May 12th 2005 - More Detail

Was going to post this as an update to my Report in Target Area but it says it is locked for some reason.

I never actually did a chase account for the May 12th event. I think I will eventually; however
until then check out the account from Nancy Bose of the Meso team:

I was hanging out with the Meso team that day as some years we often meet up in the Plains. Nancy
was riding along with me.

My thanks to the MESO crew for their hospitality and comraderie.

I also have a thread running on Stormtrack discussing the storm behavior and options we could have
taken here: It is interesting to note in that
discussion that Dave Lewison brings up the concept of "cyclonic wobbling" whereby the tornado moves
around the periphery of the meso providing it with and arcing movement and possible increased speed
which may be difficult to avoid. Shane Adams also brings up the fact that this storm had a damaging
RFD south of the tornado track which may be as strong as F2. He said it was very wide and long. No
doubt these were the high speed winds I saw coming out from the tornadic area to the SE. They
looked very strong and daunting, but I thought I should make that south of the tornado position. I
had raced to beat the tornado south and was unable to do it. Had I managed to achieve it I may have
been sorry. As Shane mentions.. I will have to agree that I would probably take the gorilla hail
anyday as a preference to either the tornado or the very intense RFD winds in this case.
Some friends and I have been reconstructing this chase and found a tornado that isn't mentioned by any reports I've found so far. Around 2354z, Tony Laubach, Scott Eubanks, the Weathervine crew, and I were all south of Quitaque, Texas by about six miles. We were looking northwest toward the mesocyclone that had produced the large barrel tornado about thirty minutes earlier. We saw this:

This seems to be associated with this circulation:

Other chasers reports that include this feature are Tony's and Eric Nguyen's. My own report is here.

It appears that this tornado was very close to Cottonwood Lake, or about two miles west southwest of Quitaque. What we don't know is if this was a new tornado or the same tornado as the one captured by so many others during the year's most famous hail event.

Do any of the 5-12 chasers recall seeing that 2315z tornado lift or dissipate?

There's no mention of this in other reports I've read and no images of a rope-out or dissipation stage. That doesn't prove these tornadoes are the same, but until we can document the end of the 2315z tornado, we can't rule it out.
And I will post my image of this storm as well as Amos and I spent a good chunk of several hours late Saturday night/Sunday morning trying to disect this chase using gas receipts, GPS logs, and video data stamping to try and nail down this storm. Here is the image I shot on video as I was fortunately aiming my video camera at this feature for several minutes. It was enhanced to bring out the tornado, but in all honesty, it was quite visibile even without the enhancement.


I watched this tornado for about a minute (after I realized I was looking at something) before I began to advertise it to the rest of the group. I fought a conversational battle with myself as to whether or not I was actually seeing a tornado in the rain. Obviously I was...

My May 12, 2005 Report