Their Sunray: Moller and Doswell's Pampa, Texas chase 1995

I'm guessing both these guys would hate having a chase of theirs memorialized like some ancient ruin. So I'll just post the link and say that Chuck Doswell and Al Moller's intercept at Pampa in June, 1995 was one of the classic chases ever. Al's report is dramatic and instructive for chasers anywhere at any time.

Here it is.

a6510bac4304ea3a3bbd91bc170622c8.jpg
 
I think I might take June 8th of this year as one of my two extra vacation days, in addition to my three weeks. I'll call it my "Tenth Anniversary of Pampa First Annual Day of Personal Pampering.

If not chasing, I might pop popcorn, break out the foot spa, buy some expensive beer and watch chase movies.

It's a fine holiday to take without guilt, because there was no loss of life.

:lol:
 
That is definately some breath-taking video. I can't remember if it was the Doswell/Moller video or the video taken by the sheriff, but that should be included in every severe weather presentation made to a public audience. The zoomed in view showing automobiles being tossed from the tornado @ about 100 ft above ground level should most certainly drive home to anyone just how powerful these storms can be.

-George
 
As this was my first year of being able to make it out to the plains, May 24th shall forever be a holy day for me. For that matter, May 22nd and 21st shall be lesser holidays as well.

...come to think of it, my birthday's on the 18th...so it will just have to be a week of celebration!
 
I can't believe it was 10 years ago!

The interesting thing about that day was that a lot of people initially chose the Liberal, KS - Beaver, OK area...and while storms developed up there they were generally non-tornadic. The chasers who approached from the south or gambled and chose the eastern Panhandle, were able to get the amazing early stages of the McLean-Allison and Pampa storms.

I'm beginning to wonder if the Texas panhandle will ever again see a stretch of days like was seen in early June 1995...
 
Not particularly long ago, Alan Moller and I were corresponding about an old spotter slide set, and when he sent me the presenter's guide for it he also included an 8x10 of the tornado, taken shortly after the one in Amos' post. (I think it's the same one on the cover of TVCIII.) I asked him what photographic method he used to get that photo, and here seems about the most relevant place for his response —
I shot the photo with my ‘‘tornado lens.’’ I had it in mind for years to capture a tornado producing a lot of flying debris with a very fast lens, in order to ‘‘freeze’’ the debris, and render it sharp. My fast (1.4 F-stop) Nikon 50 mm lens, was the lens of choice, if I ever had the chance to shoot a tornado in a town. My (once in a lifetime?) chance came when Chuck Doswell and I intercepted the Pampa, Texas tornado on 6/8/95. You can see more views of the tornado at www.gettyimages.com, and by using my name (Alan R Moller) in the search engine. I shot the picture you have, with the lens wide open at F1.4, and a shutter speed of 1/250 of a second.

I am very old fashioned and low tech. I continue to use film (almost always Fuji Velvia) in my 35mm Nikons, 6X7 Pentax, and 6X17 cm Fuji panoramic camera. I will eventually go digital. I know my current equipment forwards and backwards, and intend on using film until Nikon makes a 16+ megapixel camera similar to the Canon 1D Mark II, and top end digital camera prices start to drop.
[/quote]
 
That is my favourite tornado of ever, like structure, shape, debris.
Anyway there is a thing that I think when I see the video of this tornado: guys, if you see the end of the video you can see a crazy red car that is going toward the enormous tornado :shock: Doswell talks about this car in his article about Pampa's tornado. Every time I see the video I ask myself what did it happen to that car and the man inside....But I really don't know if that man wanted to suicide himself or not....No one knows something?
 
I'm beginning to wonder if the Texas panhandle will ever again see a stretch of days like was seen in early June 1995...

This touches on what I've been saying for years - 1995 was the exception, not the rule in the TX panhandle. I started in 1996-1997, and all I heard from prominant OUN-based chasers for two years was how bad it sucked, and how much better 1995 was. Every other word was 1995, 1995 this/1995 that. So I did a little digging, excited about what I might find. It was one week. I was curious why one week had become the expected norm/bar. Then as I started learning and experiencing, I realized they were all just doing what we're all going to do this year - whine and cry cause they got spoiled :wink:
 
I love topics like this! :D

June 8, 1995 will long be regarded as one of the greatest storm days of all time. If it had occurred closer to a metropolitan area, the results could have been catastrophic.

The Pampa storm produced the infamous debris filled tornado (officially rated an F4) that has been oft seen and cited, but did you know it also went on to produce a tornado of possibly greater violence at Hoover, TX? This tornado was officially rated at F2, but most chasers speculate this to be a severe under-rating (including the usually skeptical Dr. Doswell). In fact, some suspect this tornado might have been an F5 if it had gone over populated areas (since it was visually more impressive than the Pampa tornado.)

Pampa Tornado:
http://www.okweatherwatch.com/tornado25.html

Hoover Tornado:
Dave Ewoldt
http://www.okweatherwatch.com/tornado26.html
Martin Lisius
http://www.tempesttours.com/hoover_tornado_chase.html

The Pampa storm continued to rotate strongly after it produced two consecutive significant tornadoes, but it encountered the rain cooled air across an outflow boundary in the northeastern Texas panhandle and thereafter failed to produce tornadoes.

Further south, a rapidly developing supercell got its act together near the town of McLean. It produced several significant tornadoes near I-40 before producing a long-track violent tornado that affected the towns of Kellerville and Wheeler. According to a damage survey conducted by Howie Bluestein and Roger Wakimoto, this was one of the most violent tornadoes they had ever surveyed. Although the official NWS damage survey lists this tornado as an F4, Bluestein and Wakimoto assigned it an F5 rating. At its widest point it was easily one mile in diameter. The tornado scoured vegetation in many places across its 30 mile path. In several locations, it peeled asphalt from farm to market roads.

Kellerville tornado:
Dave Ewoldt
http://www.okweatherwatch.com/tornado27.html

After the Kellerville tornado dissipated, the supercell rapidly developed a new circulation from which one of the largest tornadoes in history formed. The Allison tornado (as it has been called) was also a long-track violent (F4) tornado that was almost 1.5 miles in diameter.

Allison tornado:
Rich Thompson
http://www.spc.noaa.gov/staff/thompson/june8a.gif
http://www.spc.noaa.gov/staff/thompson/Allison.gif

Gabe
 
Originally posted by Shane Adams+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Shane Adams)</div>
<!--QuoteBegin-Kevin Scharfenberg

I'm beginning to wonder if the Texas panhandle will ever again see a stretch of days like was seen in early June 1995...

This touches on what I've been saying for years - 1995 was the exception, not the rule in the TX panhandle. I started in 1996-1997, and all I heard from prominant OUN-based chasers for two years was how bad it sucked, and how much better 1995 was. Every other word was 1995, 1995 this/1995 that. So I did a little digging, excited about what I might find. It was one week. I was curious why one week had become the expected norm/bar. Then as I started learning and experiencing, I realized they were all just doing what we're all going to do this year - whine and cry cause they got spoiled :wink:[/b]
A certain well-known Texas chaser (who mentored me in 1997) is always making reference to the 'good old days when isolated supercells used to appear in the north-central Texas area.' I thought perhaps '97 and '98 were the exception and that '99 was getting back on track. In retrospect 1999 was a banner year for me because I got laid off of work and spent three months driving everywhere from Palestine, TX to Lampasas, TX to Midland, TX to extreme NW Panhandle of TX to Nebraska to Colorado! Yeah, I bagged 6 touchdowns but there's no way that's going to happen again with a one-week chase vacation or spur-of-the-moment chases in nearby counties. Maybe someday I'll talk of the good old days back in '99, when storms could still be found.... :roll:
 
Back
Top