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« Day 13: Tornadoes, Lightning and Close-Calls | Main | Day 11: Down Day »

Day 12: Another Tornado - Panhandle Magic

Currently I'm in Shamrock, Texas and we saw another tornado today!  The day started off with a long drive from Norman, Oklahoma to Dumas, Texas.  We met up with the Cloud 9 crew at a gas station and waited for the storms to pick up.  Sure enough, just south of us, a "blip" showed up on the radar just south of us.  We watched it for a couple of more radar scans and sure enough, it started looking juicy.

We headed for the "super blip" on the radar which soon turned into a nice supercell.  We pulled over to take pictures and videos then soon realized we needed to get further south of the storm because it was producing (at least) baseball size hail.  We bolted south and found another road to pull up on the storm and set up to watch.  There was a ton of rotation in the storm and then it began: a very nice lowering come out of the supercell rotation and then tornado!  They call this "panhandle magic".  We were maybe about 8 miles from the tornado which was a nice change from when we were 1/2 a mile away from the tornado on May 10.  It was a beautiful white elephant trunk tornado and lasted for a couple of minutes then dissipated.

We continued on so that we didn't get stuck under the hail core.  The whole storm was very green and according to our radar programs and the green on the sky, there was large hail in it.  The storm quickly became rain-wrapped which means rain and hail wrapped around the storm so we couldn't see the part of the storm that would have a tornado.  There were reports of other tornadoes within the storm from storm chasers who were closer.  Also, we could see strong rotation within the rain curtains so we're sure there was at least another tornado within the rain.  We pulled over again because the whole rotating supercell took on the "mothership" look.  You'll be able to see this in my updated photo album.  The inflow into the storm was so strong it was almost blowing me over.  I fulfilled my dream of letting bubbles goes into the inflow.  I blew the bubbles and sure enough they went streaming into the thunderstorm (yeah, I'm a nerd).

We continued on the storm until it took on a more linear shape and developed a beautiful shelf cloud.  We then had some dinner and after were treated to a wonderful lightning show.  That same storm is still trucking along (further north of us) but we've called it a night.  Got some great pictures and video today.  I'll update the photo album and in the next day or so, get some of my fellow chasers' pictures and put those up too.  Our target seems to be roughly around the same area as today, maybe further east.  Tomorrow looks good again for tornadoes.

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