May 18, 2015 Pecos/Coyanosa TX tornadic supercell

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.

 

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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!

 

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Posted in 2015, Lightning, Supercells, Tornadoes | No Comments »

May 5, 2015 West Texas tornadoes

May 5th, 2015 by William Reid

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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.

 

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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!

 

 

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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?!

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April 4, 2015 Lunar Eclipse at Malibu

April 4th, 2015 by William Reid

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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.

 

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