Monday, May 25, 2015

May 24 2015

The SPC outlook showed that we had to head back north a ways to get into position for todays storms again a 5% tornado risk, with decent CAPE and shear we hoped that our long trek south yesterday would bring about some chase success.
We headed to Denton where we were pretty much in the bulls eye of where we needed to be and played the waiting game hoping for storms to fire. However the cap proved to be the winner today as the daytime heating was not sufficient to prevent todays chase from being a total bust.
Unbelievably storms fired in Kansas which was not even in the risk area for today, this supercell went onto produce a wedge tornado after dark which fortunately missed all residential
areas during it's life cycle.
What is it this year with storms firing outside the risk zones and storms not initiating where the models suggest they should?
We eventually headed to Shamrock for the night. Hopefully tomorrow will bring better luck for us.

May 23 2015

Looking at the early morning forecast models the potential for Colorado seemed weaker than in central Texas as there looked to be mostly a chance of isolated storms embedded in rain in our area.
This meant that today would be a long travel day as we headed south for better storm potential in central/north Texas tomorrow.
We set off for our target of Witchita Falls and after a long days travel we eventually reached there at 11.30 pm. Let hope our luck changes tomorrow...

May 22 2015

We had two target areas today. The potential seemed the same both with 5% tornado risk, however one was in SW Texas and the other in NE Colorado.
Storms in Colorado tend to be more photogenic if they fire so we decided to blast north and head for those.
We arrived in Colorado and headed to the town of Hugo to watch the storms initiate. We then tracked it through Genoa, but it was struggling to get organised due to a lack of moisture. We headed back further west towards the town of Bethune where we witnessed a brief funnel cloud, some other chasers reported it as a brief tornado which we could not verify from our position. It seemed improbable to us as we could see no visible rotation.
Amazingly the radar images of the storm intensified showing a lot of rotation with a meso marker/TVS marker visible. We could not wee any of this looking at the skies, in fact the storm seemed to be linear and generally dying, but radar indicated strong rotation still with a likely tornado imminent.
We eventually called off the chase and headed to Burlington. This is becoming one of the most frustrating chase seasons we have had. It is just too cold over the plains right now, I am not quite sure how any storms are firing!.

Friday, May 22, 2015

May 21 2015

This cold front is driving us crazy, it is currently 7 degrees here in Amarillo and the blocking pattern is preventing the moisture from sweeping the plains to initiate the storms that we have come to chase. There are still isolated storms firing but they are so insignificant that they are very tough to target.
We decided to head to the south western area of the Palo Duro Canyon and take some photographs in this photogenic region.
Tomorrow there is an increased level of storm activity possible as the moisture and heat will begin to move in. We are in a good position to head either north or south for whatever setup looks best.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

May 20 2015

There was a slight chance of storms in SW Texas today but in reality the potential was too low and had we headed down to the severe weather area we would most likely put ourselves out of position for chases later in the week.

We decided to travel north to Amarillo, and visit the Big Texan, where we enjoyed some beer & steak. One of our chase group decided to attempt the famous 72oz steak and managed to consume 56oz, a great effort.

There is currently a stable cold front over most of the plains that is cutting off the flow of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and inhibiting storm potential.

May 19 2015

Today’s set up was pretty much the same as yesterdays. We had a slight risk of severe storms in our target area with CAPE values at around 2500 but the tornado risk had increased to 5%.

We headed north towards the vicinity of Childress and waited for the storms to initiate. A series of storms eventually did fire, however the line of storms began to merge into a big HP squall which produced a lot of precipitation with small embedded hail. We eventually came out of the precip and witnessed some nice structure as we looked back at the storm.

Most of the lightning it produced was embedded in rain and difficult to photograph, so we finally headed to Childress for the night, and viewed the storm from the motel.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

May 18 2015

Today was our first official chase day of the trip. There was only a slight risk of significant weather within our target area with a 2% risk of tornadoes.
We headed south out of Childress towards our target town of Pecos. As we approached the town a few cell began to pop up. The storms were high based which meant that the main threat was of large hail of around 3 inches. As we entered the town we decided to take shelter as the core was about to hit us. As it did we encountered hail of around an inch as the main core of the storm passed to our south at the last minute.
We decided to drive south where we witnessed hail drifts the covered the entire road several inches thick, it was like driving through snow!.
We decided to head  north and came across intense flooding close to the town of Coyanosa. We eventually navigated our way through it before heading to Odessa for the night.
Whilst in Odessa the storm came over us producing some significant lightning which we attempted to photograph until it passed over us and headed north.

Monday, May 18, 2015

May 17 2015

We had hoped that there would have initially been active weather to chase in our vicinity but it became obvious last night that the storm system would have pushed too far to our east and out of range. After the storms blew through today, our area was caught in the cold outflow, meaning we were stuck on the wrong side of the storms.
We decided to head south and relocate in Childress, TX to be in position for the slight risks that would be around that area for the next 2 days.
Let us see what tomorrow brings in our first active chase of the trip.

May 16 2015

We arrived to our chase base in Norman, OK, after a pretty uneventful flight for a change. We didn't get delayed or struck by lightning whilst flying in to OKC this year.
Nevertheless, we arrived once again on an active weather outbreak day for the third year in succession. Severe weather had impacted  the States of Oklahoma and Texas with several tornadoes reported.
As we drove to Norman we could see lightning to our SW as the storm progressively followed us home. As we got there and checked in, the storm had virtually caught us, so we grabbed our gear and documented the storm as it came right over us. Eventually it pushed on to the east and we hit the hay at about 5.30 UK time.