It’s like Amarillo, all over again

A great and successful chase today! We visited three states and did see three tornadoes!

The morning in Amarillo started cold and foggy, nothing was indicative of the things that were to come.

cold

We headed for the Cracker Barrel for breakfast after which we continued towards Stratford in Northern Texas were we expected to be waiting for quite a while before storms would fire.

monkey

cracker

They did fire quite early however and we continued on the Boise City in Oklahoma and from there on to Campo in Colorado. In Campo we took a dirt road west to approach the storms. After a few miles the base became visible  with some nice lowerings clearly separated from the rain shaft. Rock solid Cumulus towered up above it.

updraft

The storm approached slowly, after a while the rain reached and having to backtrack on the dirt road we had no other option then to leave. As we did so some beautiful mammatus appeared in the anvil of the storm.

mama

While trying to stay ahead of the storm, already back in Oklahoma, we spotted a large funnel, partly hidden in the rain just south of the lowering we were actually watching.

mirjamWe could not see whether it was making contact with the ground but this was confirmed by other chasers. The tornado remained for at least 10 minutes, though it stayed half hidden in the rain.

tornado1Once again we had to relocate and we actually were overtaken by white streams of rain sweeping across the road briefly. As we left the rain we were able to gain ground on the storm and briefly get out the car. At this point the storm produced it’s second tornado, yet from our location it was just a slightly darker cone shape within the storm.

Once again, we moved on. Now the base of a storm behind the original storm appeared in the distance and it did drop a tornado as well. While we were getting out of the car it briefly had a thin rope extending towards the ground.
tornado3The rotation on the storm got much weaker as we approached it and we tried to let it pass over us while we were taking shelter in a carwash yet it passed to far to the north for it to drop some hail on us.

Two new storms formed and one started to look really promising but our only approach to it was by using dirt roads. After conquering a few muddy puddles we encountered one that would surely have gotten the best of us so we gave up.

After a quick burger in Dumas we headed back to Amarillo, accompanied by a decent lightning storm from the departing cells.

Tomorrow there is an enhanced risk in central Texas, but we might actually skip that to reposition for Wednesday.

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Daniel

Daniel

Computer scientist with a passion for nature. Driven by curiosity. Reaching for the random.

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