March 28th was a day many storm chasers will never forget. An unusually strong and deep system was crossing the Rocky Mountains with intense lift, deep moisture, incredible shear and good instability headed towards the southern and central high plains. This would set the stage for what would become one of the most prolific tornado days in the high plains ever recorded in March. All in all I caught 8 tornadoes this day with 3 being quite photogenic and quite strong. A total of 65 tornado reports were submitted to SPC. Two different supercells spawned killer tornadoes. I have many still photos and a few video captures of the tornadoes we intercepted below. The first two tornadoes we could not get photos of as they were too far off near Silverton, Texas. We were on a hard intercept course for that supercell and couldn’t get there in time to get good photos. Both tornadoes were slender elephant trunk shaped tornadoes. Then a 3rd tornado formed, a multivortex tornado, northeast of Silverton and that is where my first video capture was taken. After that supercell moved northeast, the developing tail in storm became quite a dominating monster. We caught 3 or possibly 4 tornadoes from that storm. Finally, as that cell moved northeast towards Miami, Texas, we could see a lightning lit very large wedge tornado to our distant north. This final tornado derailed a train and did some minor damage.
A strong closed low was to be the culprit for sever weather across Colorado and Nebraska on March 23rd and 24th. the most intense storms and tornadic supercells developed over eastern New Mexico, while Colorado just didn’t have enough deep moisture to get intense storms to form. Marginal supercell structures formed and were quite photogenic. On the 24th, poor lapse rates and marginal moisture would spell doom for what appeared on paper to be a decent set up. A couple of tornado occurred in northeast Colorado on Saturday, with a possible brief tornado near Hayes Center, Nebraska.
March 10 appeared to be a marginal day for severe weather across the Texas panhandle. With nothing else to do, I decided to head south from Denver to see what would form. Limited moisture was the main problem, but very cold air aloft and decent wind shear would help to produce several high based supercells this day. Many of them produced hail quarter size, with up to ping pong ball sized reported with the storm featured here. Near dark as the cells merged into a southeast moving MCS, the anvil crawler show began.