|The second and shorter storm chase expedition to the US Great Plains for June 2005 is completed. This special trip was made by myself in spite of a rather quiet may tornado-wise. This trip was from June 9 to June 13 with a total of 5 travel days, of which, 3 of these days were available for chasing (first and last days were a travel days). In these days, there were 3 chase days and 2 travel days. I flew into Dallas late on the evening of June 9 and chased until June 13, 2005 where I returned on the afternoon back to Florida. June 12 was a chase-day to remember, which involved a cyclic supercell that produced at LEAST EIGHT tornadoes! This was my seventh trip dedicated to severe thunderstorm research in this area, which includes the Great Plains and the Midwestern United States. Keep in mind that this chase log is scientific evidence and portrays my on-going storm chasing research. It has been placed on this page for easy reference and meteorological interests. Please do not plagiarize or copy this document to other sites for distribution.
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|CHASER NAME||HOME CITY||CALLSIGN||CHASE DATES||OCCUPATION|
|CHRIS COLLURA||MIRAMAR, FL||KG4PJN||5-20 TO 5-30||IT CONSULTANT|
The participants below often actively participate in our storm research efforts and deserve appreciation for their great help and severe weather expertise. Some of these chasers may have also caravaned with my group at some point in the trip.
|CHASER NAME||HOME CITY||CALLSIGN||OCCUPATION|
|AMOS MAGLIOCCO||BLOOMINGTON, IN||KC5VPD||WRITER|
|ERIC NGUYEN||NORMAN, OK||KD5HPZ||METEOROLOGIST|
|SCOTT BLAIR||FORT SMITH, AR||KD5KOW||METEOROLOGIST|
|SCOTT CURRENS||NORMAN, OK||KE5AIV||STUDENT|
|STEPHEN MILLER||MCKINNEY, TX||KD5FMI||COMPUTER PROGRAMMER|
Note: There were TWO chase expeditions conducted during spring of 2005! You are currently viewing the SECOND one. To jump directly to the FIRST trip, please click the link provided above.
The following entries are all storm chases and interceptions performed in the Midwest United States from June 9, 2005 to June 13, 2005. This log is based on a storm chasing effort by myself - Chris Collura (Florida Skywarn storm spotter code B036 - KG4PJN). The main chase vehicle was a 2005 Chevy Corsica rental. States chased (includes travel states): OK and TX (2 states). Total mileage: 1,997 Miles!
Communications employed are 2m VHF HAM radio, wireless Internet, and cellular phones. Most importantly, I am pleased with the advantage of the ability to shoot HIGH DEFINITION video! Other state-of-the-art equipment was also employed including video and camera gear, GPS, and a laptop computer for navigation, video / photo editing, and Internet. The main chase duties were ambidexterous, with "multi-tasking" with navigation using the GPS, radio communications, driving many miles, editing footage, and preparing forecast data.
I flew into Dallas, Texas on June 9, 2005 in the late evening (around 11:30 PM) to pick up the rental vehicle, spend the night, and head for the first chase target in NW Oklahoma the next day. My return flight was on June 13 during the afternoon. The chase involved large expanses of the US Great Plains sometimes in the worst driving conditions imaginable, even in very remote regions.
All chases and observations are in chronological order and a chase number is assigned to each entry. Please bear in mind that all observations adhere to modern storm analysis standards and do not include all storms that occurred in a given area for a particular chase period.
Any kind of storm such as a thunderstorm, tornado, waterspout, tropical cyclone, and extratropical storm can be chased or observed. I have tried to keep this log of any storms that I have observed as accurate as possible, while using terms and expressions to abide by those used by most meteorologists and storm spotters today.
Storm chasing and observation can be extremely dangerous and may result in serious injury or death. I have received intermediate and advanced training for storm spotting in 1996. I strongly urge anyone who is to try their hand at storm spotting to get training before doing so. You must also have a good understanding of meteorology and storm dynamics. "If you don't know what you're doing, Don't do it!" Contact your local National Weather Service office for information on storm spotting and about training to become a Skywarn storm Spotter.
June 9 - Arrival day. This was not a chase day as I arrived into Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) airport late evening, made car rental arrangements, and found accomodations in Dallas for the evening. The next day was to be a chase day in Oklahoma / Texas.
June 10 - Chase day. This day had some good and bad points. The good point was lots of shear and boundaries, the bad thing was instability (based on timing of the disturbances). Today involved forecasting very early, leaving Dallas, Texas, then picking a target of Woodward, Oklahoma. Once in Woodward, it appeared convection was developing very early in the day and was not very organized. Some severe thunderstorm clusters were found near Wheeler, Texas then later near Amarillo, Texas. One storm west of Amarillo briefly became supercellular, with a rotating wall cloud. The day ended with a drive back to Oklahoma City from Amarillo to visit friends and spend the night.
June 11 - Today was a better chase day around and south of the Amarillo, Texas area once again. I left Oklahoma City and headed back towards Amarillo, Texas, then south towards Happy, Texas on Interstate 27. After meeting up with Stephen Miller (KD5FMI), Scott Blair (KD5KOW), Amos Magliocco (KC5VPD), Scott Currens (KE5AIV), and Eric Nguyen (KD5HPZ) near Hereford, Texas, we headed for a storm that fired west of Amarillo. The storm became supercellular with rotating wall clouds and funnels before being cut off by a tornadic storm to the south. Stephen Miller and I observed the storm for some time as it came close to producing a tornado. The storm to the south produced some small tornadoes as observed by Amos Magliocco, Scott Blair, Scott Currens, and Eric Nguyen. Steve and I were too late for that storm as severe flash flooding was encountered southeast of Amarillo after all storms evolved to multicell clusters. The night was spend with Stephen Miller and myself in Canyon, Texas. The big day was to be the next and final chase day.
June 12 - BIG chase day. Today was a day many chasers dream about, with a violent cyclic supercell producing just about every type of tornado you can have! Stephen Miller and I forecasted and left Canyon, Texas for the area near and east of Plainview. The setup was complicated by boundaries, but had great shear, instability, and a dryline bulge. First storms developed southeast of Hereford, briefly becoming supercells, but then coming off the boundary and weakening. Another supercell, farther south and more "anchored" on the boundary, rapidly developed as Stephen and I raced towards it west of Spur, Texas. This supercell produced at least EIGHT (yes, 8) tornadoes over nearly a two hour period, including ropes, elephant-trunk, cone, stovepipe, multiple-vortex, and wedge variants! Unfortunately, the multi-vortex tornado did do some damage near the Spur, Texas area. This storm was the high-point of my tornado chasing career. After this storm weakened, another supercell developed to its south west of Aspermont, Texas. This storm was also violent, and rotated hard with its wall cloud, but only came to produce a funnel or two. Stephen Miller and I ended this day with dinner in Stamford, Texas before he headed back to Mc Kinney and myself for the DFW area. Got stopped in Weatherford, Texas for speed trap (80 in 65) on Interstate 20, then proceded back to Dallas for the evening.
June 13 - Travel day. Today was a travel day where the rental vehicle was returned at about 3 PM and my flight back to Orlando, Florida was 5:50 PM. I did manage to check out the Six Flags park in the morning. All and all, except for the speeding, this trip was one to remember! This concludes the SECOND trip for chase expedition 2005 (June).
1). June 10, 1:00 PM - Interception and penetration of a severe thunderstorm north of Wheeler, Texas along Highway 83. The storm was part of a multicell cluster of strong and severe thunderstorms. Frequent lightning, very heavy rains, dime-sized hail (1/2"), and 60-MPH winds were encountered with this storm. The storm was caused by surface heating, an upper-level disturbance, surface low-pressure, and outflow boundaries. A 2005 Chevy Corsica was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder. A tornado watch was in effect for the area until 6 PM CDT.
2). June 10, 5:00 PM - Interception and penetration of a severe thunderstorm north of Amarillo, Texas near Highway 87. The storm was also part a multicell cluster / line of strong and severe thunderstorms. Frequent lightning, very heavy rains, hail up to nickel-sized (3/4"), and 55-MPH winds were encountered with this storm. The storm was caused by surface heating, an upper-level disturbance, surface low-pressure, and outflow boundaries. A 2005 Chevy Corsica was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder. A tornado watch was in effect for the area until 6 PM CDT.
3). June 10, 6:00 PM - Observation of a severe thunderstorm west of Amarillo, Texas just south of Interstate 40. The storm was a small supercell storm that developed a rotating wall cloud before weakening as outflow from storms to its northeast undercut it. Frequent lightning, heavy rains, funnel clouds, and 40-MPH winds were encountered with this storm, although its core was not penetrated. The storm was caused by surface heating, an upper-level disturbance, surface low-pressure, dryline, and outflow boundaries. A 2005 Chevy Corsica was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder. A tornado watch was in effect for the area until 6 PM CDT.
4). June 11, 5:00 PM - Observation of a very severe thunderstorm west of Amarillo, Texas just north of Interstate 40. The storm was a classic supercell storm that developed many wall clouds, some with violent rotation and funnels, and occluded several times before weakening as storms developed to its south. Inflow winds up to 40-MPH and frequent lightning were encountered with this storm before it became linear and outflow dominant. Its core was not penetrated. The storm was caused by surface heating, an upper-level disturbance, surface low-pressure, and dryline / boundary interactions. A 2005 Chevy Corsica was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder and digital still photos. A tornado watch was also in effect for the area until 9 PM CDT.
5). June 11, 7:00 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of a severe thunderstorm west of Vega, Texas near Interstate 40. The storm was an HP supercell that was tornado-warned but weakened when we got to it. The storm produced winds up to about 45-MPH, heavy rains, frequent lightning, and dime to nickel-szed hail. The storm also became outflow dominant with a dramatic shelf-cloud associated with its gust front on the southeast side of the storm. The storm was caused by surface heating, an upper-level disturbance, surface low-pressure, and dryline / boundary interactions. A 2005 Chevy Corsica was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder and digital still photos. A tornado watch was also in effect for the area until 9 PM CDT.
6). June 11, 9:00 PM - Observation of a severe thunderstorm east of Happy, Texas east of Interstate 27. The storm was another supercell storm but did not really do much, neither were we able to get to it as farm-road 1881 was closed due to an overturned sheriff vehicle and flash flooding problems. The storm was not penetrated or reached, but a low wall cloud was observed with it. The storm was caused by surface heating, an upper-level disturbance, surface low-pressure, and outflow boundary interactions. A 2005 Chevy Corsica was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder and digital still photos. A tornado watch was also in effect for the area until 9 PM CDT.
7). June 11, 10:00 PM - Observation and encounter with another severe thunderstorm in Canyon, Texas. This severe thunderstorm was part of a multicell cluster or severe thunderstorms. Heavy rains, vivid and frequent lightning, 50-MPH winds, and nickel-sized (3/4") hail was observed as the storm passed over the motel in Canyon. The storm was caused by surface heating, an upper-level disturbance, surface low-pressure, and outflow boundary interactions. A 2005 Chevy Corsica was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder and digital still photos. A severe thunderstorm watch was also in effect for the area until 5 AM CDT.
8). June 12, 4:00 PM - Observation of a small severe thunderstorm southeast of Hereford, Texas. This storm was a small supercell storm that developed ahead of the dryline near a boundary. The storm produced a wall cloud and funnel, but weakened as it came off the boundary. This storm later did intensify briefly and produce a small tornado / funnel (not observed) until a new supercell storm developed south of it. The storm was caused by surface heating, an upper-level disturbance, surface low-pressure, and dryline / boundary interactions. A 2005 Chevy Corsica was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder and digital still photos. A tornado watch was also in effect for the area until 8 PM CDT.
9). June 12, 6:00 PM - Observation of an extremely severe, dangerous, and tornadic thunderstorm near Spur, Texas. This storm was a cyclic supercell (mostly classic by nature) that became a prolific tornado producer. The storm quickly exploded near Crosbyton, Texas and moved eastwards with a large rotating wall cloud. The storm produced two tornadoes during its first cycle, one a large "stove-pipe" / "elephant trunk" tornado. The storm cycled again farther southeast and produced both a large "cone" tornado and when a "wedge". The storm then cycled again and produced a multiple-vortex tornado (or tornadoes) close to Spur, Texas, with airborne debris visible. The storm occluded and cycled again while maintaining a long-lived "stove-pipe" that slowly evolved to an "elephant trunk" tornado visible through the RFD precipitation AFTER the mesocyclone occluded. The storm also produced 70 to 80-MPH+ RFD winds, inflow winds to 60-MPH, golfball sized hail (we did NOT penetrate the core of this storm), heavy rains, and frequent lightning with many close hits in the same place less than a second apart! A loud hail roar was also noted with this storm as well as a "train sound" from the tornadoes. At one point, this storm appeared as an "upside-down wedding cake" visually. The storm weakened after its inflow was cutoff by another supercell south of it. The storm was caused by surface heating, an upper-level disturbance, surface low-pressure, and dryline / boundary interactions. A 2005 Chevy Corsica was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder and digital still photos. A tornado watch was also in effect for the area until 8 PM CDT.
10). June 12, 8:00 PM - Observation of another very severe thunderstorm southwest of Aspermont, Texas. This storm was a supercell storm which produced a rapidly rotating wall cloud and funnels. The storm was south of the better jet-stream dynamics / shear in place for the former tornadic storm near Spur and Crosbyton. The core of this storm was not penetrated, but isolated quarter to golfball sized hail was falling out of the storm anvil ahead of the inflow notch. Frequent lightning with close hits, and 40-MPH inflow winds were also encountered with this storm. Visually, the storm had a "stacked-plates" appearance. The storm was caused by surface heating, an upper-level disturbance, surface low-pressure, and dryline / boundary interactions. A 2005 Chevy Corsica was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder and digital still photos. A tornado watch was also in effect for the area until 8 PM CDT.
This concludes the Midwestern United States Chase Log for the second trip in June 2005. The summary includes a total of 10 severe thunderstorms and at least 8 tornadoes (or large funnel clouds). The main chase vehicle conducting all chases was a 2005 Chevy Corsica. This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.
|This is a picture of one of the first storms penetrated on this chase trip. This is the passage of a severe thunderstorm cluster with wind gusts over 60-MPH and heavy rain north of Wheeler, Texas while looking south along Highway 83.|
|Here is a picture of the southeastern side of an outflow-dominant severe thunderstorm cluster northwest of Amarillo, Texas. This storm packed winds over 60-MPH and large hail.|
|A small funnel cloud develops under the shelf cloud of the gust front in the storms northwest of Amarillo, Texas. This funnel was probably associated with a gustnado along the outflow side of the storm.|
|This is a picture looking west along Interstate 40 west of Amarillo, Texas. Note the mammatus looking clouds in the high foreground of the picture denoting severe turbulence aloft. The developing storm being targeted is at the extreme lower-left side of the picture, and is a "tail-end charley" storm developing near the dryline boundary to the west.|
|A wall cloud develops on a supercell thunderstorm west of Amarillo, Texas just south of Interstate 40 with slight rotation.|
|The same supercell west of Amarillo, Texas spins up rotation and a small funnel cloud on its wall cloud. Note the RFD clear slot coming in the high foreground looking north at the mesocyclone. This storm became undercut from outflow from storms farther north and eventually weakened.|
|Convective initiation in out forecasted target area north of Hereford, Texas begins the chase. In this picture, a developing supercell looms northeast of us as it develops along a boundary / dryline intersection.|
|A large "bowl-shaped" lowering appears on a developing supercell storm west of Amarillo, Texas. This is just when the supercell has developed a mesocyclone (broad rotation).|
|The supercell near Amarillo, Texas draws in drier air in its Rear Flank Downdraft, or RFD, and creates a "clear air slot" (called an RFD dry slot) into the backside of the supercell. Note the clear area to the left portion of the picture. The mesocyclone core is to the right of the photo.|
|A rotating wall cloud develops on the southwest side of the same supercell near Amarillo, Texas as tornado sirens blair.|
|The supercell storm near Amarillo, Texas did not produce full-fledged tornadoes as another batch of supercells developed to its south. It did produce many rapidly rotating funnels, like the one pictured here.|
|Here is a picture of an Allsups convenience store during a quick fuel stop. The pumps worked (via credit / debit card) but no one was to be seen in the store. Note the sign on the door saying "Closed - Take Cover"! This was near Vega, Texas in the path of a tornado-warned supercell that fortunately weakened before hitting Vega.|
|As storms become outflow dominant, a dramatic shelf cloud and gust front appears southeast of a weakening supercell storm. The storm in this picture, however, was still producing violent winds and hail.|
|A funnel cloud, or even a possible tornado, appears on the backside (southwest side) of an HP (high precipitation) supercell storm departing the farming areas east of Happy, Texas. This storm, in addition to tornadoes, dropped about 8 inches of rain in only an hours time.|
|Flash flooding occurred with the passage of the supercell storms, especially in the farming areas east of Happy, Texas. In this picture, a torrent of running water flows by the side of a farm road.|
|Many farm roads east of Happy, Texas became flooded with deep, muddy water making travel through the area nearly impossible. What looks like a canal is supposed to be a paved farm road.|
|Here is a picture of some CG (Cloud to Ground) lightning west of Canyon, Texas during a developing severe thunderstorms. Note the inflow bands in the top of the picture.|
|The same storm eventally moves through Canyon, Texas and hits the motel with 60-MPH winds and hail up to marble-sized.|
|Here is a picture of CC (Cloud to Cloud) lightning east of Canyon, Texas on the backside of a severe thunderstorm after a brief hail storm. Note the "corkscrew" cloud structure just to the right of the lightning bolts.|
|Here is a picture of convective initiation southeast of Hereford, Texas kicking off the start of this big chase day. Note the rock-hard development and back-sheared anvil with "knuckles".|
|The first storm to go up southeast of Hereford, Texas takes on a rounded, mesocyclone appearance. This storm tried to build, but lost its punch as the more violent supercell near Crosbyton, Texas to the south began developing, cutting off the inflow to this storm.|
|Here is a picture of the violently rotating wall cloud near Crosbyton, Texas with a pre-tornadic funnel. Note to the far right, another wall cloud and funnel in the distance. This was the original mesocyclone, as this storm is a CYCLIC SUPERCELL. The new wall cloud in this picture is to become a progressive and prolific tornado producer. I am also being pelted with golfball sized hail as I am driving into the "bear's cage"!|
|Just out of the golfball hail, tornado #1 briefly touches down as I am rapidly driving south to get out of the hail core. View of this tornado was out the passenger window looking west.|
|Tornado #2 spins up briefly on the southeastern side of the rotating wall cloud and forms a nice cone tornado - Note the debris / dust swirl under the condensation funnel confirming touchdown.|
|Tornado #3 develops quickly (blink and you'll miss the magic of tornadogenesis) into a slender rope under a violently rotating cloud base.|
|Tornado #3 strengthens and matures to a full-fledged "stove-pipe" tornado. This awesome tornado tears across open country southeast of Crosbyton, Texas for about 5 minutes, moving slowly, picking up lots of dust and debris.|
|While re-positioning eastward to get out of the path of a new mesocyclone after tornado #3 dissapates, I come across the DOW (Doppler On Wheels) trucks scanning the storm. This was right UNDER the newly developing tornado #4 - Time to go!|
|Tornado #4 develops just up the road and quickly becomes a large cone tornado condensed all the way to the ground. This tornado lasted a minute or two, then lifted back up into the violently rotating wall cloud. I was actually INSIDE this tornado when it was much weaker.|
|Tornado #5 develops north and leaves off where tornado #4 finished. This will become the largest tornado produced by this supercell storm. Here we see a nice funnel descenting from a violently rotating truncated cone. This is about midway between Crosbyton and Spur, Texas.|
|Tornado #5 quickly strengthens as the RFD blasts around it making the entire barrel updraft column visible. The base of this column is a violently rotating dusty "wedge" tornado.|
|Here is a closup of the wedge tornado (tornado #5 at its peak intensity). Note the dark dirt in the wedge and lighter dusty inflow jets in the foreground at the base of the tornado.|
|Here is a frame capture of CG lightning to the right side of tornado #5 during the wedge phase.|
|Here is another frame capture of CG lightning on the left side of the updraft column of wedge tornado #5.|
|Tornado #5 occludes and disappears in rain and hail, cannot see it anymore, but it is still in there. Meanwhile, a new mesocyclone forms a mile or so to its southeast, near Spur, Texas. This produced another large tornado, which refer to as tornado #6. Tornado #6 was a MULTIPLE VORTEX tornado, and only its SUCTION vortices (subvortices) were visible as they went around the main tornado like a giant merry-go-round. This was the first suction vortex that tornado #6 produced.|
|Tornado #6 produces two more small sub-tornadoes, simultaneously, as Stephen Miller (KD5FMI) watches in awe in the foreground.|
|Yet two more simultaneous sub-vortices from tornado #6, both fully condensed, whip around the main tornado like an egg-beater. These are NOT the same tornadoes as in the previous picture above! Stephen Miller is standing in the foreground.|
|Still another suction vortex ripping around the larger circulation of tornado #6. This one hits a barn on the east side of Spur and disintegrates it. Note the fast-moving black "dots" in the air, that's flying boards, trees, and farm impliments!|
|All the while the vault region of this classic supercell appeared like in this picture. Baseball to softball sized hail was being produced by this storm. Note the "mothership" appearance to the updraft edge. The view here is to the north while southeast of Spur, Texas.|
|One more tornado, tornado #7, develops south of weakening multi-vortex tornado #6. This was a brief but powerful small tornado developing on the south side of the mesocyclone, which occluded shortly afterwards with CONTINOUS CG lightning forcing us to relocate again.|
|Not done yet ... Tornado #8 appears out of the RFD occlusion as the sun backlights the weakening supercell storm. This tornado was viewed for nearly five minutes as an "elephant-trunk" like in this picture! A new supercell to the southeast of this one near Aspermont, Texas finally "hushed" this monster storm by cutting off its warm inflow winds ... Things that make you go "Wow"!|
|Here is a picture of a rotating wall cloud on the new supercell storm that developed southwest of Aspermont, Texas. This storm did produce a funnel cloud, but nothing like the former supercell to its northwest. Note the RFD wrapping into the left side of the picture.|
|The supercell west of Aspermont, Texas during its weakening phase, still having a wall cloud and healthy updraft. The colors and structure of such a storm at sunset is a sight to behold, and can contain all the colors of the rainbow.|
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