This section is for storm chases done in the central / Midwestern United States during the year of 2017. This includes all storm chasing activities (including any major chase "expeditions") during the year of 2017 in the central USA (aka "Tornado Alley"). For 2017, all chases in the central USA will be logged in this section, with many of the chases being possible "spot" chases / major severe weather "setups" chased. Here you should find many pictures of lightning, tornadoes, hail, strong winds, along with many severe thunderstorm elements. 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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STORM CHASING - CENTRAL UNITED STATES - 2017 CHASE LOG

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ABOUT THIS CHASE LOG FOR THE MIDWEST

This is a chase log for any chases during 2017 in the Midwest and Central United States that were conducted as "spot" chases as well as any dedicated chase trip. Each chase section within this area will have its own details and such for that particular chase. This area was set up in the spring of 2017 and is for any chase that was conducted in the US Plains and Midwest. Equipment use in such chases range from cell phone to HAM radio communications, digital / still cameras, video (SD) and high-definition (HD) camcorders, and data logging / GPS via laptop computer. Storm chasing involved driving in harsh conditions and / or for long periods of time.

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.


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CHASE MAP FOR MARCH 23-30, 2017

This is a chase map for the chase from March 23 through March 30, 2017. The chase track is in blue (which includes the driving portions of the trip), and the flight (to and from Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Dallas, Texas) is in green. The target areas appear as yellow outlines for the main chase days, with storm intercepts denoted by the red "X's".


CHASE TRIP CHRONOLOGY FOR MARCH 23-30, 2017

This chase trip was based on a progressive pattern in severe weather more typical of a late spring setup than early spring. The trip was originally to be from March 23rd returning the 27th, but was extended to the 30th. March 23 was the first travel day of the trip, with chasing (target area was in the Texas Panhandle) commencing right after arrival from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Dallas, Texas. After arriving in Dallas, I picked up the rental car, a 2017 Hyundai Accent, and immediately left the area via I-35E and north to Denton and Highway 380 west. The target area forecasted was anywhere near Amarillo, a long 5 hour drive from Dallas! I headed west on 380 to 277, and continued on that highway through Wichita Falls and all the way to I-40 in Amarillo between 6 and 7 PM. Storms were intercepted just west of Amarillo by that time. Meanwhile, the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) had the target area within a slight risk, with a 15% wind and hail probability. Tornado probability was just 2% due to limited low level moisture during arrival of the upper level support. The SPC issued Mesoscale Discussion MCD 311 and subsequent severe thunderstorm watch 78 valid until 10 PM CDT. After chasing the storms, I headed back into Amarillo for the night off I-40.

March 24 was a very long chase back to central and eastern Texas basically backing down 277 and 380 through Denton and east of there. I left Amarillo at about 7 AM, passing through heavy lunch hour traffic east of Denton on 380 through McKinney by about 1 PM. I continued east to I-30 and exited to take Highway 67 / 259 south once ahead of the on-going thunderstorms. I bumped east on 11, then 59 south to I-20 near Marshall, Texas. The SPC had an enhanced risk in far eastern Texas, with a 10% tornado, 15% Hail, and 30% wind in their probabilities. MCD 320 was issued for my area along I-20 near the TX / LA border (along with other MCDs for surrounding areas). Tornado watch 82 was eventually issued (between other areal outlooks) for this primary target area, valid until 3 AM CDT the next day. I waited until sundown and bumped into Louisiana along I-20 to near Shreveport. Storms remained weak and disorganized until upper wave arrival after dark, with only multi-cellular bow segments and rain wrapped areas of rotation affecting the area. Unwilling to chase severe storms after dark, I abandoned the chase by heading back west on I-20 into Dallas by late evening, eventually heading up I-35 into Denton, Texas for the night.

March 25 was an off day with a lazy reposition from Denton, Texas to Oklahoma City, OK anticipating the next major chase day (where SPC already had an enhanced risk on their day 2 outlook for March 26) there and points southwest. I also saw yet another disturbance over the central Pacific Ocean, opting very good chase opportunities early in the next week once it reaches the USA. I decided to extend the trip to return on March 30th (instead of the 27th) via a reservation change. I reached Oklahoma City via I-35 to I-44 by afternoon and spent the night there.

The following day, March 26 was a moderate-risk chase day in south-central Oklahoma. The SPC had a tornado probability of 10%, along with a 45% (hatched for significant) hail, and 30% wind (also hatched for significant) in their 1630z moderate risk outlook. Based on morning forecasting, the target area and plan of the day was to be anywhere along and west of I-35 and towards the Sulphur / Ada area which would be ahead of the dryline bulge. I left just before noon and down I-44 to I-40 west into El Reno, paying a tribute to the Tim Samaras group memorial (Radio Road), and continuing south on Highway 81 to Chickasha for late lunch. By late afternoon, I continued south and east on Highway 19 and I-35 to Davis to wait for storm initiation west of that area. Meanwhile the SPC issued MCD 335 and subsequent tornado watch box valid until 11 PM CDT. Storms began initiating near from near Tatums and highway 7, and eastward to near Byars and Lula and eastward to Highway 75 east of Ada, where the storms matured and produced tornadoes. A very well done forecast and target area! After chasing, I headed down highway 75 to Coalgate for fuel and to upload footage. I then headed west on Highway 31 to Highways 48 and 7, then Highway 377 south to near Highway 32 and Marietta eventually to I-35 south. I spent the night just north of Dallas, TX. The next day was to be an off day.

March 27 was an off day and included a vehicle exchange and re-position to Wichita Falls later in the day. To extend my trip, I returned the first vehicle as originally scheduled and rented another (both were 2017 Hyundai Accents) with a different company to save costs. A minor hail damage claim was opened on the first returned vehicle. I left Dallas via I-35 north after late lunch and Highways 380 and 277 northwest into Wichita Falls for the night. The following day was expected to be another very active severe weather chase day from that area, and points southwestward.

March 28 was a very busy chase day, with both frustration and a "tornado finale" later on in the chase. I forecasted and left Wichita Falls during the late morning via Highway 277 west towards Vernon. There were already on-going storms along the developing dryline due to weak capping so the forecast and target kept shifting southward into the better moisture and heat energy (CAPE). After lunch in Vernon, I headed west via Highways 70 and 62 to check a storm near Matador. The SPC had a moderate risk for this day, with tornado probabilities at 10%, Hail hatched for significant at 45%, and wind at 30%. MCD 355 was issued, then tornado watch box 95 valid until 11 PM CDT. The setup was not good up there, so I headed back east through Paducah then Highway 83 south passing a tornadic storm near Guthrie, then east on 380 to Highway 6 out of Aspermont to Stamford where a large tornado was intercepted. The storm was followed up around Lake Stamford from Avoca to 380 again, then east to Throckmorton where it was outflow dominated. The chase was wrapped up via Highway 79 out of Throckmorton and Highway 114 in Olney southeast to 380 in Jacksboro, then continuing on Highway 380 east through Decatur and spending the night in Denton, Texas. This chase day came to a sad end hearing three storm chasers died in a car accident early in the afternoon near Spur, Texas.

The last real chase day was March 29. This day looked much better a few days back, but turned out to be much farther east, and with more of a widespread severe storm event than tornadoes. Regardless, I was out one more day, so I decided to chase. The storms expected were to be in a rather messy area of severe storms extending from NW Missouri / NE Kansas southward near Houston. I forecasted and decided to stay away from the mess of storms in poor chase terrain (such as W Arkansas) and hope for more photogenic LP type storms along the dryline in far NE Texas. I chose Texarkana as the target, and headed there by leading Denton early on Highway 380 east, picking up I-30, and heading into Texarkana by lunch time. The forecast wound up playing out as expected, with a photogenic LP storm observed in NE Texas late in the day (near De Kalb along Highway 82), while linear and messy convection occurred to the northeast and south. SPC had the area in a Enhanced risk, with a 10% tornado area in Arkansas, surrounded by a very large 5% area. Hail and wind probabilities were both 30%. MCD 371 and 372 was issued, and a few tornado watches were issued, with my target being in tornado watch box 100, valid until 12AM CDT the following day. After chasing, I headed south out of De Kalb on Highway 259 to I-30, then back east to Highway 380, spending the night in Mc Kinney, Texas.

March 30 was the final day of this extended and quite interesting chase trip. This was strictly a travel day, and involved packing up early in the morning and heading back to Dallas via Highway 75 to I-635 / I-35 into the Love Field Airport area to return the rental car. I flew back to Fort Lauderdale, Florida (moderate to severe turbulence was also encountered crossing the area of "messy" convection over Louisiana and Mississippi), returning there by noon. This was the end of this chase trip. Total mileage was around 3,005 miles (with 1,895 on the first rental, and 1,110 on the second).


MARCH 23-30 CHASE MAIN PARTICIPANTS

CHASER NAMEHOME / BASE CITYCALLSIGNCHASE DATESOCCUPATION
CHRIS COLLURADEERFIELD BEACH, FLKG4PJN3-23 TO 3-30IT CONSULTANT


CUMULATIVE STORM REPORTS FOR MARCH 23-30, 2017

This is a comprehensive / cumulative map of all Storm Prediction Center (SPC) storm reports for March 23-30, 2017. In this cumulative storm reports, combining data from 8 images from SPC for each day, a red dot denotes a tornado report, a blue dot a damaging severe wind report (58 MPH and up), and a green dot a severe hail report (1" and larger). Significant wind (65 knots and up) and significant hail (2" and larger) is denoted by a black square and triangle, respectively. There were a total of 1,072 severe weather reports during this period (consisting of 53 tornado, 516 wind, and 503 hail reports). Out of the wind and hail reports, 11 significant wind and 39 significant hail reports were tabulated during this time period.


DETAILED CHASE LOG FOR MARCH 23-30, 2017

1). March 23, 6:30 PM - Interception and observation of a severe thunderstorm in Oldham / Potter County, Texas and west of Amarillo along Interstate 40. The storm was a supercell storm developing on the south side of a cluster of strong and severe thunderstorms. The core of the storm was not penetrated, but most likely contained large hail. Conditions encountered were occasional lightning, some rain, and strong winds gusting near 60 MPH. Dust was kicked up making it difficult to see the storm structure, but striations and the RFD clear slot was noticeable. Conditions causing the storm were a dryline, low pressure system, upper trough, and surface heating. A 2017 Hyundai Accent was used to chase the storms. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A severe thunderstorm watch was valid for the area until 10 PM CDT.

2). March 24, 8:30 PM - Observation of a strong to possibly severe thunderstorm along I-20 and west of Marshall in Harrison County, Texas. The storm was a multicell segment of storms that acquired a pronounced bow structure after passing by. Very heavy rains, lightning, and winds near 45 MPH were encountered with this line segment. A possible tornado also developed in the northern portion of this bow segment from Marshall and northeastward. This would have been entirely rain wrapped and not visible in daylight anyway. Conditions causing the storm were a pacific front (overtaking a dryline), low pressure trough, upper trough, and surface heating. A 2017 Hyundai Accent was used to chase the storms. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A tornado watch was valid for the area until 3 AM CDT the following day.

3). March 26, 1:00 PM - Observation of a strong to severe thunderstorm from Chickasha, Oklahoma in Grady County and near Highway 81. The storm was part of an elevated complex of strong and severe thunderstorms. Light to moderate rain, occasional lightning, and pea to dime sized hail was observed with this storm. Conditions causing the storms were a low level jet and strong upper trough. A 2017 Hyundai Accent was used to chase the storms. Documentation was digital stills.

4). March 26, 5:00 PM - Observation and penetration of a very severe and tornadic thunderstorm from near Tatums, Oklahoma to near Byars and Konawa, and in Garvin and McClain counties near Highways 19, 133, and 59. This storm was a classic supercell storm. The core was not directly penetrated but hail in excess 2" (most stones were smaller and quarter sized) was observed on the edge of the hail core, causing minor damage to the vehicle. An isolated hail stone to tennis ball sized was also noted smashing into the road. A low wall cloud and funnel was noted near Pauls Valley. A developing weak tornado was briefly visible with this storm south of Konawa looking northwest from Highway 3W. The storm also contained heavy rains, 50 MPH winds, and frequent lightning. Conditions causing the storm were a dryline, low pressure area, upper trough, and surface heating. A 2017 Hyundai Accent was used to chase the storms. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A tornado watch was valid for the area until 11 PM CDT.

5). March 26, 7:00 PM - Observation of an extremely severe and tornadic thunderstorm to the east of Ada, Oklahoma in Ponotoc County near Highway 48 north of Lula. The storm was an LP to classic supercell thunderstorm. The storm had a striking visual appearance, appearing as a "spaceship" with striated updraft and vault, when viewed from the east. A well documented tornado was also observed with this storm as well north of Lula. The core of the storm was not penetrated, but contained hail exceeding baseball sized. Impact sounds from the hail (sounded like gun shots) could be heard to my northwest on the edge of the hail core at 1-2 mile distance! Largest hail at my location was widely spaced quarter sized, along with frequent lightning, light rain, and 50 MPH winds (mainly inflow). The tornado itself was a cone funnel that evolved to a long rope that wrapped around a portion of the wall cloud. This feature remained over rural areas and did no damage. Conditions causing the storm were a dryline, low pressure area, upper trough, and surface heating. A 2017 Hyundai Accent was used to chase the storms. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A tornado watch was valid for the area until 11 PM CDT.

6). March 26, 8:00 PM - Observation and penetration of a strong thunderstorm to the southwest of Coalgate, Oklahoma along Highway 31 in Coal County. This storm was part of a multicell line of strong and severe storms. Frequent lightning (with some close hits), torrential rains, 50 MPH winds, and small hail were observed with this storm. Conditions causing the storm were a pacific front (overtaking a dryline), low pressure trough, upper trough, and surface heating. A 2017 Hyundai Accent was used to chase the storms. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A tornado watch was valid for the area until 11 PM CDT.

7). March 28, 3:30 PM - Observation of a severe thunderstorm to the west and northwest of Matador, Texas in Motley County and near Highways 62 and 70. The storm was a slightly elevated HP supercell storm. A large slowly rotating wall cloud was observed with some small funnels and possible a brief weak tornado. The storm was in very poor visibility and was undercut by cooler air and in an environment of more stable air. The core (containing golfball sized hail) was not penetrated. Lightning and moderate rain was encountered. Conditions causing the storm were a dryline, low pressure area, upper trough, and surface heating. A 2017 Hyundai Accent was used to chase the storms. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A tornado watch was valid for the area until 11 PM CDT.

8). March 28, 4:30 PM - Observation and penetration of a very severe and possibly tornadic thunderstorm to the south and southwest of Guthrie, Texas and west of Highway 83 in King County. This storm was a powerful HP supercell, with a wall cloud that rapidly rotated and occluded. When viewed from the east and northeast, looking WSW, a brief tornado was observed with dust and tagging rain curtains before being obscured by (wet) RFD rain wrap (descending reflectivity core). Small hail, 60 MPH winds, frequent lightning, and torrential rains were also observed while proceeding southward through the RFD winds as the storm was completely rain wrapped. Conditions causing the storm were a dryline, low pressure area, upper trough, and surface heating. A 2017 Hyundai Accent was used to chase the storms. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A tornado watch was valid for the area until 11 PM CDT.

9). March 28, 6:00 PM - Interception, observation, and penetration of an extremely severe and tornadic thunderstorm in Haskell County, Texas near Highways 277 and 6 from Stamford to east of Haskell. The storm was part the "tail end Charley" cluster of supercell storms at the southern end of a messy cluster of supercells arcing along a dryline bulge. One supercell in this cluster (there were three with the strongest tornadic one in the middle) was a cyclic supercell storm. A large stove pipe tornado was encountered with this storm once clearing the precipitation core from the north (I managed to miss the large hail) through the south side of Stamford. Fortunately, the tornado missed the town. The storm was followed north and east around Lake Stamford and it subsequently became outflow dominated northwest of Throckmorton, Texas. Strong winds to 70 MPH, small hail, and frequent lightning was also observed with this storm. Conditions causing the storm were a dryline, low pressure area, upper trough, and surface heating. A 2017 Hyundai Accent was used to chase the storms. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A tornado watch was valid for the area until 11 PM CDT.

10). March 29, 2:30 AM - Observation of a strong to possibly severe thunderstorm off I-35 at a stationary location (hotel) in Denton, Texas in Denton County. The storm was part of a line of strong and severe thunderstorms moving through the area. Heavy rains, small hail, frequent lightning, and winds to near 60 MPH were encountered. Conditions causing the storm were a low pressure trough, upper trough, and low level jet. A 2017 Hyundai Accent was involved with chasing these storms. A severe thunderstorm watch was also valid for the area until 4 AM CDT.

11). March 29, 7:00 PM - Observation of a strong thunderstorm near De Kalb in Bowie County, Texas and along and to the north of Highway 82. The storm was a low topped LP supercell with a flared out base, corkscrewed updraft, and core of small hail. The storm core was not encountered. Conditions causing the storm were a dryline, low pressure trough, upper trough, and surface heating. A 2017 Hyundai Accent was used to chase the storms. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A tornado watch was valid for the area until 12 AM CDT the following day.

This concludes the chase log for the central US Plains (including chases in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas) chase trip for March 23-30, 2017. The summary includes a total of 11 observations, out of which there were 9 severe thunderstorms and 2 strong thunderstorms. 3 tornadoes were observed from three of the severe storms. The main chase vehicle conducting this chase were two 2017 Hyundai Accents (one for March 23rd to the 27th, and another from the 27th to the 30th, both nearly identical). This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.


GALLERY FOR MARCH 23, 2017

March 23 was a chase day with a long drive to the Amarillo area after getting into Dallas at around noon. In the images above, the SPC forecast only showed a 2% tornado probability in a large slight-risk area (moisture was limited). The plan of the day, time-permitting, was to target the southern portions of the slight-risk area, and Amarillo was reached by storm initiation. In the middle image is the SPC mesoscale discussion (MCD 316) issued for the area for the severe weather outlook. To the right, is a base-reflectivity radar image from Amarillo showing a tail-end "Charley" type supercell storm briefly firing on the dryline and in the targeted area.

Here is a view of Dallas, Texas while approaching Love Field airport on March 23, 2017. This was the start of the trip, and a rather rushed plan to get to the Texas panhandle as quick as possible.
This is a view looking west on I-40 towards Amarillo, Texas. The storm complex is still west of the city, and the anvil blowoff can be seen streaming overhead late in the day on March 23, after a long drive from Dallas.
Here is a view of the flanking line and updraft (center and right of the picture) of a supercell storm just west of Amarillo, Texas on March 23. The visibility is compromised by blowing dust.
The supercell weakens, and evolves to a line segment as if moves to the northeast of Amarillo, Texas and away from the dryline / moisture axis during the evening of March 23.


GALLERY FOR MARCH 24, 2017

March 24 was a long range chase that failed to verify to expectations in far east Texas, after a long drive from the Amarillo area. In the image above, tornado watch 82 is shown, issued by the SPC. The visible satellite is in the middle image, showing the annotated target area in eastern Texas, with the exit region of the jet stream. Note the massive vorticity associated with the cold core (upper level low) near the eastern Texas Panhandle! To the right, is a reflectivity radar image (out of Shreveport, Louisiana) of the bow segment that finally formed in far eastern Texas well after dark.

Mid to high altitude cloud formations associated with a strong jet stream and exit region aloft over central / eastern Texas on March 25. This is part of the storm system that provides the upper level air support for severe weather.
Disorganized severe storm developing near I-30 and Marshall, Texas. This will be a bow segment to produce damaging winds after dark on March 25.


GALLERY FOR MARCH 25, 2017

March 25 was strictly a re-position day from the Dallas, Texas area to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. It was not a chase day, but in the images above, we see the weakening disturbance from the prior day moving off to the east, with the SPC slight-risk and 2% tornado probabilities in the left and middle images, respectively. To the right the upper wave and storm system are shown on the visible satellite image weakening over the Midwestern states.

Here is a view of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (with the Devon Energy building, the tallest skyscraper in the central USA, to the left) while re-positioning north there on the off day of March 27.


GALLERY FOR MARCH 26, 2017

March 26 was a rather busy chase day with tornadic supercells intercepted in central Oklahoma. To the left image, the SPC mesoscale discussion (MCD 335) is shown, with the tornado probabilities highest along the I-35 corridor pretty much near Ada and Ardmore, Oklahoma. In the middle image, tornado watch box 86 is shown. To the right, the radar image (base reflectivity) out of Oklahoma City shows the powerful tornadic supercell near and east of Ada, Oklahoma late in the day.

Supercell storms initiating along the dryline west of I-35 and northwest of Davis, Oklahoma during the afternoon of March 26.
Large rotating wall cloud / funnel approaching Pauls Valley, Oklahoma on March 26.
Hail shaft and greenish hue (and UDI - updraft-downdraft interface) of the first supercell storm approaching Pauls Valley, Oklahoma on March 26.
Hail around the size of golf balls covering the roadway northeast of Pauls Valley, Oklahoma on March 26. This caused minor damage to the rental vehicle.
Developing weak tornado (to far lower right) and updraft tower of the first supercell storm passing to the northwest of Ada, Oklahoma (NE of Pauls Valley) on March 26. Note the striations in the upper part of the picture! This storm would soon weaken due to a strong storm developing southeast of Ada.
Intense and very photogenic LP (to classic) second supercell storm just to the east of Ada, Oklahoma on March 26. The view is to the west.
Developing tornado east of Ada, Oklahoma on March 26.
Maturing tornado east of Ada, Oklahoma on March 26.
Tornado confirmed via debris cloud on ground, despite the visible funnel being discontinuous. This was east of Ada, Oklahoma on March 26.
Lightning illuminating the eastern side of the HP supercell as it continues to the northeast into east-central Oklahome after dark on March 26.


GALLERY FOR MARCH 27, 2017

March 27 was not a chase day, and involved a reposition to west-central Texas from Dallas after a rental vehicle exchange. In the images above, we can see the SPC enhanced risk area farther east in the Midwest in the left image. In the middle image, a mesoscale discussion (MCD 342) was issued but most convection that day was disorganized. The right shows the weakening frontal system moving off to the east as well in the visible satellite.

Here is a picture of myself, while driving to Wichita Falls, Texas, after exchanging the car rental for a longer stay. March 27 was an off day.


GALLERY FOR MARCH 28, 2017

March 28 was a very busy chase day, with the best storms intercepted in west-central Texas and tornadoes observed there. In the left image, the SPC tornado product is shown, with a 10% probability of tornadoes as part of a moderate risk outlook. The middle image shows a visible satellite and supercell storms developing, with the tornado producing ones annotated. To the base reflectivity image at the right, a cluster of "tail-end Charley" supercells is shown, with the area of the storm complex producing tornadoes circled.

Poorly defined HP supercell (you can barely see the occlusion in the center of the picture) west of Matador, Texas on March 28. The storm was tornado warned at the time.
Wall cloud looking southwestward from southeast of Guthrie, Texas on March 28.
Wall cloud, developing weak tornado (center), and wet RFD occlusion (HP supercell notch) looking southwestward from southeast of Guthrie, Texas. During afternoon of March 28.
View of large wall cloud and RFD area from the town of Stamford, Texas on March 28.
Wide view of intense RFD cut and developing tornado to the far left in the picture looking southeastward of Stamford, Texas during the afternoon of March 28.
Intensifying stovepipe tornado and wall cloud to the east of Stamford, Texas on March 28.
View of stovepipe tornado to the east of Stamford, Texas on March 28.
Closer shot of stovepipe tornado and debris cloud to the east of Stamford, Texas on March 28.
Tornado begins to lift and rope out to the northeast of Stamford, Texas on March 28.
Supercell storm begins to become outflow dominant near Lake Stamford in Haskell County, Texas on March 28.
Supercell storm evolves to a line segment north of Throckmorton, Texas late on March 28.


GALLERY FOR MARCH 29, 2017

March 29 was the last full day available for chasing in this trip. My plan was to avoid the better tornado probabilities in the bad chase terrain in Arkansas (which also verified poorly for tornadoes) as well as the messy HP convection in SE Texas. The goal was to intercept LP supercells on the dryline / Pacific front on the western edge of the low level moisture axis. The target area is annotated in the images above, with the SPC tornado probabilities in the left image, tornado watch 100 in the middle image, and visible satellite to the right showing the LP storms firing in the target area late in the day.

View of developing LP supercell storm with base (note RFD to left developing) near De Kalb, Texas on March 29.
View of LP and low-topped supercell storm with hail core and rain-bow through RFD as is passes north of De Kalb, Texas on March 29.
Here is another view of an LP supercell storm near De Kalb, Texas on March 29.
View of mid to high altitude cloud formations associated with the core of the jet stream passing overhead. The lower clouds are associated with a dryline / Pacific cold front. The view is looking west on I-30 in NE Texas.


GALLERY FOR MARCH 30, 2017

March 30 was a travel day from Dallas, Texas returning back to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In the images above, the SPC outlook is shown for the day to the left. In the middle is the visible satellite, showing clearly the powerful storm system (wave cyclone) over the middle of the USA. To the right is the turbulence forecast product from the ADDS (NWS Aviation forecasts) and pilot reports, showing numerous reports of moderate to even severe turbulence over the northern Gulf of Mexico and Gulf states associated with the powerful southern branches of the active jet stream.

Flying back across the powerful upper level storm system and around convection over the northern Gulf of Mexico and deep south between Dallas, Texas and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The view is approaching the system from the west, and the anvil blowoff can be seen in the distance.
Moderate to heavy turbulence rocks the plane as it overflies the Gulf states and passes through the upper trough and convection.


CHASE MAP FOR CHASE EXPEDITION 2017

This is a chase map for the main chase "expedition" for 2017. This is currently in progress / under construction and will be updated soon. The trip started by driving out from Florida on April 17, 2017 and the first actual chase day being in SE Nebraska on April 19th. The chase track (including driving to and from the central USA) is in blue. No target areas are shown on this map due to the lengthy nature of this chase trip (refer to the chronology below for those details). Storm intercepts denoted by the red "X's".


CHASE TRIP CHRONOLOGY FOR CHASE EXPEDITION 2017

This is the main storm chasing "expedition" for spring of 2017. This is currently IN PROGRESS until further notice (potentially through June 2017), so be sure to check back. The trip started by preparing my personal chase vehicle, a 2016 Jeep Wrangler, and driving out of south Florida on April 17, 2017. Going up I-95, then the FL Turnpike to I-75 (through Orlando), and spending the night in Gainesville, Florida. On April 18, I continued up I-75 through Atlanta to I-24, taking that to I-57 and I-64, eventually spending the night on the NW side of Saint Louis, Missouri. This was anticipating the first chase and target area near SE Nebraska / NW Missouri / SW Iowa on the 19th. Since this is going to be a rather lengthy chase log, some details will be summarized and any radar or SPC graphics pertaining to an important chase will be in the gallery sections.

April 19 was the first chase day of this chase expedition. After forecasting, it appeared the best place to be was anywhere from SW Iowa and into SE Nebraska with a triple point type low pressure setup and Pacific cold front. The storm prediction center (SPC) had this area in an enhanced-risk, with tornado probabilities of 10%, wind at 15%, and hail at 30% (and hatched for significant). I headed out of Saint Louis on I-70 to Kansas City, then north on I-29 to near highway 136 to go west into Nebraska. SPC had mesoscale discussion (MCD) 519 and tornado watch box 148 valid until 10 PM CDT by late afternoon. Storms, one producing a possible tornado, were intercepted SE of Lincoln, NE and west of highways 75 and 34 near Palmyra. Storms were followed eastward into SW Iowa and NW Missouri along Highway 2 and near 71. After wrapping up the chase, and with the possibility of storms farther south over the next couple of days, I decided to spend the night in Topeka, Kansas. I headed back west on Highway 136 to 75, then south into Topeka.

April 20 was both a re-positioning day, but had some marginal chase potential stretching from SW Oklahoma and into NW Texas. The SPC had this area in a slight risk, with tornado probabilities under 2%, wind at 5%, and hail at 15%. The plan was to head to that area, with elevated severe storms expected near or after dark, with that leaving me in good position for the next chase day (April 21). I headed out early of Topeka via I-335, then I-35 south through Wichita, ultimately taking I-44 southwest through Oklahoma City, reaching Lawton by mid to late afternoon. I headed west out of Lawton to Highway 183, then south into Texas near Vernon and waited near Mabelle along Highway 82. A brief storm developed to the southwest near Haskell County, but I only briefly followed it south of Munday along 277. Since I planned to stay in Lawton, I backtracked to near the red River up 183 and 283 north of Vernon, TX and south of Altus, OK. An elevated supercell storm was encountered in this area after dark, at about 10 PM. The SPC also had MCD 529 and severe thunderstorm watch 152 valid until 5 AM CDT the next day for this area. After chasing, I headed back east on Highway 5, then 183 north to 62 east, and reached Lawton around midnight for the night.

April 21 was a pretty good chase day, mainly in north-central Texas starting in Gainesville, proceeding near the Red River, and eastward to near Hugo, Oklahoma. I woke to a severe (outflow dominant) storm in Lawton, forecasted, and left the area by about 11 AM via Highway 7 east. On Highway 81, I headed south towards Bowie, Texas after stopping in Duncan, Oklahoma. Once in Texas, and south of the outflow cool pool, it appeared the best place to be would be anywhere from I-35 near Gainesville, and points east towards Hugo, Oklahoma (either side of the Red River). The SPC had this area in an enhanced risk, with tornado probabilities at 5%, and both wind and hail at 30% (the hail was hatched for significant). Heading east using Highway 82, I reached Gainesviile and I-35, meeting up with Dan Shaw from Australia and watching storm initiation at a farmers ranch nearby. Dan and I would chase for the rest of this day by caravanning together. SPC issued MCD 541 and tornado watch 155 valid until 1 AM CDT the following day for this area as well. With initiation of a supercell storm to our NE, Dan and I headed north on I-35 to highways 32 and 70 east out of Marietta, OK. We followed highway 70 eastward to intercept the storm near Bennington. After chasing, Dan and I headed back west to SR 78 south for dinner near Bonham. I headed east on 82, and spent the night in Paris, Texas.

April 22 was an off day. I opted not to follow the storms eastward into Mississippi and Alabama, so I headed back west on Highway 82 out of Paris to Gainesville for late lunch, then south on I-35 to Denton, planning to spend the next couple of down days there. April 23 was an off day, and some time was spent at the Skydiving place northeast of McKinney (Skydive Spaceland Dallas) for a jump. April 24 I left Denton, Texas and headed north via I-35 to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to be in position for anticipated activity in that area later in the week. April 24 I spent the night on the south side of Oklahoma City off I-35. The following day, April 25, was a chase day in north-central to northeastern Oklahoma. Upon forecasting and preparing my vehicle for resuming chasing, the best place to be for a marginal chance of supercells would be in the region extending from SE Kansas and points southwestward into Northeastern Oklahoma near and northwest of Tulsa.

Late in the morning on April 25 I headed north out of Oklahoma city via I-35 north to near Tonkawa, then started east on Highway 60 to Bartlesville. The storm prediction center upgraded the slight risk earlier to enhanced on their 1630z outlook, with a 5% tornado, 15% wind, and 30% hatched hail probability near the target area. MCD 553 and severe thunderstorm watch 159 were also issued, with the watch valid until 2 AM CDT the following day. Storm initiation began west of the target areas just east of I-35, but quickly tracked northeastward with some of the cells reaching my location near Fairfax and Hominy and was followed down via SR 20 and 18 towards Pawnee. The chase then turned back east to near Cleveland on Highway 64. The chase was wrapped up by heading south on Highway 75 to I-44 and checking out severe storms near Sapulpa to the southwest of Tulsa. I spent the night in that area as well when I was finished chasing for the day.

April 26 was a rather long and frustrating chase day, and left little to show for it. I hastily looked at data early, knowing I would need to go south and east out of Tulsa quickly, to make a target area to the east of Texarkana and into southern Arkansas. The SPC had this area in a moderate risk, with 15% hatched tornado (significant), 30% wind, and 30% hatched hail probabilities on both the 13z and 1630z outlooks. These were to later be reduced, and for good reason. I headed out of the Tulsa area, and down Highway 75 to Henryetta, taking the Indian Nation Turnpike (toll) out of there to Hugo, Oklahoma, then 271 south to Paris. I headed east on Highway 82 to near New Boston, then I-30 east into and through Texarkana, where I got ahead of an ongoing line of thunderstorms. Anticipating the broken line of storms to form into more discrete supercells, just the opposite happened. I realized that heading NE on I-30 towards Hope, Arkansas (losing "hope" for good storms at the same time)!

Realizing the severe event was going to be nothing more than a messy squall line (outflow dominant) and surging Pacific cold front, I headed south out of Hope on SR 32 and towards Willisville, then east to near Camden on Highway 278. I took 79 out of Camden then 371 to the SW out of Magnolia to head back west to near SR 359 north. The SPC also had MCD 560 and Tornado watch 162 valid until 5 PM CDT for this area and points northeastward. Ultimately, not a single tornado was reported anywhere in the USA with this setup during this time period! I headed back on SR 359 to Texarkana for dinner, then west on I-30 to Highway 380 into McKinney, Texas for the night.


CHASE EXPEDITION 2017 MAIN PARTICIPANTS

CHASER NAMEHOME / BASE CITYCALLSIGNCHASE DATESOCCUPATION
CHRIS COLLURADEERFIELD BEACH, FLKG4PJN4-17 TO TBDIT CONSULTANT


DETAILED CHASE LOG FOR CHASE EXPEDITION 2017

1). April 19, 5:15 PM - Interception and indirect penetration of a very severe, and possibly tornadic thunderstorm in Cass County, Nebraska to the southeast of Lincoln, and near Eagle along Highway 34. The storm was a classic supercell storm developing in a line segment of strong and severe storms. A large area of rotation, and possible tornado was noted looking west and approaching the storm from the east. The storm weakened but a rotating wall cloud was noted near Manley along SR 1. The core of this storm was not directly penetrated, but had hail up to 2". Penny sized hail, 50 MPH winds, heavy rains, and occasional lightning was noted during my encounter with this storm. Conditions causing the storm were a Pacific front (overtaking a dryline), low pressure trough, upper trough, and surface heating. A 2016 Jeep Wrangler was used to chase the storms. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A tornado watch was valid for the area until 10 PM CDT.

2). April 19, 7:30 PM - Interception and indirect penetration of a severe thunderstorm from Otoe County, Nebraska along Highway 75 and SR 2 and eastward into Fremont and Page Counties, Iowa towards Bedford. The storm was a small HP supercell embedded in a line segment. A wall cloud and hail core was observed with this storm before it became outflow dominant and weakened into a line segment. The core was not directly penetrated. Lightning, heavy rains, small hail, and 50 MPH winds were encountered. Conditions causing the storm were a Pacific cold front, low pressure trough, upper trough, and surface heating. A 2016 Jeep Wrangler was used to chase the storms. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A tornado watch was valid for the area until 10 PM CDT.

3). April 20, 10:30 PM - Interception, observation, and indirect penetration of a very severe thunderstorm to the northwest of Vernon, Texas and southwest of Altus, Oklahoma near and south of the Red River along Highway 283, mainly in Wilbarger County, Texas. The storm was one of a few intense elevated supercell storms (north of a stationary front to the south). The core of this storm was not directly penetrated, but contained hail to tennis ball sized (with vertically-integrated liquid / VIL of ~80)! Penny sized hail, heavy rains, 50 MPH winds, and frequent (nearly continuous) lightning with many close hits was encountered with this storm. The storm also had a striking visual appearance (lightning illuminated) with "stacked plates" when viewed from the east. Conditions causing the storm were a stationary front, low pressure trough, upper trough, and intensifying low level jet. A 2016 Jeep Wrangler was used to chase the storms. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A severe thunderstorm watch was valid for the area until 5 AM CDT the following day.

4). April 21, 9:00 AM - Observation of a severe thunderstorm in Lawton, Oklahoma in Comanche County near I-44 and SR 7 from a stationary location. The storm was the southern end of a line segment of severe thunderstorms. The storm gust front struck, with winds gusting over 60 MPH. Sporadic lightning and heavy rain was also observed after the passage of the gust front surge. Blowing dust and some light debris was noted blowing around. Conditions causing the storms were a low pressure trough, surging outflow boundary, upper trough, and low level jet. A 2016 Jeep Wrangler was used to observe the storms. Documentation was audio and HD video. A severe thunderstorm watch was valid for the area until 12 PM CDT the following day.

5). April 21, 7:00 PM - Interception and observation of a very severe thunderstorm from near Durant, Oklahoma and eastward on Highway 70 to the west of Hugo and near Bennington in Bryan County. The storm was a classic supercell storm, which evolved to HP and later down-scaled to a weak line-segment at dusk. The storm core was not penetrated but probably contained very large hail. A large wall cloud and funnels were also observed with the inflow region of this supercell. The storm also had sporadic lightning and a striking visual appearance ("stacked-plates"). Conditions causing the storm were a prefrontal wave, Pacific cold front, low pressure trough, upper trough, and surface heating. A 2016 Jeep Wrangler was used to chase the storms. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A tornado watch was valid for the area until 1 AM CDT the following day.

6). April 25, 7:30 PM - Interception and observation of severe thunderstorms from near Burbank to Pawnee in Pawnee County, Oklahoma along Highway 64 and points eastward. The storm started out as a small supercell strong storm, which back-built and evolved into a storm cluster, with an embedded HP supercell. The mail hail core was not penetrated (contained hail to golfball sized). Small hail, 60 MPH winds, very heavy rains, and frequent lightning was observed with this storm. A wall cloud was also noted, but quickly occluded as the storm weakened. Conditions causing the storm were a Pacific cold front, low pressure trough, upper trough, and surface heating. A 2016 Jeep Wrangler was used to chase the storms. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A severe thunderstorm watch was valid for the area until 2 AM CDT the following day.

7). April 25, 10:00 PM - Interception and observation of severe thunderstorms to the southwest of Tulsa, Oklahoma near I-44 and Sapulpa in Creek County. The storm was an HP supercell storm that was on the southern end of a line segment of severe thunderstorms. The storm quickly evolved to a cluster of strong and severe storms. The core was not directly penetrated. Frequent lightning and heavy rains were observed. Small hail (pea to dime sized) and 50 MPH winds were also encountered at a stationary location near Sapulpa. Conditions causing the storm were a Pacific cold front, low pressure trough, upper trough, and surface heating. A 2016 Jeep Wrangler was used to chase the storms. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A severe thunderstorm watch was valid for the area until 2 AM CDT the following day.

8). April 26, 4:00 PM - Observation of severe thunderstorms from east and southeast of Texarkana mainly in Lafayette and Columbia Counties in Arkansas, from near I-30 and southward to near Highways 82 and 371. The storms were part of a line of strong and marginally severe storms. Heavy rains, 50 MPH winds, sporadic lightning, and small hail were encountered in some of these areas. Conditions causing the storm were a Pacific cold front, low pressure trough, upper trough, and surface heating. A 2016 Jeep Wrangler was used to chase the storms. Documentation was digital stills. A severe tornado watch was valid for the area until 5 PM CDT.

This concludes the chase log for the central US Plains for the main chase "expedition" of 2017 starting April 17 (please check back as this page is UNDER CONSTRUCTION). The summary includes a total of TBD observations, out of which there were TBD severe thunderstorms and TBD strong thunderstorms. The main chase vehicle conducting this chase was a 2016 Jeep Wrangler. This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.


GALLERY FOR APRIL 17, 2017

Packed up and leaving south Florida on April 17, passing through Orlando, Florida and planning to spend the night in Gainesville, Florida.


GALLERY FOR APRIL 18, 2017

View of non severe storms in the distance from along I-24 passing through Tennessee en-route to Saint Louis during the afternoon of April 18.


GALLERY FOR APRIL 19, 2017

Details coming SOON...

My chase vehicle prepared for hail (grills installed) late in the day on April 19, 2017 near Eagle, Nebraska.
View looking west towards a developing supercell storm near Lincoln, Nebraska from near Eagle. Note the wall cloud and scud tags.
Possible tornado or rotating wall cloud near Lincoln, Nebraska looking west from near Eagle. This was the only storm in that area along the line segments with such rotation.
Rotating wall cloud northeast of Eagle, Nebraska as the storm weakens.
Wall cloud and occlusion of HP supercell storm just east of the Iowa / Nebraska border before the storm weakened.


GALLERY FOR APRIL 20, 2017

Details coming SOON...

Looking aouth of a brief LP storm that failed to sustain itself over Haskell County, Texas late in the day on April 20.
The low level jet (LLJ) intensifies and produces these laminar cloud formations as air above it is lifted isentropically. The highly sheared cloud "tower" in the background will eventually develop into an elevated supercell north of the stationary front and produce tennis ball sized hail.
Intense elevated supercell storm and inflow into it as a lightning bolt strikes in the foreground. This was at about 10:30 PM CDT and north of Vernon, Texas on April 20. The view is west from Highway 283 as the storm is producing hail to tennis ball sized.


GALLERY FOR APRIL 21, 2017

Details coming SOON...

Australian chaser Daniel Shaw joins me on the April 21 chase in Texas / Oklahoma during the afternoon.
Convective inititation while meeting with as local farmer on his ranch outside of Gainesville, Texas.
Developing supercell storm (50 miles away) viewed from a farmers ranch north of Gainseville, Texas - Looking northeast.
View of supercell storm from past Durant, Oklahoma.
Suspicious large funnel (or wall cloud) behind the RFD clear slot (center of photo) viewed from a distance past Durant, Oklahoma.
The supercell near Bennington, Oklahoma begins to weaken, but not before displaying this "stacked plates" structure on it's southern side.
The sky takes on an eerie green color at dusk while passing between two severe hail storms.


GALLERY FOR APRIL 22, 2017

While stopping at Home Depot in Paris, Texas, I came across these tornado shelters for sale. And, you get a free cruise (in the Central USA?) if you purchase one!


GALLERY FOR APRIL 23, 2017

April 23 was another off day, so I decide to do some skydiving at Skydive Spaceland Dallas northeast of McKinney, Texas.


GALLERY FOR APRIL 24, 2017

April 24 was an off day and was spent re-positioning north to Oklahoma City.


GALLERY FOR APRIL 25, 2017

Details coming SOON...

Convective initiation underway to my west, looking westward towards a small supercell developing near Stillwater, Oklahoma on April 25.
Eerie green color of a developing hail core (to the right in this picture) while heading south on SR 18 towards Pawnee, Oklahoma.
Wall cloud associated with an HP supercell storm near Pawnee, Oklahoma. The view is WNW.
Wall cloud before occlusion of and HP supercell near Pawnee, Oklahoma and transition to a line segment of severe thunderstorms.
Small hail blows into my hotel room southwest of Tulsa, Oklahoma during late evening passage of an MCS on April 25.


GALLERY FOR APRIL 26, 2017

Details coming SOON...

This was to be the most "spectacular" shot of the day, despite a high-end moderate risk issued by the SPC. Here a shelf cloud / gust front approaches a cemetary near Magnolia, Arkansas on April 26.
View of "whales mouth" (backside of shelf cloud) near Magnolia, Arkansas.
This is the view most storm chasers will have chasing in many parts in Arkansas. Even if there was a large tornado, it would be difficult - and dangerous - trying to see it through these trees!


GALLERY FOR APRIL 27, 2017

Details COMING SOON!


OTHER CHASES IN 2017 IN THE MIDWEST

This section is for any other chases and / or storm pictures taken in the central United States / Midwestern areas during 2017. These include any chases or observations of storms that were local chases (or trips lasting a single day), but not part of a dedicated / longer chase trip. This area is also UNDER CONSTRUCTION, so please keep an eye on this page for future updates.


DETAILED CHASE LOG FOR THIS SECTION (OTHER CHASES)

1). Jan 1, 0:00 PM - This is a TEMPLATE.

This concludes the chase log for the central United States and Midwest for ANY OTHER chases in 2017 not part of a special section (especially those for single-day "spot" chase trips). The summary includes a total of TBD observations. Out of the observations, there were TBD severe thunderstorms and TBD strong thunderstorm. Out of the thunderstorms, TBD possible tornadoe were observed. The main chase vehicle conducting these chases was a 2016 Jeep Wrangler / TBD. This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.


GALLERY FOR JAN 1 (OTHER CHASES)

Details COMING SOON!


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