There was a very pretty tornado in eastern New Mexico today… and we missed it. There were signs of having a possible supercell in the area the tornado formed in the morning, but weak shear, large dewpoint depressions, and the fact that we have to travel up to Nebraska for Sunday’s setup all worked to keep us further north.
We saw storms today, but nothing noteworthy. Missing the tornado affords us an easier travel day tomorrow, which is also laundry day, with an oil change also needed soon.
It would have hurt a lot more if we had not seen several tornadoes already this year, but as with all storms that are missed, we just have to move past it and look for the next storm.
Below is an anticylonic, left-moving supercell that was over southwestern Oklahoma on May 26th. This is the storm that eventually ran into the supercell that produced the tornado near Hydro, OK.
Today’s chase was pretty mundane overall, with tornadic storms hard to come by as we traveled across southeastern Colorado and the Oklahoma and Texas Panhandles.
We will try our luck in the southern Plains one more time tomorrow before the pattern shifts the tornado potential up into the northern Plains next week.
Back on the 27th, we had a couple of visitors while we were getting shots of the storm northwest of Canadian, TX. One of the horses found my camcorder interesting, and decided to get an up close view. I had to pull the camcorder away before he started to lick it.
Aside from terrain issues, it was a very good day for chasing tornadoes as a cyclic supercell dropped multiple twisters near Canadian, TX. There were likely 3 or 4 tornadoes in all, including a large cone tornado that very rapidly developed and lasted for several minutes.
After patiently, but not so patiently, waiting for storms to form in the secondary target of west-central Oklahoma, an outflow boundary from an earlier storm collided with another boundary over western Oklahoma. This caused storms to form across west-central and southwestern Oklahoma, which included a storm that put down a very brief tornado near Hydro, Oklahoma.
We found a viewing area just as the funnel cloud was reaching the ground. The tornado lasted mere seconds before dissipating, but it was enough time for us to get some pictures of it.
Unfortunately, it was a bit too quick for me to get my camcorder going on it, so the video just has the lifting funnel cloud and wall cloud before a storm to the south ran into the tornadic storm. We were also about 15 miles away from the tornado when it dropped, which didn’t help as far as getting good pictures. But hey, it was confirmed to be on the ground while we were watching it, so it definitely counts.
After the mile-wide EF-1 wedge tornado last night, we were hoping for a second miracle storm in Kansas to save the day.
Unfortunately, we ended up on some messy storms in central Kansas, with no tornadoes to be found. We did end up in a tornado warning west of Lindsborg, but nothing came of it.
At least we were able to leave the storms early and get into the hotel at a more reasonable hour. I have been going back through pictures and video to process a bit while I have the time. Below is a lightning shot taken well northeast of Pueblo, CO back on May 22nd.
Day 3 has us spending another night in southwestern Kansas after a long day concluded with large tornadoes northeast of Liberal, KS.
We ended up making a big loop, having gone through Liberal earlier in the day. We have a good deal of pictures and video to go through, but here’s a shot of one of the tornadoes that was near Kismet, KS.
Tomorrow’s post will hopefully be a morning one with a bit more imagery from today’s chase.
A cluster of storms in Colorado quickly lined out early in the afternoon, but we stayed with the stronger area for several hours in order to see if we could sneak in a little mesoscale accident, and it appears that we did, or were quite close.
While there was no persistent condensation funnel over the ground circulation, there was a very clear and distinct rotation in the clouds above a couple of dirt and dust swirls less than a mile away from us. So depending on how you interpret these things, it was either a gustnado or a tornado.
I’ll file it under “maybenado,” just like the similar one that we saw in Texas last year.
The video clip shows a few minutes of my video, followed by a few minutes of James’ video.
So having delayed this post until the very end of the day in the hopes of being able to post a pretty picture, we were able to nab a nice looking supercell south of Limon, CO.
After spending the night in western Kansas, we made the three hour drive to Limon to assess the storm threat for today. After watching storms train over Limon and points west and south, we decided to drop even further south to a storm that was over Pueblo and trying to move east. That was our storm of the day, though other storms in the area did give us some other nice shots that I will share later.
Now in our hotel for the night (we JUST ticked over to midnight in MDT!), we prepare for tomorrow’s nearby target area in hopes that we can get our first tornado of 2015.
Since last evening, we have been driving west towards tomorrow’s target area. That takes us a bit over 1400 miles in 24 hours, then we have to decide where we’re going to chase tomorrow.
I will be making daily posts about our chase progress like I have in previous years. For the third year in a row, the chase crew is comprised of myself, Ian Livingston, and James Hyde.
We’ll have 15 days to capture the best storm imagery we can muster. I have set the over/under tornado count at 3 for this year, though the others are slightly more optimistic. Not the best setup ever going into the next two weeks, but it is certainly looking better than last year.
You following us on Twitter yet? NO?! Well, allow me to remedy that, then. Twitter is our favorite platform for posting storm pics, videos, and other various fun and interesting things we see and experience along the way.
That was a heck of a slight risk day. A reminder that sizable tornado events can happen when tornadoes are expected, no matter what color the map is or how they’re described beforehand in forecasts.
The fourth tornado outbreak of the month — the last two weeks to be more exact — hit (where else?) Texas and Oklahoma on Tuesday. Like most of the larger events of recent, the biggest tornado zones tended to form near the edges of the original expected region. And like others this year, many tornadoes were wrapped in rain or quite “wide” thanks to low cloud bases and abundant low-level moisture.
At least 27 filtered reports of tornadoes have come in thus far. A number of storms produced multiple tornadoes. The region of focus was the Red River yet again. Those folks can’t catch a break from storms and flooding of late.
As videos trickle in with this system, we’ll update this post.
East of Austin