2005 MAY 12: PLAINVIEW, TEXAS AREA SUPERCELL AND TORNADOES
 


video grab ~2153z from near South Plains, Texas looking west toward Lone Star

digital still image
After a long drive from Colby, Kansas and a speeding ticket near Tulia, Texas (with the exploding updraft in dominating the horizon), we intercepted this supercell easy of Plainview.

From near South Plains, Texas in Floyd County, we observed a weak rope tornado near Lone Star around 2153z.  Two friends of ours were practically underneath this circulation and confirmed the touchdown of two tornadoes, though I only observed one.

We stayed with this storm until another, more powerful cell developed and we fell west to chase it.  This is the storm that produced a large barrel tornado and the hail wrap that destroyed so many chaser vehicles, such as Chris Kridler and Dave Lewison.  We were south of Quitaque looking west at the time, around 2320z.  This put us seven miles east of the tornado, too far to see it clearly given how quickly it wrapped up and how much precip was west of the meso.  Chasers with the strongest imagery approached the tornado from the north, which put clear sky behind the tornado.

However our luck turned around.  We observed either that same tornado or another tornado associated with the same mesocyclone at 2354z.  We were six miles south of Quitaque, Texas at the intersection of FM 1065 and CR 44 looking northwest.

I wasn't able to focus on the tornado and was lucky to get the video grabs I have.  I can't say that I actually observed this tornado at the time, though Tony and Scott both made it out through the precip, as did my VX2100 despite my swinging it around trying to locate the tornado others were pointing toward.

These grabs are processed within an inch of their lives and an intolerable amount of noise is added, but it was the only way to highlight the feature.

Thanks to my friend and frequent chase pal Tony Laubach for helping with the post-chase forensics.


2135z.  Our position marked by small white icon

radar from 2151z
   

Tony Laubach hears the spotter report of a tornado and points to the shadow ~2354z

Tornado on the ground, in the rain, far right side of image.  We are six miles south of Quitaque, Texas looking northwest

Rain-wrapped tornado behind forward flank gust front

Moments later
2354z  six miles south of Quitaque, Texas looking northwest.  Radar indicates this tornado was very near Cottonwood Lake.

2354z reflectivity

2354z zoomed out

velocity from 2354z

Later in the chase