May 18th, 2015 by William Reid
Here is a quick post for May 18 — our Tempest Tours group observed a slow-moving supercell with really nice structure from about 5 p.m. to near sunset. This was primarily between Pecos and Coyanosa in West Texas. Despite the sparse road network, our E-W road between the two towns was perfect for permitting us a view of the updraft base and “action area” from its east and ENE side. Thus, we could peer into the “notch” when a brief tornado materialized. It lasted only a minute or two and was rather small.
There may have been one other brief tornado with the supercell, but we could not see it. The storm became HP and a little out-flowy, but the impressive structure continued. Here are a few more quick shots…a more detailed account will be available eventually!
Posted in 2015, Lightning, Supercells, Tornadoes | No Comments »
May 5th, 2015 by William Reid
WOW is about all I can say! We hit the jackpot today. Our tour group, with Chad Cowan and Ron Riemersma as guides/drivers, intercepted two tornadic supercells. The first one was north of Big Spring, TX…a little north of Fairview in Howard County. The tornado persisted for a good 10 to 15 minutes, I think, and was beneath a soda-can updraft. The road on which we chase it worked perfectly—-right along-side this thing! We were very fortunate to catch this storm as it formed a little early in the afternoon as we were headed to Lamesa. We got sidetracked by the developing storm…which quickly became tornadic after we got into position.
After this storm weakened, we went northwest, back to the boundary, which separated the worked-over air (from the morning storms) from the not-so-worked-over air to its south. Plenty of sunshine was now working on this area in the late afternoon. We scooted from Snyder to Gail and north to Post, and a little farther north, to south of a little/nothing town called Caprock (south of Ralls, TX). We watched a rather mediocre updraft struggle for a bit, well to our west. It was in the right spot, though. It was on the boundary and nice southeasterlies with 62F dew points were feeding it. We tried a road to go west, but it went from “kind-of” paved to mud and we backed out of there. After another few miles north, we were on the Caprock flats with a good view of the strengthening storm and ominous base to the west and northwest. I set up the Canons on two tripods, a tornado formed a couple of miles to our NNW, and rotated around us to our N, NE, and E, fizzling out a couple of miles to our east! Unreal! While to our north, there were two at once, as one weakened and another formed. I was frantically getting iPhone pics at this time. One of my camera batteries died, but the one with the long lens was still going, and I got some great shots at 70mm. The Canon 5D and 6D video is pretty darn impressive. Enjoy a few of these “quick-and-dirty” images!
I have chased since 1991 and had never had a tornado on my birthday —- which is May 6. This “Ralls” tornado occurred early on May 6, Zulu time…does that count as a birthday tornado?!
Posted in 2015, Tornadoes | No Comments »
April 4th, 2015 by William Reid
Another lunar eclipse and blood moon this morning, and skies were mostly clear here in the L.A. area. So, I rose early and drove to Mailbu for a few images.
Posted in 2015, Astronomy | No Comments »