May 19th, 2013 by William Reid
Another quick pic for now — on Sunday, May 19th, we caught a supercell which went tornadic as it approached Wichita, KS. The image below was the second tornado that we caught near Viola (southwest of Wichita). This slender and slinky tornado lasted a couple of minutes. About 5 minutes prior, we viewed another brief tornado a little southwest of Viola.
By the way, on the 18th, we chose storms poorly, passed by a couple of developing cells that later produced nice tornadoes, and busted with outflow linear junk from Coldwater to Medicine Lodge. On the 17th we were near Hyannis, NE, and had an absolutely fabulous structure and lightning and mammatus and sunset color display. Images will be posted sometime…
Posted in 2013, Tornadoes | No Comments »
May 15th, 2013 by William Reid
Our Tempest Tours chase group began this chase day in Abilene, with a target area not too far away, a county or two or three to the north of Abilene. We watched a mid-afternoon storm go up near Anson, TX. It looked good for 15 minutes, and then went downhill fast. We were left with nothing…except for new convection going up about 80 miles to our east. I almost elected to call off the chase or hope for something new and easy to catch later, in the western part of the severe watch box, but the storm towers to the east looked good and were not moving east too quickly. It was about 5 p.m., with plenty of daylight left. One cell between Breckenridge and Mineral Wells was due east of us, right down U.S. 180. We were in Albany, more than 60 miles away, but we pressed eastward with the faint hope that we could get close to the rear end of the supercell. Near 7 p.m. we cruised through Mineral Wells, which was littered with baseball-sized hailstones, some larger. Folks were just coming outside to check for damage. A good-looking meso was just southeast of town —- we had made it! I wasn’t sure whether to head east or south from Mineral Wells — the east road led into the core — not good — the south road might work for a while. At the last second I found the road which led southeast to Millsap, which was perfect! We came right up to the tightly wound-up tornado mesocyclone area. There was no tornado yet. We started first east from Millsap, but then switched to Fairview Road, I think, which heads roughly east-southeast from Millsap. About a mile or so from Millsap, rapidly rotating rain curtains were circulating around a funnel cloud just to our south —- no more than a mile away. Seconds later some debris was kicked up, and I was concerned that the thing was headed for us! My van scooted east a half mile and found a great view to the west of the tornado. We were able to stay and watch in relative comfort, as the tornado actually moved slowly to the west or northwest.
Later, this storm and a second one produced larger tornadoes which have caused injury and death south of Fort Worth, unfortunately. Our group rode out a hailstorm in Cresson around 9 p.m. and we found a motel in town to unwind. Here is a sample of photos —- I shot some tornado video with the Z1U and managed plenty of decent stills. First still below is the north side of the meso over Millsap. Next is a 21mm wide angle looking west during the early stages of the 6-8 minute tornado, then a zoom, and a wide angle of the rope-out.
Posted in 2013, Tornadoes | No Comments »
May 10th, 2013 by William Reid
On Friday, May 10, we lunched in Rocksprings, headed south to Del Rio, and killed a storm that was immigrating into the U.S. near El Indio, TX. Another batch of convection lured us north towards Uvalde. We didn’t quite make it that far, as a severe cell emerged from the mess and surged southeastward with great alacrity, as my 5th grade teacher would say. This thing raised the dust skyward on its way to Pearsall, with our group barely out of its grasp. 8 p.m. rush-hour traffic in tiny Pearsall caused some delay, and large hail stones became part of the dusty mix. Fortunately we escaped to the southeast unscathed (baseball-sized hail was reported in town), but it was a frantic scene! We topped off the evening shooting lightning in the retreating storm cell near Charlotte, had a Chilis dinner and got in to San Antonio at midnight. Another long chase day in the books…
Posted in 2013 | No Comments »