Thompson's Storm Chase Diary
23nd May 2007 - Lipscomb County, Texas, HP
photos (except video
stills ) clickable for larger size
A supercell forms just west of Woodward,
Rotating updraft near Laverne
After a night in Salina, Kansas I checked the models and predictions
for the 23rd. A moderate tornado risk watch was over the northern Texas
I did not think that the drive down to Texas Panhandle would be that
long, again I was wrong. I headed southwest through towns I had only
seen in books and TV, Great Bend, and Dodge City. I was originally
to keep heading straight SW, but I liked what I saw southwards.
I hung around Woodward for a while trying to access the situation.
Severe storm warnings went out for a large storm in the NE Texas
panhandle. However a cell exploded ( and I mean exploded ) just west of
Woodward. Looking south I could see that the anvil outflow
from the panhandle storm would eventually kill my storm, but at this
early stage the Oklahoma cell was sitting free. I could not resist, I
knew 90% of the either chasers were in Texas, so I went for the
Oklahoma=lahoma cell. The gamble near paid. There were a few chasers on
cell not many, but one had doppler and the news report was quite stern
in its warning that rapid rotation was occurring in the cell.
I chased the cell northwards and encountered very large hail on the
ground. Despite the obvious rotation, no tornado developed. By now the
anvil mass from the panhandle storms was invading and convection
shutting down, therefore it was time to join the crowd in Texas.
I headed SW into Texas. At first there was little structure to be seen,
other than an anvil stretching way upstream, but slowly a very long
inflow band appeared. When I mean long I mean many, many
miles or kilometres. I have never seen such inflow before in my life.
Along with scores of other chasers I pulled over and watched this slow
moving storm. It was obvious that anything, or anyone in the core was
getting battered - later reports suggested upwards of 6 inches of rain
Despite the structure the storm simply refused to drop a tornado. I
started to get dark and the storm even seemed to realise this weakening
rapidly and moving off NE.
headed back to Woodward to spend the night. It appeared that every
other chaser on the face of the earth had similar intent I failed to
find a single room. So I hit the road yet again, finally finding a room
in Clinton, Oklahoma at midnight.