Tag Archives | 2015

June 4th Kansas Tornado Warned Supercells

June 4th had high potential. When Tour 5 and Photo Tour #2 awoke in the morning we felt we had to get into northern Kansas. A very volatile environment was present with 70 dew points, 5000 CAPE, strong shear and lift along an outflow boundary. There ended up being a few very beautiful supercell storms form in northwest and north central Kansas by early evening. Their structure was top notch, lightning superb and hail huge. Both tours enjoyed the long opportunity to photograph, video and just watch the storms as they spun across northern and central Kansas.

June 3rd Wyoming Supercell

June 3rd was a day we felt had decent severe weather and tornado potential. High CAPE, great shear and good lift along the higher terrain of the Laramie Range we felt would result in a few tornadic supercells. Unfortunately nature had other plans. Nothing of significance formed until just before dark and even then what happened is still up for debate. The storm spun nicely, and just as darkness hit several blocks and columns of scud clouds formed under the updraft, of which some folks called tornadoes. I am a pretty firm believer there were no tornadoes from this storm, but was certainly suspicious! Still, Tour 5 and the Photo Tour #2 had a great time with it!

June 1st South Dakota Supercell

For Tour #5 and Photo Tour #2, June 1st took us to the Black Hills area of South Dakota. Good upslope flow coupled with high CAPE values, would produce a very nice supercell storm that anchored itself to the east side of the Black Hills. This storm spun nicely, even tried to produce a tornado, but didn’t quite have enough low level shear to become tornadic. It did,, however, produce tons of very large and damaging hail to baseball size south of Sturgis. The storm persisted for several hours before decreasing in intensity just before dark. Both tours had a very nice treat on this day, and along with great structure, the storm produced some incredible lightning!

May 27th Canadian, Texas Tornado Outbreak

May 26th had incredible potential. An old outflow boundary over the northern Texas panhandle, along with a dryline extending through the Texas panhandle intersected the outflow boundary just northwest of Canadian.  High CAPE, strong shear and deep moisture would all combine to produce a violent supercell that anchored itself near the town of Canadian. By mid afternoon the storm exploded and produce several tornadoes, including a couple that were strong.  Two tornadoes came very close to hitting Canadian, but fortunately dissipated before entering town. One of the best events of this young 2015 chase season and one that will live in the memories of all tour guests for sure!

May 26th North Texas Tornadoes

Very high moisture and instability, along with an outflow boundary would provide the focus for intense supercell development over northwest Texas May 26th. Storms erupted and quickly became intense and tornado warned. Although we witnessed one tornado, several funnels and great storm structure were observed. Storms had the tendency to become high precipitation quickly and thus a couple tornadoes occurred buried deep into the rain. They were extremely hard to see and very dangerous to get close to.

May 23rd Southeast Colorado Supercell and Tornado

High CAPE, good shear and lift along a boundary would provide the focus for severe storm development on May 23rd. We arrived south of Lamar early afternoon as storms formed quickly, and became severe. An anchored supercell southwest of Lamar did everything it could to be the storm of the day (which is was). Constant new cell development on its flank resulted in the storm mode being messy. By mid afternoon, though, it managed to pull off the anchored spot and move northeast. The storm had incredible structure, HUGE hail and finally produced a weak tornado. Structure was the main thing this day and it certainly did not disappoint!

May 22nd Eastern Colorado Supercell

Day 1 for Photo Tour #1 and day 4 for the Prime Time tour took us to Colorado where highly sheared supercells formed by mid afternoon.  One storm formed west of Limon and tracked generally along I-70 eastern for several hours. The storm had super LPish structure, but was never a threat to produce tornadoes due to lower instability. Nonetheless, it was a pretty sight to watch and was extremely photogenic.  All in all, a successful chase day for everyone!

May 19th Terral, OK Tornadoes

Day 1 of our Prime Time tour lived up to it’s name. A warm front/outflow boundary was situated over southern Oklahoma with an extremely moist and unstable airmass. CAPE values were in the 2500-3000 range with 50 knots off bulk shear. We sat near Wichita Falls, TX awaiting messy initiation, which did not disappoint! By mid afternoon tornadic storms formed just north of Wichita Falls and moved into southern Oklahoma. This storm became HP quickly and a rain wrapped tornado occurred. We decided to drop a bit south and play a tail end storm east of Wichita Falls which ended up being the Terral, OK storm. It spun wildly and was extremely electrified! Soon a wall cloud formed but wrapped in precip obscuring its view. We decided to drop south and sneak in behind the area of precip and were rewarded with 2 tornadoes, one of which nearly wedged. A fun day, a lot of work, but very high rewards!


May 16th Elmer, Oklahoma Violent Tornado

An amazing day was to unfold across southern Oklahoma on May 16th.  A dryline and outflow boundary intersection would become the favored point for intense supercell storm development by late afternoon. We cut east to get in front of the Elmer, OK storm and watched as the updraft started spinning wildly. Within a few minutes a very large tornado formed just southwest of town. This tornado would grow to enormous proportions and skirt the south side of town on its way towards Snyder. We were on the north side of the tornado as it moved northeast and had an amazing view! Soon, though the approaching tornado would require us to move eastward along its path and it continued to give us a fanastic view!

After the storm became messy, we dropped south to Walters, Oklahoma where a beautiful supercell, highly striated, would produce a cone tornado. It was a day nobody on tour will ever forget! To see and hear the raw power of a violent tornado is something to remember forever!



May 13th, Abilene, Texas Tornado Warned Supercell

May 13th was a day that really didn’t look like it had much potential. A fairly poor combination of shallow moisture and weak shear should have resulted in little threat for tornadic storms. We decided to chase along a boundary that extended from east of Ft Stockton to east of Lubbock. Late afternoon several storms formed along the boundary, with an intense supercell near Blackwell, Texas. It quickly became tornado warned as it traveled northeast towards the Abilene area. The storm produced funnel clouds and had nice structure. It was also quite electrified as it churned across the countryside near dark. Great chase and a very nice surprise!