24 MAY 2003: TEXAS PANHANDLE SUPERCELLS

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Amarillo, Texas--Steve Miller and I chased isolated LP storms in the Eastern Texas Panhandle today, one of which morphed from a small, compact LP north of Mobeetie in Wheeler County into a classic supercell with a large rain core near Hoover, where we witnessed a large and impressive gustnado (see picture). This feature might have been reported as a tornado though several impressive wall clouds associated with constantly westward-developing mesos certainly could have touched down briefly. In Pampa, what had become a line segment with strong inflow on the eastern and western flanks shrunk into a more classic supercell with a small hook and mesocyclone, dropping baseball hail on State Road 70 just south of the city. We perched beneath a gas station awning, looking for a way to escape back into a favorable viewing position. As the storm moved southwest, we skirted the hail core by driving south on 70 as the storm cleared the road.

We headed west on Interstate 40 toward Amarillo and then south to Goodnight where we shot the laminar banded gustfront, polished and sculpted something like the May 27, 2001 derecho in Southern Kansas. Considering the small distance we traveled, we’re amazed to realize we chased more than five hours from 4:15 PM CST to past 9:30. The Weathervine crew and Scott Eubanks also chased with us.

Amos Magliocco's Stormpage