March 28, 2007 NW Texas Tornadoes

Saw 7 tornadoes but maybe more in NW Texas near and NE of Silverton, Tx up to near McLean, Tx. The pictures are small so you can see them without a huge load time...just click on a picture to show larger version.

I chased with Scott Bell today, I would not have chased otherwise since I am not recovered from my vehicle accident enough to drive (mainly due to meds) and certainly not take on the loads of storm chasing by myself. I am really sore today but was worth it!

The plan was to head west along I-40 until we either stopped or headed north/south according to the latest trends. It became obvious that we would need to travel at least halfway to Amarillo from the Ok/Tx border and thats what we did. We waiting around for a couple hours till we saw the first radar echoes just within range about 25 miles southeast.

Heres the first storm that was northwest of Childress with radar from about same time with positon marked with black square..


We got to within about 15 miles of the storm when we decided to stop chasing it and backpeddle towards the storms that had developed northeast of Plainview (our storm was already looking iffy). We were already under the anvil from a storm that was weakening probably from the stronger storm to the south that now had a tornado warning with it. We had talked earlier about the big gap in roads in this area but at least we were on the southeast side of it. We headed towards Silverton where there had already been some tornado touchdowns but we couldnt see anything more than a broad lowering untill we were on the other side of Caprock Canyons State Park. Once we got through there we saw a tornado than then lifted and was barely visible due to precipitation around 545pm/2245z.

Wall cloud after 1st tornado lifts


Within a couple minutes a new tornado developed.


Wall Cloud after 2nd tornado lifts.


Within a few more minutes tornado #3 developed. It went through a quick cycle in about 5 minutes from elephunt trunk to stovepipe and then it roped out nicely. I remember a 4th tornado - a thin rope tornado that developed northeast of this main tornado near the opposite end of the wall cloud but it didnt show up any pictures and was only visible for a few seconds.

new tornado forms from wall cloud within a few minutes after 2nd tornado lifts - 559pm/2259z


GrLevel Data from 556pm/2256z

tornado continually changing forms 600-602pm/2300-2302z


radar with position and satellite from about same time



We then shifted our attention to the storm directly to our south. It was already raining and a great rainbow appeared.

and our position on radar between the storms.


We tried to see if we could get through the back but as we knew we would we ran into hail. The only real mistake came now when we decided to head down 86 and up 70 staying south of Caprock Canyons State Park instead of taking 256, staying north of the state park and we would have got some better stuff. Oh well. We could still see our 5th tornado developing to our north.

radar with position from same time


I believe this tornado stayed on the ground for quite some time.

radar with position from same time


By the time we finally starting getting caught up with it, it roped out as seen above and lifted.

We continuted to chase this storm to the northeast. The crowds starting getting very annoying through this part of the chase. People were pulling of the roads without warning, fishtailing down into ditches and back onto the road, people were walking across roads, and some were even standing on the roads.

When we were going through Clarendon, Tx we were looking straight north at a wall cloud with a possible funnel cloud.


What was incredible however was that we could see another tornado (#6 on the day) barely visible to our northwest. This wasnt actually associated with the storm we were chasing but was from the storm to the west-northwest of it. We actually were looking just to the left of the hook of our storm when we saw it.

Picture was shot using 300mm lens while in moving vehicle and thus wasnt very good so its been enhanced and croped but this is the best it shall be.


We continued to follow this storm and got one last daylight shot of the storm.


And after dark looking towards McLean, Tx from 15-20 miles south of there tornado #7 was observed when lightning flashed behind it. I didnt get that lightning flash (was between shots..ugh!) but another lightning flash i got kinda shows it.


That tornado eventually developed further and hit parts of McLean.

We hoped on I-40 east from McLean and took the first exit and took some pictures of the wall cloud illuminated by lightning. It was hard since like most of the day there was some serious inflow into the storm. You can see some of the cloud filaments racing by in the picture...