2/23/06 REPORTS: TX / KS / OK

Rocky and I saw a tornado to the NNW of McLean, TX
Time was from 5:5 to 6:06 We witnessed the entire life cycle of this tornado starting out as a bowl shaped funnel and snaking its way to the ground.
The storm structure did not look great. We almost gave up on it, but I spotted some concentrated rotation and we stuck it out. Boy are we glad we did.
Full Report Now Done at: http://www.realclearwx.com/22307.htm
Tornado Video: http://www.realclearwx.com/22307torn.htm

me and Scott Bell were also on that storm..and we did give up and were about to be on the next southern storm.... but we werent far enough away before we saw it going down.



FULL REPORT now done: http://www.realclearwx.com/22307.htm

brian emfinger
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Jon Merage and I were on this storm too. We stayed around the McLean/Groom area most of the afternoon till initiation occured. It was a cute little tornado, nice rfd structure, good cascading motion and respectable looking little tornado. It skipped around for about 10 minutes as Charles said and disappated. Blew on oil line on the van, so our day is done. Back to AMA and then to rent a car and cold core chase tomorrow.

Roger Hill
Kanani, Bill Turner, and myself chased the southern storm near Hedley. We had been on this storm since it had fired SW of Clarendon about 4pm. We saw a well defined funnel come down but were blocked by a small hill and couldnt see the ground directly below it but have learned a NWS employee was in a better position and comfirmed it was on the ground. They also reported a second touchdown but we were repositioning for better visibility and missed that one. We ran into maybe a dozen or so other chasers including Jason Boggs so I am sure somebody else also saw this. We had a number of finger funnels from time to time also. I would love to see a velocity scan of this storm at the time of the tornado. We had WxWorx showing 115mph shear in 2 spots and 1 showing 103mph. All almost on top of each other. Yet there was no shear detection (donut) on the McClean storm when it produced. Not sure if we just missed an update or what.

edit***********By the way a mod needs to correct the title of this thread. it should be 2007 not 2006.
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Saw a sunset in sw KS(with a little "LP"). I was right where the tornado reports are coming out now(now that I'm in Pratt). Congrats all that bagged.
Brian James and I were also on the southern cell near near Hedley. We, like others at the time, made the decision to pursue the storm to the south. Shortly after leaving we were informed by the NWS employee who we were also chasing with at the time that the cell we just left was going tornadic. Nevertheless the Hedley cell had very strong inflow, enough to down powerlines along hwy 287 southeast of Giles in Donley County.

Pictures to come later.
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Here's some more pics of the McLean tornado that Michael, Tony and Myself got along I-40. It was a funnel aloft for many minutes as it moved due north and almost seemed to drift back west as it dissipated. A nice way to start off the first chase of 2007. Congrats on all who got to see storms today!

http://www.stormchaserco.com/20070223.wmv - 5:33min video 14.4Mb

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ospmu69ad9s - YouTube video

http://stormchaserco.blogspot.com/2007/02/feb-23-2007-mclean-tx-tornado-chase.html - Full log here!



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Panhandle chase

I was near the cells that formed near Silverton and follwed them until jsut south of Clarendon letting each cell go the NE and then sampling the cells to the SW eacht time. I may or may have not been able to stay with the cell that produced the tornado. Im not really sure if it was the original cell I was on or not. I did get some great structure shots of the cell that would eventually move into the Quail Texas area. This storm looked like it was going to produce a tornado very enar quail with a nice wall cloud and good rotation with a little fingerish funnel but it was not to be.
It was a very enjoyable chase as far as actually getting storms to fire in the daylight hours and the awesome motion and structure of some of these cells. It looked like shaving cream oozing from the nozzle at times gazing into the updraft. Nice Beaver tail on the cell as well for awhile.
I added a pic to my gallery on myspace....it is the last pic on the page. I have some others as well that I will post later. www.myspace.com/texhomastormchasers click on the pics section under profile.
Good chase for February...lets keep the rest of the storm season in the Texas Panhandle as well!!!!!!!
Bravo for those who took the chance of seeing some convection before dark!!!!

"I do not have a ton of faith in storms before then. It's possible, but I think a lot of wishcasting is going into tomorrow. We shall see! I'm about to gamble 1500 miles and a couple hundred bucks to find out! LOL"

That was something I posted in my blog Thursday afternoon after replying to a friend of mine who commented on our upcoming chase.

So in Amarillo with what'll wrap up to be about 1500 miles upon my return home (and a couple hundred bucks later), my gamble paid off. I scored on my first chase of 2007; bagging my 51st career tornado, first February tornado, and enjoying my first ever February chase AND thunderstorm.







Hank Baker, Gene Rhoden, Chris Novy, Chris (OU senior meteorology student) and I chased the storms over the southeast TX Panhandle.

We saw the Wheeler County, TX tornadic storm when it was in eastern Donley County (northeast of Hedley, TX). It was a highly sheared (tilted 40-65 degrees), multicell pile of junk. Gene noted the storm appeared to struggling as it crossed an apparent outflow boundary denoted by a long, E-W oriented laminar cloud band (that should have been a clue?). A left split emerged from the storm to its south and appeared to be on a collision course. That was the final factor which pushed us to chase the southern storm's right split which looked better on Baron's Threat Net. I'm sure we'll all have fun trying to figure out why that storm produced a tornado in Wheeler County.

This southern storm (the "Hedley" storm) produced the highlight of our chase. We witnessed a 60 second elephant trunk funnel cloud extend about 1/3 to 1/2 the way to the ground as it descended from an obvious meso/wall cloud 10-15 miles to our WSW. We were parked just south of Quail, TX at the time and I thought it was close to US287. I called it into WFO AMA. I notice that this event was called a tornado in the SPC Logs by two sources so I guessed we should have been "bumping chests" after that! :lol: We didn't feel like it at the time due to distance and the fact that the "tornado" had no storm structure to go with it due to a widespread stratus deck.

SPC Log 2/23/2007 said:
Time Location County State Lat Lon Comments
0013 6 NE HEDLEY DONLEY TX 3493 10058 (AMA)

The most frustrating part of chasing this event was convective mode. I personally expected a few highly-sheared LP supercells perhaps transitioning to classic supercells over the eastern TX panhandle. What we got was numerous, highly-sheared, "junky" multicells with only a few transient supercells.

Plymouth St. KAMA 0.5 BREF java loop 2320z-0040z (link will expire on 3/11/2007)

At the time, I suspected the storms were suffering from the dreaded hodograph "kinking" problem and sure enough they did. The FSL RUC analysis soundings for Childress, TX (KCDS) showed a pronounced kink between 825-680 MB from convective initiation 21z until near sunset at 00z/24. Sometimes you can catch this problem on the SPC Hourly Meso Analysis Supercell Composite (left-moving) product, but it didn't show up in this case.

In retrospect, I should have seen this multicell convective mode coming. The 12z and 15z RUC runs forecasted this hodograph kink problem all along. I was just so busy at work this morning, I didn't have a chance to view the RUC forecast hodographs before I ran out the door. That'll "learn" me!

Oh well, this was still a good first chase, particularly for February. It was my earliest chase ever in nearly 20 years of chasing. Plus, my chase buddies made for good company. Thanks for the ride Hank!
Had a great day today. Saw the one Tornado NW of McLean, TX. Was able to see the whole thing from the beginning of the wall cloud all they way to the rope out. Unfortunatly the wide angle lens was on and i was shivvering so much hard to take any stills and or video without blurr or vibrations. Here is one pic taken.. Distance is about 2 miles away, view is to the North.


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I (along with my wife, Dan Dawson, and Jana Houser) targeted CDS, and made it through Hollis as convection was firing to our west. We stopped and waited in Wellington, hoping that the mess of convection to the west would settle down (i.e. a couple of supercells would come out of that intact). Around 5:45 (I think....) we noticed a left-split starting to move northeastward from the southern storm (Quail TX storm). Thinking that it would impact the cell near I40, we opted to drop west-southwestward toward Memphis and Quail. Rather hilly terrain and questionable roads made it difficult to get a view of the storm base until we got into better position around 6:15pm. By this time, the mesocyclone was beginning to weaken, though we observed pretty nice RFD action. From our view (on FM1547 ~3mi S of Quail), the storm looked to be on the wet side of classic (or even HP), with the primary meso tucked well into the precipitation. I wasn't able to look at radar much since I was driving, but that's what it looked like to me. The more I think about it, there may have been some flanking-line convection that developed and moved into the main body of the storm. I suppose I'll figure it out when I review radar imagery tomorrow.

I'm interested to see pics/video or read accounts of the tornado reported near Quail. I think the 0022UTC report came when we were forced to turn around on a terrible, sand-dirt road about 1 mi S of Quail. We spent 5-10 minutes driving around trying to find a hill on which to park, and our one attempt to get closer was reversed owing to fear of getting stuck in sand / loose dirt on a road that had a tall hill on the storm-viewing side. UGh.
Not a bad way to start the season I suppose. We started off late but ended up getting through Childress at 4:00 after seeing the 3 bigger storm towers north and west of town. Proceeded to take the short jaunt up to Memphis where we set up on the southern storm, which is kind of standard procedure for me. Watched a struggling updraft area/meso fora while and then took notice of the split that was going on. We stuck with the southern portion and I'm not sure exactly where the Tornado was reported in regards to our chase, but I believe we were trying to get into better position outside of Quail when the Tornado in question happened. Not a bad way to start the year, but I didn't have all the equipment ready and such today which ended up making our eyes be the number one data source for the day, which I truthfully didn't mind :)
A decent overall first chase of the year. My wife and I departed Norman at about 12:45 with an initial target of Altus. On the way down there I was becoming increasingly worried about the amount of cloud cover in the area, but right before we arrived in Altus the NOAA radio alerted us to an area of increasing instability near Childress. A wifi and gas stop on the edge of town confirmed what we had heard and we pressed on westward, arriving in Childress at approximately 4:00. We could clearly see the dryline beginning to activate west of town, so we stopped for a bit to watch the radar and satellite (apparently, the Kettle does not offer access any more so we had to settle for the Best Western across the street).

Once the small group of cells started developing to the northeast of Plainview, we headed NW on 287 towards Memphis, with the intention of intercepting the storm near Clarendon, but on the way we saw that the southern storm had a fairly well-defined base and was intensifying (confirmed by a severe warning a couple minutes later) so we broke off and headed west towards it on FM 2361. We eventually settled on the top of a hill on a small dirt road and watched some subtle rising motion for about 20 minutes or so, but nothing great materialized. It did produce some spectacular lightning and very intense inflow winds (probably 50 mph) which blasted red dirt all over my car and inside the body of my lens (it makes a nice crunchy sandy sound now, but thankfully the optics are just fine). We let the storm pass, convinced that it would not produce anything more than what we had already seen and watched as a second storm approached from the southwest. I kept watching the first storm and it looked a little like it was tightening up (it developed a very nice beaver tail and had explosive vertical development along the flanking line) but by that time it was about 6:00 and I was convinced we were done for the evening. I kept taking pictures though, and the second one below is apparently of the storm at about the time it was producing the tornado. We broke off the chase at about 6:30 and headed back home, but not after I had managed to capture a nice sunset behind the base of the second storm.

All in all, it was a nice early season chase. I had pretty low expectations as I knew going in that it was a total feast or famine scenario. I found it very interesting that the MD issued in the middle of the afternoon mentioned the mid-level impulse as well - the profiler data that I was looking at all morning didn't seem to jive at all with the RUC or the SPC mesoanalysis, so I knew something had to be up. We also got to use Delorme SA 2006 for the first time and it is light years better than using a map! I don't know how I did it for four years before this. We arrived back in Norman at about 10:30 and proceeded to look at the storm reports, where we found out about the tornado that we just missed. Oh well, I still think that for such a complex and questionable scenario it worked out great.


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Here are captures from the video I shot of the McLean Tx tornado..



Targeted just west of Childress and decided to intially chase the northern supercell. Intercepted it near McLean and it was fairly unimpressive with a flat unactive base. At the time this cell was weakening and we were watching with great interest the intensifying southern supercell. We decided to go for the southern storm and during this time we had view of the middle supercell that would produce the tornado others have witnessed. I mulled over quickly whether to go for the middle cell since it had a little more life to it's cloud structure and inflow. I saw the intial lowering but I didn't think much of it because of it's ragged appearance and how the little the shape changed while we were watching it. The last radar update we looked at for that storm showed some weakening so I thought it would continue weakening as the first storm had done intially (the first storm's outflow cooled air being in the vicinity as well).

We proceded south towards the southern supercell. As we came south on 273 we saw an antisupercell split from the southern storm. The updraft on it was my the favorite part of the chase. It had a thin tubular top with a bulb like bottom, similar to a dradle. We ended up going just east of Hadley and witnessed a possible funnel cloud briefly before it was completely occluded by rain. This is consistent with Bobby's previous report. Night fell pretty quickly after that and we followed the storm north until reaching I-40.

It wasn't that bad of a chase considering we got on three different supercells and saw a funnel cloud. But we missed out on the tornado and the storms we chased had lackluster structure and seemed to not be persistent in intensity.

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Watched this coming towards me , i was in Englewood KS, the sun was setting and i hadn't been feeling all that great, as it came closer it was dark by then, i ended up following another storm that was tornado warned moving towards Dodge City KS, was anyone else on or near this storm, a tornado was reported by sherrif's and a stormchaser, they said the tornado was on the ground for 5 minutes at the time the report was coming out it was 7 Miles NW of ENSIGN KS
7:14pm. I was 3 miles from the report and i couldnt see anything resembling a tornado, the lightning lit up the whole area and there were some low scud type clouds but i didnt see any rotation in that... i gave up north of Dodge City KS.

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Scott Olson and I got into position just in time for initiation of the three Texas supercells near Mclean. We raced back and forth between the 3 storms, trying to stay with the one that looked most likely to succeed. We saw a brief funnel with the southern cell. Kind of a tricky chase.
One more McLean chase entry

This day was one of the greateat catches since my storm chase hobby began in the late 70's (early 80's on the plains). I met Charles Edwards in Yukon, Ok. where he promptly threw his gear in my truck, hooked up his laptop which had the latest GR level 3 software installed.. and we merrily hit the road westbound on I-40 in hopes of at least seeing a good storm with some lightning, I knew the chances were there that tornadoes would be present somewhere within a hundred miles of us, but being it was February, and minimal chances of daylight convection... I expected to just see a couple of good storms and get into the mindset that chase season was close at hand.

We decided on Shamrock, TX.. many others had thought of Childress and with moisture advecting northward and slighly warmer temps, that target was reasonable. We decided on Shamrock thinking that cells would fire first somewhere near Clarendon and race northeast where we would intercept them. Besides, the 18 and 21Z RUC both broke out convection a little below I-40 west of Mclean, so we thought that going west was as good as any place to point toward. As expected, we went through about 60 miles of a stratus field with occasional wind whipped drizzle, we broke into clearer conditions west of Sayre, we stopped at Erick around 1615, where we examined the latest data, satellite photo's indicated bubbling Cu and congestus all across the eastern PH of TX. with an enhanced area of convection near Clarendon which quickly showed returns on radar, I figured it wasn't surface based but within a few scans was exhibiting 40+dbz returns just north of Clarendon moving hastily to the northeast.

The chase now on, we saw the first convection just west of Shamrock, I wasn't too enthusiastic over the cells as they were soft with glaciated tops. these storms were of multicelluar nature, but as we proceeded west, a couple of these storms had some crisp updrafts. We made it to Mclean Tx. just past 1700cst where we watched several of these storms graze our location. We became pretty excited when the first storm just passed us around 1720 and had a very pronounced mesocyclone with scud clouds screaming into its updraft. Winds backed as this cell just missed us, gusting to around 35mph, some very small hail fell with moderate rain, most of which came from the anvil. CG's were occasional with one close bolt about 3-4mi. away.

Then, the next cell came up from the SSW.. the radar indicated a meso with this as with the last one, so we went a little west of town by a couple of miles where we sat as this cell did virtually the same as before, a spattering of rain, winds would back almost to the east.. 20-30mph, and "graupel" sized hail. Within literally a minute, the rain stopped. and we could see the base with attendant meso to our west.. there was no lowering, I could see little rotation, but there was a pronounced clear slot, cloud base was flat and about 1700-2000ft. agl .. Charles remarked there was rotation, but at that moment to me, it was insignificant. I thought about blowing off this cell and heading back toward Shamrock to intercept the next in the string of pearls gracefully spinning there way across the prairies. As I was about to turn around, I noticed a small area of chaotic motion in the cloud base just north of the clear slot. We started watching that, it immediately developed a bowl shaped lowering... well alrighty then, I thought, the cynical part of me saying this won't last long and it would bait us in staying there as we would miss something to our south.

The next ten minutes commencing at 1800cst, my jaw would hit the ground as moments after the bowl shaped lowering happened, it developed a perfectly tapered funnel that within a minute skipped across the ground from about 7mi. or so west of McLean to about 10mi. to the north. This funnel which was a fat pencil shaped vortex for the most part continued and developed a classic dry slot. The contrast was great and the video I took was for the most part, steady. At times, I zoomed in close revealing the swirling condensation eddies at its base and as it made contact with the ground. Other times, I zoomed out exposing the entire updraft and dryslot. It definitely was a chase for the books... and February! and a mere one day before my birthday... a fine present indeed.

We quickly went back east after the funnel disapated, hoping to intercept the next cell to our south. As it turned out, alot of these storms temporarly weakened at sunset, and the show was over for us and I was faced with a barrage of phone calls from fellow chasers and... media outlets that got wind of what I caught (!!)

Below is a link courtesy of Charles Edwards and Cloud 9 of his video he took and pictures.

http://www.cloud9tours.com/bear/2007/index.html for pictures
http://www.cloud9tours.com/video/McLean.html for video

Just a quick report. Left Houston at 5am and made it to Shamrock around 3:15. Drove south and then west towards developing supercells. I was on the storm which eventually produced the tornado near I-40 of which others have posted pictures. However about 30 min or 1 hour before the tornado occured the storm weakened significantly. The updraft looked fluffy, and the structure just didn't look good anymore. Visually it appeared that the storms further south were adversely effecting this storm.

Meanwhile the southern storm was taking off, showed rotation on radar, and I could visibly see a low-level inflow band feeding into it. Based on all that information I dropped the northern storm and went south. The southern storm had spectacular mid level rotation, but that's about it. Beautiful storm.

Apparently well after I dropped the northern storm it produced a tornado! Oh well, can't win them all. If I had to do it all over again I'd still drop that storm. It was the least likely at that time to produce. Sometimes mother nature just does what she wants! In the end it was a very enjoyable chase. My first solo chase in a couple years and a nice way to kick off the 2007 season.