11/15/06 REPORTS: FL

Dec 25, 2005
Key Largo, Florida
Just go back home from a long 2 days. We were on the supercells in the Florida Panhandle and were so very close to seeing the Tornado near Crestview, Florida. We observed a supercell coming off the Gulf of Mexico take shape in the matter of minutes as it passed by us. We observed rapidly rising scud and definite rotation and knew it was about to tornado. The only problem was it was moving NE at 60mph so there was no way in hell to keep up with it. It later did put down a tornado near Crestview. Overall we saw around 6 supercells in front of the main line and each time they were very close to putting down a tornado in front of us and each time they did just minutes after blasting by us. This chase for me was kind of different because at times I felt like I was chasing a Hurricane. There were bands of stretched elongated storms with amazing shear zipping by overhead extremely fast. I have not seen clouds zipping overhead so fast since being in the eyewall of Hurricane Charley. It was hard to see the supercell coming with all the low level clouds in the way but the radar confirmed it coming then we would have about 5 minutes of watching it before it was gone and then we would position ourselves in front of the next supercell coming. :)

Overall saw 6 supercells that were all tornado warned along Hwy.98 and I-10 in the Florida Panhandle. The Lightning was lame but the strong winds and fast moving clouds overhead made up for it.

Mike Theiss