2015-05-16 REPORTS: TX, OK, KS, NE, SD, IA, MO,MN

Aug 16, 2009
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Amarillo, TX
I somehow made it from Colby, KS to the Red River just as that massive tornado started. I saw a large cone in the rain, so went north on 83. Then a large violence t wedge emerged from the rain and headed towards us. We went north through the baseballs and east out on HWY 5. Saw and heard the wedge. Kept tip toeing east and watched the tornado transform into a beautiful white fat stovepipe. Full write up later. Easily a career day for me.
 
Mar 23, 2013
332
183
11
Denver, CO
I chased with 2 chasers out of Aurora, CO. I think that was my first mistake. Both were inexperienced, but provided the chase vehicle (which mine is not road trip worthy at the moment), but neither one mentioned a time limit or deadline to turn around and head back to Denver.

Made our target area Ness City, KS yesterday, and hit some lightning en route. As we turned south at WaKeeney to go to Ness City, KS, lightning illuminated a HUGE cell coming out of Garden City, KS. We stopped south of town to photograph it, but the structure had changed significantly which was very disappointing. As it turns out, it was a single discrete cell slightly out in front of the squall line that had formed, but merged with the rest of the line losing it's structure and immense height.

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Continued on to Ness City, and enjoyed a fairly active CC lightning show and a few CG's from the hotel while consuming some lovely adult beverages.

The next morning, we woke awoke to cloudy skies and no rain. Decided to dive south towards Enid, but rain into nothing but a horrible convective mess of rain and low clouds. Adjusted our target to Clinton.

Stopped at Montana Mike's for lunch, and the other two decided to inform me they had a deadline and we needed to head for home. I highly advised diving south to Lawton to be in best position to intercept, but they overrode my vote and headed for Elk City. There we wasted 90 minutes chasing a single lousy funnel that didn't do much and was anything but impressive. Saw some decent tower structure. Then they decided to backtrack to Clinton to keep chasing (a cell that wasn't even warned anymore, nonetheless, regardless of the fact that I kept showing them it WASN'T WARNED anymore), and then called the chase and headed back north to I-70.

Wall cloud SW of Elk City, OK




Very brief funnel that I saw with Elk City, OK Sup. (even my photo was blurry...just sums up how my stinking day went).


Words can't express my anger and frustration at this chase due to these circumstances, but my bitterness was mostly reduced when I saw most of the storms crossing the Red River weren't able to sustain themselves...until the massive wedge formed. We could have been in perfect position to intercept if not for all the wasted time in Elk City.

Needless to say, I won't chase with them again after this chase.

This is a view looking south of Elk City of the ass kicker sup that put down the beast of a wedge along the Red River.


In light of all that went wrong...a bad day of chasing, is still better than a good day at the office.
 

Logan Karsten

Originally, I was going to head down to OK/TX, but given the model spread and uncertainty, I decided to sit the southern target out.

So... I kept an eye on western Minnesota. A nice warm front was arching northward throughout the day. The sun was out, instability was building, and shear was sufficient. So, I left Minneapolis around 1 PM on highway 212 for western MN. Once I got to Granite Falls, there was a storm organizing into what would be a tornado producer. Witnessed at least two solid tornadoes, one being a stove pipe. The show didn't last too long, but it was long enough for me given I was home before 10 PM. Western Minnesota was definitely a sleeper target that paid off for those who chose to stay north today.

Below is a video screen grab of the stove pipe I caught north of Montevideo, MN.
 

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James Gustina

Supporter
Mar 9, 2010
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Dallas, TX
www.thunderingskies.blogspot.com
Finally broke the curse. Originally was concerned that the storms SW of Childress were all elevated but ended up sticking with the eventual Elmer tornado producing supercell from around near Paducah until we lost it in the Wichitas. Immediately noticed rather rapidly rotating pieces of scud back in the rain after crossing the Red River and got surprised by the Elmer wedge right behind us. Lost a windshield to a tennis ball before booking it east to get in position for the cone. Ended a bit early in Lawton but an excellent chase after a lot of struggling.

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Joseph Tyree

Chased the Elmer, Oklahoma tornado from close range with my chase partners Nik Stophel and Josh Knorr. Tennis to baseball size hail was falling almost the whole time but the dents were well worth the amazing imagery. Ended the day with the cone tornado near Geronimo, Oklahoma. Amazing day to say the least.
 

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Jan 14, 2011
2,941
2,753
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St. Louis
stormhighway.com
I ended Friday's chase 20 miles from the South Dakota border, and after a mix-up with my online hotel reservation, didn't get a room in North Platte until 2AM. I expected to be chasing in Nebraska Saturday, but unfortunately didn't do a data check before bed to notice the moisture already being scoured. When I woke up, I knew it was southern Oklahoma or bust. I tried, but couldn't get there in time. I finally arrived on the storm southwest of Chickasha as it was falling apart.
 
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Jan 7, 2006
576
746
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USA
www.skyinmotion.com
Daniel Betten and I watched the Elmer-Tipton tornado cross the road from close range on two occasions: first on US-283 near Elmer, and then again ~5 min later on OK-5 a few miles ENE of Elmer. The multiple vortex phase was rather spectacular, since only the subvortices were condensed for parts of it, revealing the inner structure very well.

Best of all, I somehow managed to only get one new crack on my already-trashed front windshield despite sitting in tennis balls for 5-10 minutes straight during the first crossing!


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Aug 16, 2009
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Amarillo, TX
Woke up in Colby, KS for the second night in a row at around 8am. Checked some models and radar, noticed the ongoing precip...figures. So I decided to target the TX panhandle/OK Panhandle, because a drive to the Red River seemed impossible. So we took our time leaving Colby, hitting the road around 10am. Driving south on 83, I saw the MD go up for the panhandle, and saw supercells going up already around noon SW of AMA. So then changed my plans to get to Shamrock and see what happens. Long story short, we watched the tornado warned storm do nothing and get linear. Noticed a string of storms south that were firing. Figured I might as well keep going south till I find a good one to chase. I saw the furthest south storm was near Paducah, and heading NE. Well, I busted ass to that storm and finally met it south of Elmer, on the TX side of the Red River. It displayed some rapid supercellular structure and really began ramping up.

[Broken External Image]:http://www.thetxwxchaser.com/Weathe...5-ElmerTipton-OK/i-556CpZt/0/L/IMG_9259-L.jpg

We caught a glimpse of a fat cone tornado to our west. We watched it as it shrank into a large bowl funnel. After that became obscured by rain, we then got back into OK on 83 and watched a strong wedge work it's way out of the rain.

[Broken External Image]:http://www.thetxwxchaser.com/Weathe...5-ElmerTipton-OK/i-KScB52V/0/L/IMG_9335-L.jpg

One the tornado crossed the road behind us, we made our way north into the massive hail (baseballs) and continued east towards Tipton. We kept tabs of a large wedge still on the ground the whole time. Although, it was started to get rain wrapped. The roar was very audible, and yet birds were also chirping near us.

[Broken External Image]:http://www.thetxwxchaser.com/Weathe...5-ElmerTipton-OK/i-JQ42gnV/0/L/IMG_9348-L.jpg

We crept east and let the tornado pass to our west. But not before it morphed into this amazing white large cone.

[Broken External Image]:http://www.thetxwxchaser.com/Weathe...5-ElmerTipton-OK/i-kfGjmDN/0/L/IMG_9355-L.jpg

We then joined the circus/line of chasers squeezing through Tipton. Almost rear ended a couple times. Finally, we kept going north into Snyder and then a little bit east. But, at about 6:45, I was done chasing, and turned around. On the way back into Snyder, we found a semi truck that was blocking the road, as well as yound lady stuck in the mud trying to go around I guess. So @Sean Ramsey and I helped her get out, and had to detour around to Snyder to go through. Went back into the damage path west of Tipton. Met up with a local whose small car trailer travelled a mile away.

Also, anyone else travelling east on HWY 5 notice a maroon pickup truck that was abandoned near a river crossing bridge west of Tipton? Yeah, half of it was in a field about a 1/4 mile away. We also saw maroon body panels scattered everywhere. Just wondering if anyone knows which truck I meant.

Video coming tomorrow. More pics can be seen HERE!
 

Shane Adams

Started off messing around with the junky looking storms coming out of the TX pan, along OK30 south of Erick. Inflow was cool and crappy, and the bases were garbage. After giving those storms more time than we should've, we finally decided to bail back south and try to get on one of the developing storms coming up out of TX where the best instability was. We dodged hail from two smaller cores near Hollis, then flew east and south along US283/OK5. This is the year of the HP storm, and because we chase on a shoestring budget in a normal vehicle that's also our daily driver, getting cored in baseballs is never an on-purpose option. So, we drove out east of the storm near Elmer and setup on the south side of Tipton, all while the wedge was developing/ongoing. I like shooting static tripoded video outside, so I always try to position us out of the rain and just south of the path (sometimes to a fault). We got incredible structure as we waited, and eventually our patience paid off as the now-fat stovepipe tornado slowly came into view within the insane rotation we'd been watching for several minutes. The shot was low-contrast, but we got a nice experience as the tornado moved by us to the NW, west of Tipton, arching a few powerlines as it went. It would've been nice to have observed the wedge phase and a clear view, but for the type of video I want to shoot, I'll take what we got (and an intact windshield). Here's a clip....

 

STexan

EF4
Feb 11, 2012
319
46
11
Athens, TX
Well, I'm glad some saw some tornado structure. I was in what I thought was prime position within 10 miles of the first tornado warn cell of the day, just as it warned but all I saw was a lot of rain and meso structure ... x 4.

Did the Hedley/Clarendon cell to Shamrock, TX
Then the another minor cell
Then the Elmer/Tipton/Snyder cell
Then the Walters, OK cell
Then the Burkburnett cell
4 miles of muddy road was in there somewhere south of Shamrock but my trusty steed got me through.

And saw a lot of rain but no worthwhile views IMO. I got so frustrated at one point, I knowingly proceeded directly into the bears cage at Mountain Park, OK just to see what was going inside all the rain .. sat through some significant northerly wind (80 mph?) and rain, but that was it.

I did take a little time to try and seek out some other sights on some side roads but even those were mostly non-productive. Oh well.
NE of Headly, TX
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NE of Headly, TX


N Of Wellington, TX


E Of Wellington, TX


SW Of Snyder, OK


W Of Walters, OK


NE Of Headly, TX (video frame grab)


NE Of Headly, TX (Video frame grab)


 
Dec 9, 2003
4,839
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11
Oklahoma
Here's a quick video of the Elmer tornado. I'm not sure why the quality of the YouTube video is so bad even in "HD", since it looks great on my computer. I didn't think YouTube compressed it so much. It's too bad the "tornado roar" didn't really make it in the video either

Just a few quick shots of the Elmer tornado. I shot more video than I did still photos from my DSLR, so I'll pull video frame grabs in the coming days. The first two were taken looking to the southwest just south of Hwy 5 near N2080 Rd ~6-7 miles ENE of Elmer. The last was taken looking to the west from just N of Hwy 5 near N2120 Rd several miles W of Tipton. We heard a loud waterfall sound a little bit after the time of the last pic. From the preliminary tornado track posted by NWSFO OUN, we were ~0.6-0.7 miles E of the tornado at that time. It was the first time I've heard the "tornado sound". We got bonked with some very large hailstones near the times of the first two pictures. Fortunately, the hail was relatively soft and mushy, so we didn't have any issues with broken windshields.

Looking to the southwest from 6-7 miles ENE Of Elmer, OK. The white streaks are golfball to larger than tennis ball sized hail falling. My car acquired a few more large dents during this time...

IMG_2026-1.jpg

We were originally very concerned about the house that had been in the foreground of the previous picture. That house is now on the far right side of this picture, taken looking to the southwest. The early motion of the tornado was more to the right (east) than we had expected. We ended up having to move eastward so as to avoid getting munched. It was a full on wedge at this point, but that was probably more a function of the extremely low base than of the actual width of the tornado. A multiple-vortex structure was evident at this time, though that's not really easy to see in this pic. Wedgelicious.
IMG_2032-2.jpg

Contrast was quite poor, so I have to adjust the curves to bring out the tornado. From ~3 miles W of Tipton looking to the W:
IMG_2045-3.jpg
 
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Dean Baron

Supporter
Sep 25, 2006
565
210
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31
Minneapolis, MN
With so much uncertainty across the plains I decided against making the long drive to KS/OK and took a chance on the sleeper target close to home. For once, it actually paid off for me. Got on a severe warned storm north of Montevideo, MN and tracked it for about an hour. It started rotating pretty good not long after I got on it when it started interacting with the warm front and finally put down this tornado for me:

[Broken External Image]:[URL]http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b251/dean681/Tornado.jpg[/URL]

It may have put one down before the one I saw but I couldn't confirm anything from my angle with the rain wrapping around, although it sure looked like there was something hanging to the ground. That storm moved north off the warm front but another storm developed right behind it and would go on to produce at least a half dozen tornadoes, if not closer to 10. I was on it when it first went tornadic and boy was it nice. Not big or strong tornadoes but it did put down two tornadoes at the same time about 1/4 mile to my west.

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Stuck with this storm for a while longer and saw on more brief but fully condensed rope tornado, although could not get video of it because it was so brief and I was talking to MPX on the phone when it touched down. All in all 4 tornadoes for me for sure, and would have been more if I didn't leave the storm earlier than I should have. Somehow it managed to keep producing even when it was only a little blip on the radar.
 
Jun 24, 2010
106
97
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Norman, OK
I was chasing with Jon Stone, Amy Phelps, and April Cullers. This was a day in which we did everything humanly possible to screw it up, but still managed to go home with another tornado under our belts. We missed out on seeing the wedge tornado in Elmer because we spent too long playing around on the tornado warned storms in the TX Panhandle. By the time we got to the Elmer supercell the tornado was rain wrapped. We followed the storm all the way up to the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, where we may have seen a possible tornado crossing the road in front of us near Meers (if it was on the ground it was low contrast and hard to make out on my video). As we were driving through the refuge we did see some tree damage but it may have been from straight line winds.

We finally gave up on that storm and made a last ditch effort on the supercell that went through the Wichita Falls area and crossed the Red River into SW OK. Our last ditch paid off as we got to see the Walters, OK tornado as it touched down east of I-44 near the Walters exit.


We made an attempt to catch up with the storm near Duncan but at that point we decided to call it day not wanting to deal with another HP storm in the dark.

We learned a lesson from yesterday.....never abandon your originally target. Had we stuck around in Altus and not jump on the tornado warned storms in the Panhandle we would have never had to play catch up with the Elmer supercell and we probably would have seen that tornado before getting eaten up by rain.
 

Jeff Duda

EF6+, PhD
Staff member
Supporter
Oct 7, 2008
3,455
2,403
21
Broomfield, CO
www.meteor.iastate.edu
Because of days like 13 April 2012 and 19-20 May 2013, I now use what I call simply "the rule": if Norman is within a hatched tornado contour, I don't leave until it is clear to me that nothing is going to happen near Norman.

I left Norman just before 2 PM and immediately set off for tail-end Charlie, which I assumed would be the one storm that would track directly towards Norman eventually, thus leading me back home while on the chase.

I eventually wound up E1750 Rd a few miles west of Elmer, a wondrous place with a completely unobstructed view and an almost perfectly flat and treeless horizon for miles and miles in all directions! I was there alone for at least 20 minutes watching the storm approach from the southwest. It had a huge base, much of it rain free, and there was a nearly constant distant rumble of thunder. I should've stayed in this location for much longer than I did, but I didn't, for a few reasons:
-chasing solo, I had to focus on all aspects of the chase, including navigating, watching the weather, and documenting (I was running photo and video)
-because of my decreased attention towards watching the radar, I thought the storm was moving more east than northeast
-despite the excellent view, I didn't have the strongest internet from this point on until I was up near Apache later on. I was on 1X for a good portion of the Elmer-Snyder tornado. Plus, for whatever reason, while sitting west of Elmer I suddenly stopped getting the intermediate SAILS scans from KFDR and also fell behind about 10 minutes on scans. That only seems to happen when I'm near the hordes, which had drawn near by the time I left that location.

Oh if only I had stayed there...

Anyway, sensing the core approaching (putting me too far north), I moved back east to U.S. 283, then sat on a hill just east of 283 for another 10 minutes continuing to watch it roll in. While the storm had a great base, it really seemed to struggle to organize in the low levels, so I gained confidence in gaining some distance on the core, which was again encroaching on my location. Again, I thought the storm was going almost due east at this point. Damn it...if only I had stayed there!

I moved east on OK-5 almost all the way to Tipton. Just a few miles west I diverted onto the awesome dirt network. I probably could've managed 90 on some of those roads they were so well packed and flat and even.

Again, assuming a nearly easterly storm motion and having to worry more about other drivers than watching the radar at this point, I went all the way south to the eastward bend on 5 west of Frederick before stopping. At that point I finally got a chance to study radar closely and saw that it sure seemed to be producing. All I could see to my WNW, however, was a dark blue wall under the base, with meh structure above it (the updraft actually seemed quite tilted...probably due to the higher shear and lower CAPE). At one point I started to see a lowering form left of the precip core. A group of chasers nearby started exclaiming that it was a developing tornado, which for 20 seconds I kind of also believed. But then I recalled the radar imagery and I suddenly realized that wasn't a developing tornado - it was scud rising on the south side of the RFD. I was looking way too far left/south...

150516_033.JPG
Pictured above: not a developing tornado

So I sped back north, eventually landing at about the same spot on the awesome dirt road network southwest of Tipton I had been 15 minutes prior (ugh, I always deem it some sort of logistics failure when you end up in the same place after some time). What I assume were +CG blasts popping all around me kept me in the car more than I would've liked. The storm was eating dust at a great rate (I was surprised at this given how much rain had fallen on the area lately). I knew from reports and velocity data there was a tornado in that black mass, but I just could not see it. Finally, after a few moments, it started to emerge as a low-contrast cone.

I went back up to OK-5 on the west side of Tipton. I whipped back around to face west when I saw @Ben Holcomb recording on the side of the road because, hey, I'm a nice guy and like to visit with colleagues. We watched the cone evolve into a stovepipe and produce power flashes probably a mile or two WNW.

150516_045.JPG
Pictured above: about the best I saw of the Elmer-Snyder tornado.

Then the RFD came back in and obscured the tornado. It looked pretty evil in there, so I decided it was time to flee east. Facing west on 5, though, proved to be a dumb decision, as I was forced to hop on the chaser train going east if I wanted to stay out of the RFD, which for whatever reason, I did. I should've just stayed there and gotten behind it. It probably would've made the next 15 minutes a lot easier.

I managed to get turned around and found a spot to hop on the train. Almost immediately I witnessed two pickup trucks, at least one of them labeled with News9 out of OKC all over the side, going east in the westbound lane across a double solid yellow, apparently honking at people. There was one vehicle facing westbound but pulled off the road. It's possible the truck forced them over, though, and that was what the honking was about. EDIT: as promised, YT video of this:

Anyway, for the rest of the chase I was pretty much on the run trying to stay in the inflow and ahead of the hook. I went north on 183 out of Manitou, which fortunately was four lanes, so I could make up some distance. I got to the 183/62 intersection just a few minutes ahead of the tornado. I was pretty surprised to see the number of people sitting there, apparently not feeling threatened by a rain-wrapped tornado heading directly towards them at not-a-slow speed. Guess I was just being a pussy. Northeast of the notch by only a few miles, I couldn't see a damn thing tornadically, nor could I detect any cloud base motion indicative of a strong tornado present. Maybe I missed that.

I detoured through the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge through a few back roads that I'm familiar with due to all the hiking I do there. It was pretty eery being there with no one else around and a huge supercell looming. I stopped at one point in a clearing to watch it move in. A group of non-chaser locals also was there. I made sure they knew the seriousness of the position they were in and told them, "when I leave, you leave." It was probably good that I said that, because I saw the hook start to wrap up almost on top of me when I decided to get moving again. By the time I was passing the visitors center, the velocities had picked up to the point where I was sure a tornado was forming, but again completely buried in rain. The hook was catching up to me because someone only wanted to drive 40 on the only road east through the refuge. The first chance I got (double solid gave way to dashed) I passed them and for some reason they honked at me. Whatever. Even after that I could see the hook precip slowly engulfing the mountains on the north side of the refuge. It was pretty cool, but it was right behind me, so I just kept busting east out of the park.

I tried again to get back in the hook by going north on 277 towards Apache, but as I did that the storm simply lost its supercell characteristics and became multicellular and a big lightning producer again. Lots of very close CGs. I don't quite understand the last two tornado reports that came out of that piece of junk. It didn't look anything close to what it had looked like on radar previously, and the entire area was nothing but rain at that point.

I was going to try to shoot lightning from the hill on 9 west of Norman, but the system evolved upscale into an MCS and accelerated so fast I didn't even have time for that.

I'm glad I saw a tornado on a solo chase, and I'm glad Norman didn't get threatened again for the second time in 10 days, but there are so many things about this chase that were frustrating and I could've played it much better. I know better than this. When will I learn my lesson?
 

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Jun 28, 2007
67
18
11
39
Broken Arrow, OK
Very disappointing chase for myself, as most have been in 2015. I was upset at the evolution of the storms in WC Oklahoma.. I knew I should of went towards the SW corner of Oklahoma, but the storm that went tornado warned when we got near Sayre had me staying there for a bit.

My wife and I got out of town a bit late yesterday because of prior commitments.The wife ended up seeing the brief tornado near Sayre / Elk City. She wasn't able to confirm it was on the ground, but the same time there was radio traffic stating it was. I was too busy trying to drive east and stay out of the rain to see.

When we got back into Broken Arrow we observed power flashes near 101st and Oneta from just east of there on HWY 51.
 

Mike Marz

EF3
Mar 11, 2014
209
287
21
33
Minneapolis, Minnesota
I woke up in Wichita and was extremely excited for this day. I saw the precip ongoing in southwestern Kansas and decided to go south for the Oklahoma target, south of where the precip was, and where it looked like solid instability would form. As I reached I40 in Oklahoma and started heading west, there was a solid deck of clouds in southwest Oklahoma that did not seem to be clearing. This got me pretty frustrated but I saw the cells continuing to fire in the Texas panhandle so I just kept going west on I40. It became clear that going south was going to be the best play as the tail end storm started to look more and more interesting. I paralleled the storm as it crossed the red river and then found a paved road south to core punch it. I got into a great position to go west into the cage and see the wedge and all that other fun stuff that I am seeing in other chasers' videos, but I hesitated because of how hazy and HP it all looked in there. Chasing solo is really keeping me from being too risky, and I really wish I would have just drove west and got in there. I missed some great stuff by being too cautious.... I am done doing that. O well, I waited on the outskirts of Tipton and finally I could see a stovepipe show its face through the haze and rain. That was such an amazing sight. I sat there in awe filming with my iPhone as it crossed the road and proceeded to destroy some power lines with an awesome display of power flashes. At this point the RFD was surging in and dust/rain started to obscure my view again. I then flew east away from the RFD and stair stepped the supercell all the way to OKC. Here is my video, contrast really picks up at 30 seconds, power flashes towards the end.


 
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Crazy 2015 continues for me, now 5 for 5 tornado days to out of state chase days. Knowing I was likely going to end up in extreme SW OK I made a chunk of the drive Friday and overnighted in Pratt. From there initially targeted Shamrock TX, SW of there near Hedley watched a weak tornado/funnel 90% to ground, persist for 10 min. Then watched as a multi vortex tornado formed as the rain started to wrap, it crossed hwy 287 1/4 to my W near Lelia Lake before I lost visual in the rain.


From there bailed S for what I was expecting to be the main show, and sure enough as above posts show the rest is history. Watched the LARGE wedge cross the red river from dirt roads SSW of Elmer, then led it NE as it began to shrink a bit, eventually to where I watched it cross hwy 283. Bailed N through the nasty bears cage, cautiously as knowing it could occlude and lift and cut me off. Followed a East through Tipton before bailing S for next storm coming up. Overall a solid day.

 
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Nov 18, 2006
1,241
350
11
Chicago, IL
After being on the Elmer-Tipton cell from near birth, I decided to take the long way around it as it crossed the river and approach from the north. I came south through the core and caught the Elmer tornado just as it developed. I followed it east through Elmer as a multi vortex/wedge to my south. Watched it cross 283 in great contrast before getting munched by the RFD.

In hindsight I probably could have made an attempt to get out of it by blasting east at highway 5. By then my windshield had taken a severe hit from probably a softball size stone and was completely compromised so my only thought was to not add forward momentum and make it worse, so I simply just rode it out. A very intense day that gave me what I have been waiting for all year. A solid 10 minute DVD chapter. FINALLY, I can stop hating 2015.

Full report coming later. A new windshield is only $179 for my vehicle. You can't put a price on experiences like this. I love getting up close and personal with natures temper.

Video:

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Jesse Risley

Staff member
Apr 12, 2006
2,190
653
11
41
Macomb, IL
www.tornadoguys.com
I chased with Steve Polley, Shane Kirk and Tim Thomas. We initially targeted near Sayre when it became evident that southwest OK was going to be the major play, given ongoing convection to the north and the linear mode to storms going up near the I40 corridor. When that cell developed in northern TX, it became clear that it was going to have a fairly unimpeded environment to work with, and hi-res BR scans from KFDR seemed to indicate some sort of longitudinal boundary that the storm may have interacted with near the Red River.

We intercepted the cell east of El Dorado, then stayed northeast of the hail core as we approached Elmer. We moved east on Hwy 5, then dropped south on the east side of the North Fork Red River, on N2210 several miles west of Tipton. This didn't yield the most photogenic view of the tornado, but the inflow winds were intense, and the cone was visible with intermittent power flashes as the tornado moved NNW of our location as it got closer to Tipton. The structure was incredible, as was the amount of lacustrine soil being lofted into the storm by the intense inflow as the storm approached our location. We dropped south and intercepted the next two cells, finishing the day off in Wichita Falls as that storm tried really hard to drop a tornado as it crossed Hwy 287 on the west side.
 

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Aug 16, 2009
814
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32
Amarillo, TX
After carefully looking through some pics, I did manage to capture the Shamrock tornado, but only barely. NWS Amarillo did a survey and determined the tornado started at 3:14, which is the exact time I took this picture. You can make out the right edge of the tornado. We did note a couple of power flashes over the interstate at the time, but we only thought it was from straight line winds.