Tuesday 24th May 2022 – Texas (Slight Risk)

Started today in Lubbock and had a very firm target of San Angelo which would be smack bang on the Triple Point and got down their in plenty of time for a nice Lunch. Towers were bubbling away nicely on the boundary around 2pm.

A Storm duly erupted 15 miles west of San Angelo on the triple point and moved slowly North East before stalling and splitting. Structure was really starting to take shape now.

Structure now with Baseball Sized Hail

The Storm then encountered lot of storm mergers so we took Highway 87 south of Town and watched a brief 1 Minute Tornado drop to our West.

The Storm never gained a Tornado Warning even having 88kts of Gate to Gate Shear. I have since sent the radar grabs to NWS San Angelo and we are awaiting a response from them as other chasers also documented the Tornado. After this the main storms grew upscale into a fast moving east moving bow echo so we dropped even further south to a discrete Supercell south of Sonora for the end of the day and a finish in Junction (Texas)

Some nice Mammatus to end the day as well.

Monday 23rd May 2022 – Tx Panhandle (Slight Risk)

We started today in probably the best Hotel of the Trip in Mineral Wells and after looking at models my chase target was west of Lubbock and the town of Morton which as you will later read was not too shabby. After a lunch at Jasons Deli in Lubbock we topped off the cars and headed for Morton to watch the Dryline bubble away just over the border in New Mexico. Todays Set Up was a Surface low on the NM/TX Border and a lifting north warm front transporting in low 60’s just in time dewpoints. One good thing was the morning cloudiness which kept the temperature low at 61f. When Storms fired at 4pm the temperature at Max Heating was only 79f and this had a lot of bearing on what was to come over the next 4 hours, and also a massive thing that made this day come together was a North westward moving Outflow Boundary from early day storms down near Interstate 20 south of Lubbock.

We kept just east of 3 Dryline Storms which were fighting each other for a good 90 minutes, the Storm near Clovis was tempting especially as it stalled on what we now know was the Outflow Boundary. I stopped the car at Sudan and said to the guys we are not moving until I see another 2 radar scans as something was happening here with storm scale movements and what a decision that was to be in the end. Once I saw the Southern Storm stall on the Outflow Boundary we gunned it straight south to get onto the right side of the storm as it was now only a matter of time before this Supercell would latch and start dropping Tornadoes. We had to navigate almost apocolyptic dust storms on the way down. And as soon as we were level with the Storm it latched the boundary and dropped its first tornado.

The annoying thing for me was Morton was my target and also we need to be west or South West of these Cyclic Supercells in the drought hit areas much like the 4th May event, so I was pretty pissed with myself for being SE and not having the totally clear view. This was our view below though with 60mph screaming inflow winds making it hard to stand up at times.

The Structure was off the scale at times and we now had a 1 Mile Wide EF2 Wedge Tornado just 2 miles in front of us moving at us.

But still not as good as the view from the un dusty side from Tori Jane below

We then moved West to be just behind the Storm and took some large hail sitting in the vault area, the Supercell was now going through some strange processes as it tried to keep on the Outflow Boundary with the Occlusion now travelling SW back towards Morton. This part of the chase now became a massive thank you to Dave Ewoldt who was nowcasting for me and got us the next 3 Tornadoes from this Cyclic beast. The first he actually predicted in a field 4 miles ESE of Morton as the Tornadic part of the storm started moving back to the SE. This was a lovely white cone that dropped in the field with Power Flashes just to our North.

We continued SE towards Whiteface and witnessed another Tornado and started to see the stunning structure of this Supercell.

Amazing Structure Now

We finished the day at Lubbock with 4 Tornadoes in the bag and celebrated into the night, What a Day and just goes to show if all the ingredients come together it can change in an instant.

Saturday 21st May 2022 – Arkansas (Slight Risk)

We started the day in Ardmore and for the first time in 11 years I would be venturing east of I35 and into the Forests of Arkansas. SPC had a 2% Tornado Risk but things would go linear quickly so the plan was to target Little Rock and get on the south end of the Line heading SE. Amazingly and Luckily we stopped 5 miles south of the Tail end Charlie cell and came upon an amazing viewpoint at a Church Car Park to watch.

Storms today were not photogenic and I dont even think I took a picture worthy of the post. One thing I will say is Little Rock is a very run down place to stay with lots of street walkers and we even witnessed a break in at the Local Petrol Station and called the cops. One place I will not be staying in again.

 

 

Wednesday 18th May 2022 – SE Colorado (Slight Risk)

Started the last day of Tour 1 in Garden City and had a Slight Risk in SE Colorado which was perfect for changeover day tomorrow. Weak Upslope flow would fire of borderline Supercells but mainly Multi cells capable of some Hail and Outflow winds. Storms would become more severe when we had to leave them when they encountered better moisture over SW Kansas. We got onto the strongest storm SE Of Limon and core punched it to get in front near Kit Carson we encountered mainly quarter sized hail. Structure was quite good at times so we stopped west of Chivington for some pictures.

We had to let the core go over us just after this around 6pm as we needed to be back into Denver early tomorrow so we missed out on the 75mph moving Haboob which was raking across SW Kansas. But did manage to get some pretty pictures from the west side of the system as it moved away. Once again no Tornadoes and the 2022 drought continues with no Tornadoes now for 3 weeks almost anywhere in the US.

Tuesday 17th May 2022 – Kansas (Slight Risk)

We awoke today in Woodward and my early target was Red Cloud (NE) but after second guessing myself I ended up staying south. I was never interested in the SPC 5% Tornado Risk for NE Kansas and SE Nebraska but today would be one of those frustrating chase days you have when you have a blend of Multi Cells and Transient Supercells where storms evaporate as you go near them only for others to form where you just were. We also missed a weak landspout which we probably could have got west of my original target. This chase will not go down in the History books and it goes down as the one we have once a season. I did manage a structure shot at least just south of Scott City and we ended the day at Garden City (KS)

Sunday 15th May 2022 – Oklahoma (Enhanced Risk)

We awoke today in Wichita and had a target of an area just south of the Tulsa Metro area. Boundaries would be crucial today and where they would line up and today was a very rewarding chase day for me on a Meteorlogical basis. I noticed an Outflow Boundary on the Tulsa Radar moving SW and another boundary on the OK City radar moving from west to east, I plotted a course for an area just south of where both would collide and sat for initiation just south of Bristow (OK).

The Storm of the Day duly erupted just 5 miles from our position and we watched it from a small TCU with Turkey Tower to full blown Supercell within 30 minutes.

The SPC on the 16z Update had also now upgraded the Tornado Risk to 5% and after heading South of Okemah the Storm really started to take shape if a little bit HP in nature and Outflow Dominant.

The Storm was now getting quite dangerous with a barrage of Anvil Cgs landing all around us and a good 20 miles in front of the Storm, one such bolt landed within 50 feet of us hitting a water tower behind us with a deafening crash of thunder. We continued south towards Atoka and by now the 1 discrete Supercell had formed a bowing south moving line segment as it approached the Red River Valley.

We punched back through the core towards our overnight stay at Ardmore dodging numerous trees down in the small country roads, in hindsight we should have blasted north to get some of the best mammatus there had been in years on the West and North side of the complex. But below is a picture of what it looked like.

Saturday 14th May 2022 – Kansas (Slight Risk)

We awoke today in Enid and SPC had a Slight Risk over Kansas with a 2% Tornado Risk. My Target today was between Dodge City and Colby and HRRR showed a few SE Moving Supercells in NW Flow with about 40knts of Bulk Shear which is more than enough for Sustained Storms. We picked the Middle of 3 Supercells and stopped just North of Rozel and watched the Storm move towards us at a snails pace.

We repositioned further South to just north of Kinsley and stopped again, some decent mid level rotation but lack of surface winds was a big factor in anything better happened today, this did look cool though with a Rainado like feature.

We then took some dirt roads North of Greensburg and stopped in Haviland to let the Hail core go right over the top of us which contained some decent 1.75 Inch stones.

Ended the day in Wichita in readiness for tomorrows chase in NE Oklahoma.

Friday 13th May 2022 – Oklahoma (Slight Risk)

We awoke in Brookings South Dakota and it was a very early start knowing we had a 650 mile drive south to try and get onto a few stationery Supercells along a stationery boundary along the Kansas and Oklahoma Border. Having seen these types of set-ups before I really did not want to miss the chance at slow moving structured Supercells moving at 10mph. We went the fast route down I29 Through Iowa, then Missouri the entering NE Kansas and onto the Turnpike at Topeka down towards Wichita. The Cap was holding for us and some attempts at initiation which had failed fell straight into our hands as we headed for just North of Manchester (OK).

A stunning LP Supercell on a diffuse dryline broke the cap around 730pm and we had about 90 minutes to get some chasing in today. As we went South East of the Storm the structure really started to come through, a barber pole 50,000ft Supercell twisting in front of us, the only down side was the lack of lightning. The Storm drifted South east at a snails pace allowing for some lovely pictures to be taken. We continued south towards Jet and then towards Enid which was our overnight location for the night. Some pictures below.

Thursday 12th May 2022 – S Dakota (Moderate Risk)

We awoke in Sioux Falls and SPC had upgraded today to a Moderate Risk mainly for a Derechio and a 10% Hatched Tornado Risk further North and West through Central and North East South Dakota. Similar to the day before the Models were showing an Arc of Supercells moding into a east moving Derechio and another Line of Supercells further west nearer the NE Moving Surface Low. Again it was a Warm Front play and crucially today we needed the Derechio to be further south east and delayed to actually not let it cut off the warm easterly inflow into our discrete storms.

My target today was between Huron and Aberdeen and Storms had already fired in Central Southern Nebraska racing North. We really needed something to fire early to the North West of these storms and stay discrete. A few storms did fire and remained discrete but the derechio was rapidly catching up it was a race against time. We followed a Supercell to just south of Aberdeen which looked the part for a bit but just could not get the job done, it really was a grungy mess and I dont even think I took a picture. We were now hearing of power outages across most of Eastern South Dakota and haunting images of Dust Storms and 105mph winds smashing most towns up with trees down and power lines across the road. We even had to get checked into our hotel by torchlight as the hotel had no power in Brookings. Once again a very underwhelming day and what was on the table really did not play out how the models had predicted.

Some images below

 

Wednesday 11th May 2022 – SD & Minnesota (Enhanced Risk)

We started today in LaCrosse Wisconsin and had a firm target of just South of Sioux Falls. SPC went with a 10% Tornado Risk and put an enhanced risk up for the area bounded by NE Nebraska, NW Iowa, SE South Dakota and SW Minnesota. Todays set up was a lifting warm front transporting low 70s dewpoints north and an MCV moving North from SW Kansas, the models were showing an arc of Supercells erupting around the NE side of this MCV.

What actually happened was very frustrating with numerous showers and outflow putting pay to anything discrete early in the day and a huge MCS moving ENE with Hurricane Force gusts on its leading edge. We tried to keep in front on this system heading east along I90 towards Albert lea but everything looked gusty and outflow dominant.

Looking west at the Outflow Dominant part of the advancing MCS and Bow Echo