04-19-04: Perryton TX was a Tornado

There was some debate about the Perryton tornado, I found the following information in the NCDC Storm Events today, which is now updated through April 30, 2004.

Source: NCDC Storm Events
http://www4.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi-win/wwcgi.dl...?wwevent~storms
http://www4.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi-win/wwcgi.dl...howEvent~535497

Event: Tornado
Begin Date: 19 Apr 2004, 07:22:00 PM CST
Begin Location: 21 Miles South of Perryton
Begin LAT/LON: 36°06'N / 100°48'W
End Date: 19 Apr 2004, 07:32:00 PM CST
End Location: 21 Miles South West of Perryton
End LAT/LON: 36°06'N / 100°48'W
Length: 1 Mile
Width: 440 Yards
Magnitude: F0
Fatalities: 0
Injuries: 0
Property Damage: $ 0.0
Crop Damage: $ 0.0
State: Texas
Map of Counties
County: Ochiltree

Description:
This tornado occurred over open country near the intersection of Farm to Market Road 281 and State Highway 70. No damage or injuries were reported. Severe thunderstorms moved across the northern and central Texas panhandle during the afternoon and evening hours producing large hail and an isolated tornado. The tornado touched down over open country and no damages or injuries were reported.

Mike
 
It's ironic that so many people who stood by their laurels and called this a tornado despite extreme ridicule by the chase community would have their tornado officially recorded, and I've got unquestionable tubes on video that have been seen by OUN NWSFO mets that still aren't logged.

:roll:
 
I could have gone without being reminded of this one. I left the area as they canceled the storm warning and figured it was all over. I was on the wrong side of it anyway.
 
The report says the tornado moved from 21 S to 21 SW of Perryton from 8:22-8:32 pm CDT, a slow westward movement over that 10 minute period (actually: the lat-lon would indicate a stationary tornado). If I recall correctly, that storm was moving northeast at a fairly good clip during that period.

The reports I have seen were 8-8:20 pm 10 SSW of Perryton: http://www.stormtrack.org/forum/viewtopic....hlight=perryton

The only other report I have seen was "west" of Perryton: http://www.wx5tvs.com/chasephotos/2004/200...on_TX_wedge.wmv

So unless both parties were badly mistaken about the position, and the first group didn't have an accurate time, this isn't the same tornado. Something still doesn't add up to me here. Did anyone out there document a westward moving or stationary tornado 21 S/SW of Perryton between 8:22-8:32?

Edit to add: The lat-lon given is just east of Texas 70 and FM 281 about exactly 20 miles due south of downtown Perryton. I'd be interested in knowing from David where and when the video on his web site was taken, and what direction he was looking.
 
The report says the tornado moved from 21 S to 21 SW of Perryton from 8:22-8:32 pm CDT, a slow westward movement over that 10 minute period (actually: the lat-lon would indicate a stationary tornado). If I recall correctly, that storm was moving northeast at a fairly good clip during that period.

The reports I have seen were 8-8:20 pm 10 SSW of Perryton: http://www.stormtrack.org/forum/viewtopic....hlight=perryton

The only other report I have seen was "west" of Perryton: http://www.wx5tvs.com/chasephotos/2004/200...on_TX_wedge.wmv

So unless both parties were badly mistaken about the position, and the first group didn't have an accurate time, this isn't the same tornado. Something still doesn't add up to me here. Did anyone out there document a westward moving or stationary tornado 21 S/SW of Perryton between 8:22-8:32?

Edit to add: The lat-lon given is just east of Texas 70 and FM 281 about exactly 20 miles due south of downtown Perryton. I'd be interested in knowing from David where and when the video on his web site was taken, and what direction he was looking.

I was coming up to Perryton from the south, we saw it as we came out of the Canadian River Valley probably about the time we crossed Ochilltree county. We could see it to the 10 oclock position. If you note the road takes a curve to the NE right there. That would put us looking North. Looking back it appears I underestimated our distance to Perryton (thought we were much closer than we were), but it still would have put it in the general vicinity of that confirmation. Maybe Bob Schafer can comment since he was with me. Probably a bad original position estimate on my part originally. I figured it to be a little more SW than S of Perryton, but it was getting pretty low light and as you know sometimes judging distance in low light is difficult.
 
You know David it still makes me sick I broke off that storm and headed home when you decided to bust north and catch up to it from Whitedeer. :evil: I didnt think we could catch it being so close to dark. I learned my lesson that day. You calling me to have me report the tornado to the AMA NWS killed me. I was staring north screaming inside.
 
No wonder there was so much confusion back then! Based on radar and reports from other spotters/chasers, the updraft would have passed about 20 miles south of Perryton at about 8:30. So, the reports of wedge tornadoes west of Perryton and 10 SSW of Perryton at 8:05 seemed really bogus. Glad this got cleared up...eventually! :)
 
No wonder there was so much confusion back then! Based on radar and reports from other spotters/chasers, the updraft would have passed about 20 miles south of Perryton at about 8:30. So, the reports of wedge tornadoes west of Perryton and 10 SSW of Perryton at 8:05 seemed really bogus. Glad this got cleared up...eventually! :)

Yeah unfortunately, I do make a mistake once in a while even though I really hate it. :wink: I was really thinking we were much closer to Perryton for some reason at the time, but I do remember we had just come up out of the Canadian River valley which would put us right at that county line, so that put my initial report in err. At least I DID get it reported to the NWS via Jay.
 
Not saying it surely wasn't a tor, but NCDC can be a COMPLETE joke with reports. There are many days out there to illustrate this. NCDC doesn't make something any more real. If it's reported it's likely it will find it's way into the NCDC database as factual.
 
Oh, boy.

Where to start?

If the report was 100% accurate, this would have been the scenario:

David and I reach the top of the canyon.....and we drive into the tornado. That's exactly where we were at 8:32 (ok, give or take 2 minutes). Here's how I know this:

http://community.webshots.com/photo/345395...138675295FUJgrk

See the timestamp? 8:37 CDT. It is accurate +/- 30 seconds.

We reached the top, and there it was, but that vidcap is from about 5 minutes later, when it was lightning-backlit. (The best vidcap I got.) The tornado was damn sure NOT at the intersection of 70 and 281, as the report states. By 8:37, we were several miles N of that intersection, which I know because, looking at the DeLorme Gazetteer, 281 is merely a matter of a few hundred yards N of where you get above the canyon, which puts us right at 70/281 within a couple minutes of 8:32, the time the tornado was reported to have dissipated.

Then, from that intersection, 70 shoots due N (Not NE, sorry David, lol). The wedge was at 10 o'clock, as David said. Perryton is also pretty much due N from where we were, so it was SW or WSW of Perryton. Someone could tell me W, but I don't think so, because I don't think it was THAT far to our NW.

Ergo,
A) The report has the location wrong, or
B) We had a (440 yard wide!) tornado touch down VERY close to our location without seeing it.

I am willing to accept the possibility that our "wedge" was not a tornado, but nobody will ever convince me 100%, especially not after seeing that report.

I have been fooled plenty of times, but this sucker would have made ANY chaser scream "WEDGE TORNADO!!! WEDGE TORNADO!!!"

If it wasn't a wedge tornado, it was the best "faux" tornado any human being has ever seen.

The location in the report is simply wrong.

Yes, the storm motion was NE at a pretty good clip, but made a right turn at about Perryton, since we then ended up near Follett a while later, nearly due E of Perryton, and nowcaster Tom Tackett reported that we needed to get the hell out of there as, in pitch black darkness, a nasty meso was almost over our heads.

I hope this muddles things up even further.

Bob

[Edit] Oh, BTW, that vidcap DOES exhibit some "light" under the wedge. It may have been lifting then, but it didn't look like it was lifting briefly before then. Like I said, that was simply the best vidcap I could get. It was getting pretty dark.
 
Back
Top