Funnelfest

Yesterday’s chase ended well after midnight with dinner at IHOP, after a short sleep we headed back to IHOP for breakfast. Breakfast took a bit longer than I liked. My feeling was that we had to get quite far south. Our initial target became Dalhart in Texas but as expected storms formed while we were still on the road.

We targeted the developments east of Amarillo yet the best storm seemed to be on a path that would make it hard to track due to the lack of roads. Fortunately the storm turned a bit and we started to chase it.

shearf
Small shear funnel between the poles

It developed a brief shear funnel and during one of our stops in a location where the storm had already passed I found a large spiked hailstone.

hailThere were a few occasions were a tornado seemed to be close but it did not happen. We got overrun by the core of a new cell which we had to wait out.

After it passed the whole complex became a mess without any organization and we started to head for our hotel and stopped briefly at a gas station in Canadian (Texas). When we were about to leave we heard the storm had become better organized and had dropped a tornado. We sped back to it and immediately saw a funnel. We turned around again to stay ahead of the hail core and stopped every now and then, during one of the stops we did see another funnel.

We took a bit more distance and then got a great view on the base of the storm. The inflow of air into the storm was very spectacular, it seemed to be spiraling towards the wallcloud from all directions. Yet another funnel appeared and this one was in fact confirmed as a tornado from another location. We were taking pictures and filming the storm as large and very hard hail started falling so we headed out again.

tornadoDuring this part of the ride the fields around us were bombarded by very close lightning strikes. We stopped again, but no one got out of the car at that point. We did see a couple more funnels but the storm once again lost organization, so we headed for a Dairy Queen to get dinner. Right now we are driving to our motel in Shamrock, accompanied by a great lightning show.

Tomorrow we might be chasing the same area and chances for severe weather might even be higher.

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Daniel

Daniel

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

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