Storm Chase 2015, Day 9

Today, we started our chase day in Stephenville, Texas with a target of Canadian, Texas for the afternoon. The surface analysis shows the observations from the morning conditions before chasing, as well as parameters the models were outputting for the afternoon. The 250 mb flow (blue arrow) was out of the west and very weak. Basically, there was no upper level support to promote lift for storms to initiate. There was a shortwave trough situated over the area of interest during the afternoon which increased the possibility for severe storms. Unlike many other days, there was a low level jet  (orange arrow) at 850 mb coming from the south. Plenty of moisture was located across the northeastern Panhandle of Texas, as seen by dewpoints in the sixties, creating a moisture gradient. The area of greatest instability (red oval) was located across the Northern Panhandle of Texas, and the area of greatest helicity (blue oval) was located across the western portion of Oklahoma, extending into the northeastern Texas Panhandle. Considering all of these factors, Canadian, Texas (yellow box) had the greatest possibility for storms, making this our target city for the day.


Tori Schow

Upon arrival in Canadian, Texas, we watched a storm initiate to the southwest of the city. We then followed this storm northeast where we saw several funnel clouds form.


Tori Schow


Tori Schow



The funnel cloud(s) became rain-wrapped, and so we moved positions to get a better view of the storm.


Tori Schow


Tori Schow

Later in the afternoon, this same storm produced a tornado. From our view, we were approximately 4 miles away from the tornado.


Tori Schow


Josh Durkee

We moved positions again to get a better look at the storm and new circulation began to form. A wall cloud developed, but no tornado was produced. As rain took over, the visibility became much lower so we decided to call it a day.

After arriving at the hotel, we went out for a celebratory steak dinner with the group. To end the evening, we took some lightning shots from lot nearby the hotel. We are currently staying in Pampa, Texas tonight and are looking forward to another day of chasing tomorrow.



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