10/18/2006 REPORT: TX

I took a short ride from my home late today to intercept the cell which was tornado warned in Burnet county. I had done a forecast earlier and did expect severe cells to pop up to the NW of AUS area. However I figured a low chance for tornadoes since very slow sfc winds, mid level lapse rates weak, and no real boundary interactions that I could see. When the svr cell popped I watched it noting it was moving right of other cells and developed a meso. I didn't immediately head out for it because I was messing with other stuff at the time. Nothing was loaded to go, but I'm set up, so just had to toss a few things in and go. When the tornado warning went off, (which I didn't really expect), I jumped and knew I had to at least take a look. In retrospect I wish I could have been on it when the cell was first tornado warned. I got out the door in about 10 minutes after warning, and it took me about 15 to 20 to get through the traffic and out of town headed up hwy 183. When I arrived at my intercept point the area of rotation was just a mile or two to my NNW and Threatnet moments before (previous scan) had indicated 103 mph. As I approached I believe I could see some low hanging funnels along the flank. When I met the storm I was on it's right flank based on it's motion, or basically the south end of the storm with rotation directly ahead and I believe somewhat in front of the cell. There was a large funnel shape. Behind and above - all around appeared to be a lot of the cloud carved out from RFD. It was already getting a bit late so light wasn't all that plentiful, but in the moments I sat on the side of the road watching it there was some pretty intense precip and wind that broke out around the area of the funnel. It became mostly obscured. Probably this was the RFD at work. The wind looked intense so I backed off south a bit. The cell crossed the road and began getting away from me. The road network wasn't great, but there were some options. I ran into Jeff Draper, and he said he had seen some tree damage back toward Burnet where he had followed it. We decided to head east on some backroads and a few of his crew followed. At this point it continued to get dark. The cell was indicating a TVS for awhile, and Threatnet was showing rotation but more like 80mph and then 69mph. I followed in the almost dark on the edge of the bear cage precip - getting hit with it at times. There wasn't a lot to see. I followed it on to Jarrell, and then broke off when I realized it was already at Salado, it was dark, and I would have to drive straight through the heavy core indicating 2" hail on the side of Temple to get to the area of rotation again. This made me think about all the storms that tend to pass through the Jarrell area. That's it, and I went home.

Nice to see some severe and drive in the rain again. Checking SPC reports I see there was some wind damage reported in Burnet so far.