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Chase Day 5 - Why Did We Leave?! (May 21)

We woke up in Clovis, New Mexico and had a big decision to make ... Do we chase today or haul it north for tomorrow? There was potential from what we saw for storms but it was fairly marginal. We made our way to Amarillo, Texas and had lunch at The Big Texan. After that we headed to Dalheart, Texas and waited for storms to initiate. Storms began to fire up along the boundary but fizzle out. By 6:00pm we decided that we had to get going north or else we won't make the target on Tuesday.

Our friend Jason said he was too exhausted to make the drive north tonight so he said he's going to head back to Amarillo to spend the night and if there's storms he'll see what he sees. Well we continued north and pulled over to take pictures of a beautiful sunset. As we did, Jason called and said he's looking at a beautiful supercell right where we were earlier. Then he called back and said he saw it - he saw a tornado. We looked at the radar image and wow was there ever rotation. The gate-to-gate shear was 114 knots! We haven't seen any images of the tornado yet, hopefully when we meet back up with Jason he'll have some to show us.

We all had that sinking, terrible feeling of, "Why did we leave?!" but we all made a concious decision that we had to get north to back our target. We're glad Jason was able to see it though!

So tonight we're on our way to Oakley, Kansas to spend the night. Then tomorrow we drive north to northern Nebraska / southern South Dakota to get to our target and meet up with Scott McPartland and Dave Lewison.

The internet has been horrible so I hope I can get more pictures and video up tonight. We'll see what time we get into the hotel by. I'm posting from the car.

Also, one year ago today we witnessed the Ada, Oklahoma tornado after enjoying an afternoon at Rocky's annual chaser picnic.

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