it was 185 Miles away to the Core LOL
Anyhow headed North and into Nebraska once again, booked into the Super 8 at McCook and headed out to see if the Storms could hold it together on their South Eastward Journey. A Tornado was reported to our West near Imperial and some suspicious lowering were noted but this will have to be verified by Video. Anyhow shot some nice Lightning and Wall Clouds and let the Line over-run our Hotel later that Evening.
Really Enjoyed todays Chase, started in St Jo and had a chase target of Des Moines. Got onto a few cells and a Tornado Watch was issued, Storms were moving to the SE At 40mph so made sure to keep on the Tail end of the line near Des Moines. Watched a wall cloud head towards us but had to re-position further South along I-35, Pulled off a further 5 Miles South at the St Charles exit, just us and a Vortex 2 car were there, as I pulled over the rotation was about 100 Metres to my North West and was pretty violent, and then on the ground a very fast vortex swirling about in the field opposite us. This turned into a Multi Vortex circulation and our location started to get lots of rain, the vortex disappeared into the rain and crossed I-35 To our East. Then punched another core further South on I-35 and headed East to try to flank 2 Supercells, by this time we were in Missouri took a South road that then just ended with Bridge out signs, had to then head west down dirt tracks and got cored briefly with debris and leaves flying across the road but somehow made it under the Rain Free Base, stopped to let another area of rotation pass just to our North East but no Tornado this time. Thought Missouri was going to get me again but in the end really enjoyed todays chase, and this part of Missouri had quite a few open spaces.
Saturday, 17 July 2010
Started todays Chase with a Chase Target of Winner (SD) and chased a Storm that literally crawled along the Nebraska and South Dakota Border. Our Storm fired abour 30 Miles SE Of our target. Met up with Tony Gilbert and his team and we all headed South East to intercept. Along the way we decided to treat Tour 4 to a Core Punch, well a 27 Mile core punch to be precise. Took quite a few dents on the bonnet, emerged to a Wall Cloud when we broke free from the precip, saw the most Vortex2 Vehicles of the entire trip today.
Our overnight postion of York (NE) Was close enough for some Low End Severe Storms to fire in Western Nebraska. Ambled along I-80 And had lunch in Kearney. A nice Storm went up to our South West near McCook so we went down to have a look at it over a nice Reservior. This Storm took me by Surprise as I was not even expecting a Wall Cloud let alone Rotation. Ended up with a lot more than a Slight Thunderstorm with a nice HP Supercell with Golfball Sized Hail. Let this chase us as it was moving SE And ended the day in McCook.
Monday 31st May was the first Chase Day for Tour 4. After picking everyone up at DFW Yesterday and being kept awake all night by a Violent Hailstorm and amazing Lightning Storm we drearily left Norman (OK) With a Chase target of the Guymon to Boise City area. Along the way on I-40 A lone Supercell Fired near Springfield, seeing as the outlook was barely a Slight and with a 2% Tornado Risk I was amazed with 2 reports of Tornadoes already received on Spotter Network. So we hot footed it West towards Woodward and then Guymon where we filled the Car Up. Luckily we were just in time for the main event. This Amazing Supercell that had already been ongoing for about 4 Hours was just about to crank up another level. Unforunately I could not get onto the optimum side (West in this Instance) so we settled for the SE Side of the SE Moving Tornadic Storm. This thing was literally rolling towards us at 5-10mph. At about 7.09pm a very strong Funnel Cloud started making it's way to the ground, when it finally tunched down it was a Massive StovePipe Tornado, thankfully it stayed over open fields near Campo (CO) It was on the ground for 15 Minutes before roping out. Then the Structure got insane on this storm, another brief 1 Minute Tornado dropped before getting wrapped in the Rain/Hail, still this Storm was not done and another 5 Minute Tornado dropped. The Storm then started to move Straight South and started Interacting with Storms moving North from Dumas, when we approached Guymon as darkness fell we had 4 Supercell Thunderstorms surrounding us, the lightning was insane in all directions. Ended the day in Liberal (KS)
The Weather pattern had finally calmed down and with the last days before Tour 3 were due to fly home we did a bit of Sightseeing. As we were in Rapid City we visited the Towns of Keystone and Mount Rushmore. Amazing scenery up in this part of South Dakota and if you are ever in the area with no storms this is a must see attraction, beautiful Pine Forests and winding Mountain roads.
Started Wednesday 26th May in Lamar (CO) and knew Weakish Supercell Storms would be the order of the day in most of Colorado in front of the Rockies. Watched a very Photogenic LP Supercell down near Pueblo, as this shrivelled and died headed North towards Last Chance (CO) Again the Supercell died, they were having serious issues with Moisture today and it was very apparant. Another Storm went up near Fort Morgan and seeing as we would stay there anyway we meandered up, once again we got onto the Storm as it was Pulsing down, this one had enough Structure for some shots though.
Started Tuesday May 25th From Colby (KS) Once again and ambled down towards South West Kansas, our general Target area was from Garden City to Springfield. Had Lunch in Garden City and positioned along the Dryline, kept moving South along the Storms until I found one that looked pretty damn Healthy so went west and Investigated. This then turned out to be Tour 3's best Chase of the trip, we started by watching a Wall Cloud down a dirt track that quickly formed a Funnel Cloud, sadly no Tornado with this, then followed the ENE Supercell cutting along it's Western Flank as we went North. Ran into some sizable Hail and also Hail Fog, the car was struggling and had to turn off the Anti Steering Device and due it McCrae Style. The Storm then did a hard right Turn just SE Of Springfield so we punched through mainly Quarter Sized Hail and emerged on the Eastern Side, then went South and watched some great Structure and more Funnel Clouds. It was now getting late and hearing of numerous Tornadoes on the Storms to our North I could not fathom why ours which was the Southern Most had not produced. But we stuck with it until the death and once another Storm went up to our Storms West things changed rapidly, our Storm then started to move North Westwards and Collided with the storm further West, rapid growth and Tornado Genisis occured and within 10 Minutes we were watching the Biggest Tornado of the Day in the USA, A lovely Cone Tornado about 4 Miles to our North West moving North West!! This was about 10 Miles NE Of Walsh (CO)
A great end to a very long day.
Started Monday May 24th in Colby Kansas and SPC Had Upgraded today to another Moderate Risk for parts of Nebraska and South Dakota. We left early to get into position but this day is one I would rather forget due to insane Storm Motions, some Storms were moving at over 90mph. It is not often you are driving North from North Platte at 95mph and getting overtaken by the Suns Shadow. So made the fatal mistake of heading West to a Broken Line of Supercells that were literally Sand Storms due to being in the Nebraska Sand Hills Region, If I had stuck to my guns and went for my target in South Dakota we would have been dodging the Wedges, I have come to believe that South Dakota really does not like me, when I chase High Risks there (6th June 2007) it goes Tits up and when I cant get there the most Violent Wedges Form out of no-where, 2011 will change this - I am determined!
The day looked lost as we went back South to get ready for the next days risk in SW Kansas, but after eating at the Mongolian Grill in North Platte we came out to my best ever Mammatus Display, one saving grace for the day or the weather gods saying it really did go Tits Up! But me being a believer in things balancing themselves out I was looking forward to the 25th as surely we would have a great chase day...............We did!!!!
Some Mammatus Pics above
Started Sunday May 23rd in Hays (Ks) with a prelimary Chase Target of that general area. Went to a National Park and chilled out having a picnic! A Tornado Watch was issued at 4pm and the first cells fired down near Garden City! As we neared Dighton I had a massive sense of Deja Vu! Was on the same road at exactly the same time and exactly the same date as 2 years earlier when we witnessed the 2 Tornadoes at once near Dighton, only problem today was this was a Slight Risk and that was a High LOLStorm Motions today were straight North at 40mph so we let the first HP Beast rocket off to the North towards Oakley! Then went west and witnessed an Incredibly Pretty LP Supercell, this was tracked just due west of a straight North Road - Perfect! Followed this North and it tried so many times to Tornado, at one point a Rotating Wall Cloud was just off the road to our North West, the cell then died off and we were involved in the Vortex2 Circus for about 30 Miles! By this time the Burlington Storm was in our sites and we plotted a course to Intercept, went North towards I-70 & The rest is History - Chase over as a Dumper Truck was sprawled across the North Road, we could have easily intercepted the Stovepipe Tornado ongoing just 33 Miles to our West! One of those things but we all really enjoyed the Chase. Stopped South East of Colby and shot Lightning before heading back to Colby for the Night!
Started Friday 21st May in Norman (OK) And headed West on I-40 Towards Amarillo. Only a Slight Risk today with 2% For Tornadoes but a nice Dryline was shaping up so with little Upper Flow anything that did form would probably stay on the Dryline and be of the LP Supercell Variety. I also had one eye on tomorrows outlook which currently was showing for N Kansas upto South Dakota so did not want to get suckered too far South. Storms this day would meander and Pulse up and down until Finally we got onto a Fantastic looking LP Supercell near Silverton and right through the Caprock Canyons. This Storm at the end was moving at 3mph so we had plenty of time to Photograph the great Cg's and Mothership appearance, also decided to punch the core for the guys to experience what I thought would be Hail no larger than Golfballs - WRONG! Took some pretty hefty Baseball Sized Hail and have now got some nice Dents in the roof, the bonnet came away quite well. Ended the day in Amarillo with a very big drive North early the next day.
Nb: Fate went against us the next day as the risk area shifted a further 250 Miles North into N Central South Dakota so we could not make it and obviously what happens when the SPC Have a Slight Risk, Yep it drops an F4 Wedge Tornado and about 15 other Tornadoes from an almost stationery Storm. First Cards against us this year and a Painful One at that.
Pictures of the Great LP Mothership and CG Lightning
Friday, 16 July 2010
Ok so why are Changeover Days always High Risk! This day turned out to be the best of the year for me anyway so it mattered very little in the end thanks to a text book Tail End Charlie Dryline Supercell that dropped 3 Tornadoes, and after seeing one earlier just SW Of Oklahoma City it made it 4 for the day and 7 in 2 days Chasing. After bidding farewell to the Tour 2 Guests the lucky early arrivals got an extra Chase Day into the bargain. SPC Had a very narrow High Risk mainly to the NW of Oklahoma City, this was for an obvious Outflow Boundary that had the kind of Chaser Circus never seen before. The Supercell for this High Risk duly erupted and dropped an amazing Set of Tornadoes near Hennessey (OK) At this time we were just leaving DFW Airport and had to hope that the Moderate Risk Box fired up for us and gave us something in consolation. So We drove to SW Of Oklahoma City and messed about with some Storms that were initially struggling, finally one Storm took hold and a Rotating Wall Cloud was observed, then the Funnel cloud was spotted to our West, the Storms core was still to our West and before I had time to manouvre the Supercell did a massive Hard Right turn and started to head due East, only option now was to head South and punch through the Hail Core to the Rain Free Base, took some Golfball Hail and then emerged with a massive White Funnel dangling just to my SW, Luckily I came to a N/W/E/S Junction and booked it east, the now funnel was to my North and was fully to the ground, with the Sun out behind us a brilliant White Cone Tornado was observed just West of Dibble (OK) Followed this Storm a little bit further but blew it off when it looked High Based and Outflow Dominant near the I-35 Junction, my attention was now drawn to a Single Supercell all alone on the Dryline just South of Paul's Valley. Sped off South for about 25 Miles through the Construction near Purcell and headed West to be greeted by an incredible LP Supercell. Got out for some Pictures and observed a nice Hail Roar above our heads. This thing was really tightening up and starting to Rotate and was now morphing into a the Classic Stage Supercell. I knew we had to head South and Fast as the Rotation was directly due South of us about to cross the farm track. Had about 5 miles to cover until the next East to West Road, along the way we got side swiped with lots of leaves and intermittent Wet RFD For a time, we crested the Hill to look back and could not believe we had literally just drove under a now Wedge Tornado which was hitting Power Lines giving off Power Flashes. A second Stovepipe Tornado followed the Wedge as the Wall Cloud Occluded. After videoing this event we went East a few Miles and observed another Tornado near Joy (OK) This had the picture perfect Mesocyclone Shot with Tornado that is much sought after. Ended this incredible day back at DFW To pick up the rest of the gang and to somehow try to show them the footage we had got earlier that day.
1. Dibble White Cone Tornado
2. Classic Supercell
3. Wedge Tornado
4 & 5 Mesocyclone & Lightning
6. Joy Tornado
Today we awoke to find the Models had not changed overnight and the 10% Hashed Risk for Tornadoes in the Moderate Risk area still looked Solid. Our Overnight location of Lubbock would mean an easy Drive to my Chase Target of Dumas. Along the way we had a few issues which put us back a couple of Hours but this did not mar our day or our Target area. After dropping one of the Guys at a Medical Centre in Amarillo we grabbed some lunch at Braums in Dumas. Just before we reached Dumas I noticed the Dryline about 40 Miles to our West and this is where the Supercell Storm of the Day duly erupted. So we literally had to drive about 5 Miles West from there to intercept a Beautiful Classic Supercell. Our positioning was near spot on right in the Notch and Inflow area, the Storm dropped our first Tornado at about 535pm, we then re-positioned just SE Of Dumas to witness a larger Tornado about 3 Miles East of Dumas, even after all this we still had time to witness another Tornado at Stinnett (Tx) which was about 1/4 of a mile away, after this we had no road options and no choices so had to end the Chase there as we had to get some of the guys back to Dallas Fort Worth for afternoon flights the next day. Another Storm fired up just before darkness about 50 miles to our West, This Storm went on to drop about 3 Tornadoes in the Dark near Borger and we could have easily intercepted these if it was not for the brutal 450 Miles drive ahead of us. All in all a great last chase day for Tour 2 and another 3 Tornadoes to add to 2010's Tally.
Pic 1 - Classic Supercell
Pic 2 - 1st Brief Tornado
Pic 3 - Our Position
Pic 4 - What the Supercell Looked like from the Above Radar Position
Pic 5 - TIV Getting into Position for an Intercept
Pic 6 - Large Tornado 3 Miles East of Dumas
Just a few of the Many Pictures Taken above
Thursday, 15 July 2010
Started Monday May 17th in Childress and as Overnight Models had changed needed to head back West and into New Mexico for some Marginally Severe Storms that would fire over the Mountains near Roswell and roll out onto the Texas Panhandle. Got onto a pretty good Storm but once again Tornado Chances were pretty Limited, witnessed some Severe Flooding near Hobbs and watched nervously as overhead Power Line Fizzed everytime a nearby Cg Bolt landed. Ended the day in Lubbock in readiness for a Moderate Risk in the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles for the 18th May.
We started Sunday 16th May in Frederickburg with one eye on the Models for what was going to be an active period coming up in the Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma around the 18th/19th May Time Frame. So it was agreed to use this as a Travel day to Childress, but along the way we got a Bonus Storm to keep up our Daily Storm Record. As we neared Childress at around 8pm a Convergence Line to our North suddenly Fired up, so we checked in and headed North about 10 Miles to position just to the South of the ESE Moving Line of Storms. But as Tornado Chances were slim we were content with some Lightning Shots after our Mammouth Drive North earlier in the day.
Started Saturday 15th May in Senora and were slap bang in the middle of todays Slight Risk area. Once again only a 2% Risk for Tornadoes but Storms once again should be pretty easy to Chase moving to the SE @ 20mph. Headed West initially and got onto a Storm near Mason. Followed this Storm for a While which had some decent Hail, then headed South towards Fredericksburg to another Storm and briefly punched through Penny Sized Hail, ended the day with a Mammatus Display and a Mexican Meal in Fredericksburg.
Pictures above of the Storm Initiating and some Mammatus
Started Friday 14th May in Amarillo with a Chase Target of between Lubbock and Midland. On route from Amarillo down I-29 We punched through a few Non Severe Storms, then near Lamesa our First Supercell was due South heading straight at us, had to Core Punch this and took some fairly hefty Golfball Sized Hailstones. As we emerged from the Green Fog we had just missed a Tornado which was embedded in the HP Storm, luckily for us it was just to our West, one of the others has video of this Roping Out. Then had to negotiate the Line of Supercells that were tracking up I-20. Picked a Highway that enabled us to cut right down between both Supercells and emerge the other side to be due SW & SE Of the 2 Storms. The one to our SW Started to track hard to the SE So it was time for us to be chased. Had great fun with this Storm all the way to Senora where we let the Now Severe Thunderstorm hit our Hotel. Got some great Lightning and Sunset Shots.
Some Pics above
Sunday, 4 July 2010
Started Wednesday May 12th in Enid (Ok) and knew it would be an area from N Central to Western Oklahoma that would be the third day in a row for a risk in the state. Our day started pretty badly with one of the guys needing treatment for a Recluse Spider bite, so it was off to the Clinic and Walgreens which took around 3 hours. We were then late on the show and after messing around with some linear storms along the Cold Front near Woodward our attention went South and East towards Elk City for a much bigger Supercell. We went South from Elk and to our west was a massive HP Storm with Bottle Green sky filled with large hail and big Cg's. Got pushed east and then went south down some dirt roads, unfortunately as the cell was about to drop the Clinton Tornado my back left tyre blew completely down to the metal rim which cost us valuable time. We missed the Tornado by literally 5 miles, some very nice hearted Oklahomans helped up change the tyre and we still had time to intercept another few Supercells North of Elk City as darkness came. All in all a busted day for Tornadoes but better to get the bad luck out of the way all in 1 go!
Thursday, 1 July 2010
Started Tuesday 11th May in Norman with a Chase Target of Woodward, should have stuck to this as the Storm of the Day went up just before Sunset near there after finally winning the battle against the Strong Cap. Initially we headed down towards Lawton but anything that tried to go up down there hit some sort of Inversion and just eroded away with Orphan Anvils floating across the Sky. Headed back North and Gassed up in Cordell when one Storm finally looked the business, guess where it was yep Woodward. Anyhow this was only about 1 hour ahead of us so we made it in plenty of time to witness a beautiful LP Supercell spinning above our heads, some large hail was found on it's NE Flank so we stayed away from that, followed the Storm until she died off and headed back to Enid for the Night in readiness for another Oklahoma Risk tomorrow. Some Pics of the LP Supercell.