3 Tornado Chase day
As a storm chaser sometimes everything goes your way and you get to chase a tornado that tracks along a clear open road with great visibility. Today was one of those days.
I started the morning in the gym pounding away with weights as I often do when chasing. I have a membership to Anytime Fitness now days so it is much easier to find a gym and my membership pays for all the clubs in the US, which works great for me while I am out chasing.
Based on weather data the best area looked to be in the Plainview Texas area to me so that is where I first setup to watch the storms build. The SPC Sounding Analysis that day showed good potential for tornadoes. Even though storms were blowing up further east I stayed put playing it as far west as possible and yet able to intercept storms.
The chances for tornadoes looked great, a 10% hatched area is usually pretty active for severe storms and tornadoes. Plainview I believed gave me the best chance today. I was on the furthest west I could be and still be in the 10% area. It wasn’t long into the afternoon that the storms started to blow up around me and some slightly to the east of my location.
Tornado Watch Box was issued and went up around 3:45 pm. That’s when the storms really started to kick in. Some chasers played further east on the first storms, but I was still confident that the far west side of the watch box was going to be the best place possible, and as it turned out, I was right on. Sometimes things just go you way.
The first tornado I filmed and you can see it in my video below was a long twisty rope tornado I filmed on road 207. But when that roped out it was clear the more powerful part of the storm was east another 5 miles, so I quickly headed east on TX HWY 97 where I ran into about 10 other storm chasers, and Reed Timmer in his Dominator. That few chasers on a great tornadic storm never happens anymore, way more chasers now days. Here, a large cone shaped tornado had just formed just to the north of HWY 97 and was slowly moving towards the road where I first started to get some great video of now my 2nd tornado of the day.
It slowly inched its way to the road and crossed less than 40 yards from me taking down power lines and causing sparks to fly. That’s Reed’s Dominator right next to the power flashes. It was pretty exciting and now my adrenaline really kicked in gear.
Now the tornado was on my right and staying close to 97, it allowed me to shoot some incredible video of it as it changed shapes and danced along the highway. As I drove alongside of it if you watch my video you can see it continued to take down power lines right next to my car. They were being sucked towards the tornado, it was crazy.
The many shapes the tornado took was a wonder to behold. Being so close to it was mesmerizing. Watching the spinning funnel up close. I had never seen anything like this before. The video is crisp and clear with no rain blocking my view. I hoped it would stay next to the road, but it slowly moved further south.
It was one of those storm chase days where the road was great, the tornado was easy to see in the clear air with nothing hindering my view except the occasional building. Days like this are rare, and as a storm chaser you know to take it all in, it may be a long time before you get this clear of a shot again.
Before it completely roped out a second tornado had formed on top of my car and slowly moved over to my right where I was able to film my now 3rd tornado of the day. I was able to get some video of both in my view for a short time before the new one vanished and the large one now roped out completely.
Watch the exciting video below. I did sell all rights to this video so if you are interested in it please contact them. “Footage copyright owned by RockHouse Images, LLC”.
SPC Tornado reports Texas
|8 NE CEDAR HILL
|STORM CHASERS AND SKYWARN SPOTTERS OBSERVED A BRIEF TORNADO WEST OF FLOMONT. TIME AND LOCATION ARE PRELIM ESTIMATES. (LUB)
|2 E CEDAR HILL
|NEAR INTERSECTION OF TX 97 AND CR241. SEVERAL REPORTS OF 2 TORNADOES AT THE SAME TIME IN THE VICINITY BY SPOTTERS…CHASERS…ETC. (LUB)
|3 E CEDAR HILL
|SATELLITE TORNADO PHOTOGRAPHED BY STORM CHASERS. TIME AND LOCATION ESTIMATED. (LUB)
|7 ESE CEDAR HILL
|LARGE TORNADO PHOTOGRAPHED BY STORM CHASERS SOUTH OF TX HWY 97. TIME ESTIMATED 650 657 PM (LUB)
Don’t forget to read Tornado Tim’s exciting new book.