The 1st Chase of the 2007 Season took us for a risk down into the Texas Hill Country. We picked up a nice HP Supercell near to Coleman (Tx) and tracked this Southward moving Storm all the way to Frederickburg. At times it was dropping Softball sized Hail near Lampassass. At about 830pm a brief Tornado touched down about 10 Miles to the North West of Frederickburg. Ended the day with a Fajita meal at Chilli's and booked into the Super8 Motel.
Tuesday, 23 March 2010
We started this day at the Big Texan in Amarillo with high hopes of something severe today with the SPC Going with a Moderate Risk across the Oklahoma Panhandle and South Western Kansas all the way up through Nebraska (A pretty big area) After lunching in Dodge City we were aware we needed to get further South and East due to us being behind the Dryline. After grabbing some Petrol in St John (Ks) a few Supercells went up near to Woodward (Ok) We blasted South and West quickly and got to the storms within an Hour. These were a pair of Fantastic looking LP Supercell storms that had earlier dropped the Cone Tornado near Woodward. Another new Supercell (That would become the Greensburg EF5) Went up about 40 miles further to the West, the Updraught on this was amazing from our position to the east. We headed back North after taking pictures of the wonderful Lp's in the Setting Sun with a view to Chase but after a Vote decided Night time Chasing would not happen as not all 6 of us wanted to chase a Now dangerous Storm at night. So we retreated to Alva to grab some dinner. As I went outside the Restaurant I knew something bad was happening to my North West, continueous Lightning and incredible inflow winds were blowing from my South East towards this storm, at a guess the winds were about 50mph and Hot! After eating we went further North to try for some Lightning pics but winds were too strong to even take a picture and the Lightning was just strobing, at points it was constant daylight. When we got back to the Hotel lines of Police, Ambulances and National Guard were streaming West towards Haviland and Greensburg.....a sobering time for our group and showing the dangers of these storms.
Pic 1 - LP Supercell Storm
Pic 2 - Sunset
Pic 3 - Anti Crep Rays
We awoke to the news that Greensburg had been devastated just 9 hours earlier by an EF5 So today was going to be a hard chase as the High Risk was much in the same area as the day before from the Oklahoma Panhandle up through South Western Kansas. Storms started early this day and the trick was to pick them off as they raced at 55mph North Eastwards, we got suckered by a great looking storm and followed it all the way up to the I-70 Corridoor. If we had held back we would have seen many Tornadoes, as it was we saw a brief Tornado at Stafford before ending the day at Ellsworth (Ks) This was not the end of the day though as the Tornadoes continued after dark and I had to get us out of the way at around 10pm as a Wedge Tornado was on the ground to our South West doing damage, this destroyed a trailer park about 1 mile to our North West and unfortunately killed 2 eldery people. At times the chase was ridiculous with over 500 Chase vehicles on the roads, we were even stuck in a traffic jam for about 30 minutes at one point, High Risks that fall on a Saturday are not good!
Started the day in Ellsworth (Ks) knackered after the High Risk day of Saturday. Awoke to a Severe Storm with incredible Hail Roar which had 4 of us just awe inspired (It sounded like hundreds of washing machines) Today was going to be a another tough chase as the risk area was near to Greensburg that had been devastated 2 days earlier by a 1.8 Mile wide EF5 Wedge Tornado. We picked our way South through lots of damage in the Great Bend area and just to the west of Greensburg on Highway 183. We made it to Medicine Lodge and headed South and west to a storm tracking along the Oklahoma / Kansas Border, stopped and took a peek into a squall line with embedded Supercells and out of the HP Mess came a pretty wide Wedge Tornado, we followed this East going through a small town that had Tornado sirens blaring, later shot some Lightning just North of Clinton.
This turned out to be a very long day and a very rewarding one as we targeted an area about 250 miles outside the SPC Slight Risk Watch box. Our overnight position of Childress got pumelled by a line of severe storms at 345am. After breakfast we headed west towards the Caprock escarpment but temps and dews here were awful with 7c and 5c Dewpoints (Brrr)
So we headed much further South and East towards Throckmorton and immediately hit the juicy air, temps climbed to 85f and we picked a 2 Supercells that were ahead of a surging Squall line. We only had about 45 minutes before the squall would eat these two cells up but knew that the pictures later on would be of the mothership variety. When we got to the SE Of the Shackleford storm a rotating Mesocyclone was on the road to our North, this storm had already had 1 Tornado reported with it before we got to it but we followed it for about 30 mins and nothing managed to drop in that time, by now the rampaging squall line was about to gobble it up so we rushed about 20 miles ahead and then looked back in awe and gasped at the UFO Mothership. Ended the day at Wichita Falls.
Today was a Slight risk over NW Texas and we started out from Decatur (Tx) Storms were expected to fire along the I-20 Corridoor and move quickly east so we hung around Jacksboro. After the 1st radar echoes appeared we headed west a little bit and picked up a nice looking cell near to Archer City. We also had a few run ins with the local wildlife, the horse was okay but i drew the line at the Brown Tarantula. Stopped at a very picturesque location to watch a linear type storm that did a one point have a Wall cloud but no Tornado today.
Pic 1 - Storm Approaching
Pic 2 - Jacksboro Fire Station
Pic 3 & 4 - The local Wildlife
Monday, 22 March 2010
Started the day at Murdo at a really nice Swiss Style Hotel (Days Inn) just off the I-90. Todays chase would take us further west into Montana where the main problems are lack of radar coverage and 1 road every 100 miles. Got onto a nice Severe storm just east of Billings and followed it back east on the onyl road avaliable, this storm had a very nice hail core and we ended the day at Gillette (Wyoming)
Started the day in Gillette (Wyoming) and headed south towards Cheyenne and Denver for front range storms. Most of the storms were not getting above severe levels until 1 storm later in the day started to get it's act together near Greeley. We observed a brief Tornado with this storm and at one point the Barons was showing 5 areas of rotation. Not bad for a Text risk day from the SPC. Ended the day at Limon with a quiet spell coming up and some sightseeing looking likely.
Sunday, 21 March 2010
We had high hopes for today with a dual threat of South Dakota or Nebraska. We started the day from Denver (Co) early and myself and Tony Gilbert hooked up with Dave Ewoldt near to Valentine (Ne) for lunch. One storm which had fired on the Wyoming foothills started to trundle towards the Badlands National Park in South Dakota. We initially discounted this storm but it soon became the real deal and put a Landspout Tornado down about 40 Miles to our West. By the time we had reached Murdo on the I-90 And started to head South and West to intercept it had already started to go down hill, saw some nice Gustnadoes and a few funnel clouds but blew this storm off later on to target the 2nd risk of the day (Namely the Nebraska risk) which was steadily moving towards us from the South. Got some nice Mammatus pictures of the storms from the Western side but that was all.
Pic 1 - Knub Funnel Cloud
Pic 2 & 3 - Storm starting to Gust Out
Pic 4 - Mammatus from Nebraska Storms
The last chase of the 2007 season for me and a High Risk day. We blew off the Iowa & Minnesota Risk to chase in SE Kansas as we had to get flights back early the next day. Started in C Nebraska and drove down towards SE Kansas. The cap was really beginning to look like it would win out but finally at 830pm a LP Supercell fired near to Coffeyville and we had something to chase as last, but with only 45 minutes of daylight left it was going to have to do something pretty sharpish. Alas it could not do anything of note and after nearly getting us killed on a level crossing with a 200 carriage train trundling towards us we called it a night and stopped off in Independence (Ks) A bit of a let down for a High Risk day.
1st Chase day for 2008 and a nice Moderate Risk for NE Oklahoma and SE Kansas. We started out in Wichita (Ks) with a general risk area of SE Kansas. Once the dryline fired up we tracked a healthy looking Supercell which did not seem to move from the Freedonia area all evening, no Tornadoes were reported on this storm but plenty of Tornadic Supercells sprung up later in the day near to Bartlesville and Tulsa. These tracked towards our Overnight location of Independence (Ks) and gave us a nice overnight MCS.
Started this day in Garden City (Ks) with a general risk area from Western Kansas down through the Oklahoma Panhandle and Eastern New Mexico. We got onto a fantastic looking storm near to Dumas, this Supercell had started out life in the Hills of New Mexico and rolled onto the Oklahoma Panhandle moving North Eastwards towards South Western Kansas. The storm really cranked up near to Hooker(Ok) where it put down numerous Funnel Clouds and a Landspout Tornado. One of the darkest Storms I have ever seen and very beautiful with the white chalk road we had in front of it.
Started the day in Liberal (Ks) with a general risk area all the way from Lubbock upto Amarillo!
After a long drive South finally picked up a few Severe storms just east of Lubbock. These had some decent rotation but moreso some evil Hail cores with 3" Stones in a few of them. Tracked these east and then performed a few core punches for Michael Fish to sample some hail, never bigger than Nickel sized with maybe a few golfballs. Ended the day at Abilene.
Pic 1 - Line of Severe storms to our South
Pic 2 - Our position between the 2 Supercells
Pic 3 - Green Hail Cores
Pic 3 - Green Hail Cores
Pic 1 -
Started the day in Cool and Cloudy Abilene and had to get North and East to get into the Juicy Air, so made our way towards DFW On the I-20 And then upto Gainsville for lunch. Storms initiated over SW Oklahoma so after lunch we headed North towards Ardmore and intercepted along Highway 7 in Oklahoma. Followed a nice Supercell along with the DOW Armada back east towards I-35 Until this gusted out, then picked up another LP Supercell further SE back over the Red river valley near Sherman. Not much chance of Tornadoes today but some very picturesque Gust fronts and Roll Clouds today. Ended the day in Sherman (Tx) before our SPC Visit the next day in Norman.
Pic 1 - Rainbow over Harvested Field
Pic 2 & 3 - Gust Front Features
Pic 4 - 1st Storm gusting out
Pic 5 - Our position on Barons
Started the day in Longview Eastern Texas with a chase target of Little Rock. After having lunch there one Supercell to get really interesting, just South of Little Rock we observed a Solid Rotating Wall Cloud and almost took a direct hit from a Cg strike (Video Clip attached) This storm rapidly went Tornado warned so we took off south to Pine Bluff and then caught back up with it east of the River just West of Stuttgart. It was here that a huge Blue Cone Tornado (EF3) Crossed the road in front of us and devastated the south side of Stuttgart. Most of the south side was severely damaged, we stayed the night in the Super 8 that eventually restored power from generators.
Big lack of Pictures today as it was pretty grungy and the temp/dewpoints were pretty close.
Friday, 19 March 2010
Started this day in Decatur (Tx) with a Chase Target of W Texas between Seminole and Colorado City. Big Supercell went up in the Midland area and we got onto it near to Big Spring. We observed a Nice Dusty Tornado with this Storm and then got pelted with Golf Ball Sized Hail. The drive back East along the I-20 Was uneventful and we ended the day at Lampasas to shoot some Lightning and get some Texas BBQ!
Started the day in Dodge City and had 2 possible targets for day - 1 in Wyoming or Colorado for some Dryline action. After refuelling in Burlington our minds were made up due to some Towers going up along the dryline which was about 30 miles to our West. Got on some fun looking storms with some Nickel sized hail and then the fun began just before Sunset as 1 Storm in particular went Severe warned and had some rotation, followed and photographed this Supercell and one or 2 suspicious lowerings looked the real deal, this storm chased us back to Burlington where we got some Lightning pics and then let the whole MCS Go over the Hotel whist eating Mcdonalds! Certainly a good day for a Slight Risk! Now our attention shifts to a notable 2 day Outbreak being progged by the models for Kansas on the 22nd and 23rd May
Pic 1 - Hail Core right over our location
Pic 2 - Andy got out and inspected the size
Pic 3 - Nice Green tinge to the sky
Pic 4 - Suspicious Lowering near Sielbert (Co)
Pic 5 - Poor Car took a Battering
Pic 6 - Lightning Pic
This was the be the start of a very active period in Kansas. We started from Burlington (Co) with a chase Target of Garden City (Ks). SPC Had issued a High Risk for today and whilst on route to target we got word of an EF4 Tornado hitting the outskirts of Denver in a place called Westminster. Today would turn out to be quite challenging in more way than one, after falling arse over tit into a Corn field and stabbing every part of my body with needle husks we went after the 1st Supercell and followed it North. As we approached Hoxie we took a paved road and were just South of a developing Multi Vortex Tornado, this road just turned to quicksand and all 3 cars in the convoy hit the ditch, with the Tornado churning in the field about 3 Miles to our North there was nothing we could do but find a friendly farmer to bring his Big green John Deere tractor and tow us out and back to tarmac. As we went back west another Tornado from the storm to our south crossed the road in front of us and took the roof off a house. The day was not done with us yet with another close shave with a Tornado to the South of Wakeeney and horrendous driving conditions along I-80, RFD Winds were between 70-80mph with hail hitting us all the way to Hays where we called it a day.
Pic 2 - 1st Supercell near Garden City
Pic 3 - Driving under the Meso just before Hoxie Tornado
Pic 4 - Nick and Dave "Muddy" Ewoldt
Pic 5 - Another Kansas Supercell
This is single handedly my best Chase day ever to date. The day started early at around 5am with a line of Severe Tornado warned storms moving through our overnight location of Hays (Ks) where we had stayed after our 2 Tornadoes from the 22nd May High Risk the day before. After nearly getting evacuated from the Hotel and getting some seriously close Cg's landing in the car park outside we got up for breakfast early. Out Chase target was much the same as the day before just South of a Stalled Warm Front that would be the focus for Supercells and plenty of Tornadoes. We meandered down towards Dighton and waited as the 1st Storms fired near Garden City. We punched the core of the 1st Storm East of Dighton and came face to face with a Wedge Tornado about 2 miles to our west, another Satelite Cone Tornado came around the main circulation. After this Tornado occluded we then got Tornado number 3 at 540pm near Shields (Ks). We then located east to Ness City where we saw Tornado number 4 at about 745pm. Then followed another Supercell north towards Hays and saw a Cone Tornado with power flashes near Ellis at 835pm. This day was non stop for about 7 hours and we ended it in Great Bend with more Tornado warned Supercells approaching from the Greensburg area. One of these had a large Tornado on the ground to the SE Of Great Bend with Tornado sirens screaming.
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=EIC9dOu1zUc - Ellis Tornado
Pic 1 - Wedge Tornado near Dighton (Ks)
Pic 2 - Cone Tornado near Shields (Ks)