MAY 24, 1996
SPEARMAN, TEXAS TORNADO
Carson Eads, Bruce Haynie, Gene Rhoden and Tim Marshall
Steve Tabb and Beverly
Time Odom City/Heading Remarks
8:55 001 COLBY, KS- Cold front had passed us overnight. Fog on the deck. It's very cold. Upper low trying to cutoff over the four corners area. Unidirectional winds are forming over the high plains. As the system deepens, the strongest jet stream winds will be kept over the intermountain region. Surface low near Great Bend, KS is messing up the convergence. I see two target areas today. One is south of the front in the Texas-Oklahoma panhandles. The other is the upslope flow in eastern Colorado provided the skies clear out. The latter seems unlikely. Thus, we've decided to head south on Rt. 25 into the Tx/Ok panhandles. Dodge City has a nine degree cap this morning.
9:12 021 Rt. 40 W. - Then Rt. 25 south.
9:32 044 RUSSELL SPRINGS - Fog has lifted cloud bases are definite.
10:06 085 LEOTI - Pit stop.
11:06 130 LAKIN - BINVOC - NE winds are light.
11:31 159 ULYSSES- Broken cumulus with blue sky above. Patchy cirrus.
Winds are northerly. Continuing south on Rt. 25
11:46 Broken clouds west, scattered clouds east. Cirrus patch SW.
12:00 190 HUGOTON - Scattered strato-cu. Cirrus patch SW. Data stop.
Carson downloaded data and plotted a map. Gene says by 2pm winds will switch around to the southeast and the action area will be in southeast Colorado. I like the Texas panhandle. We decided to wait until 2pm before making the final decision. Gene likes the Colorado area because of the veering of the winds with height whereas I like the higher CAPES in the Texas panhandle. Ate lunch. Decided to go to the Texas panhandle.
1:57 190 HUGOTON- Rt. 51 east.
2:05 200 Turned south on an unmarked road to Hooker, OK. Can now see anvils to the south. (Tornado Watch Box issued from Amarillo to Salina).
2:23 222 HOOKER, OK- Cb S. Rt. 94 South. Severe Thunderstorm Warnings for Hutchinson Co. (Stinnett) and (Moore Co.) Masterson.
2:40 241 HARDESTY, OK - NW winds. Anvil shadow shortly.
2:43 244 Turned on unmarked paved road south of Hardesty. Passing under anvil edge.
2:49 1 pict W. showing north edge of anvil.
2:50 FM1261 S in Texas. Mammatus overhead and extends SW. Anvils appeared merged into a squall line. We have to bust through this.
3:05 CG's SW and SE.
3:16 Jct. Rt. 15 - now heading SW into heavy precip core. Lots of Cg's.
3:20 286 SPEARMAN - Pea-hail encountered. East winds. (Severe Thunderstorm Warning for our storm continues)
3:25 Wall cloud comes into view over road ahead of us. Lucky eh.
Yes it is rotating pretty good. A brief funnel cloud was noted.
3:30 296 Rt. 281 Eastboud. Wall cloud is just off to our southeast.
3:32 Rotation of wall cloud increases as precip completely wraps it.
That has to be a hook echo.
3:40 307 Stopped on side of road. Set up cameras. We have two areas of circulation, one ahead of the precip and the other in the wrapped area. Strong inflow.
3:45 307 Tornado emerges from wrapped area to our southwest. Anticyclonic circulation overhead.
3:46 307 Leaving film site. Remnant funnel overhead.
3:53 315 Stopping again. Storm has evolved into HP type. Has beaver tail extending east. Updraft has spiral banding. Southeast winds.
3:59 315 Moving eastbound.
320 Jct. Rt 70- Went north a little ways then turned around.
4:04 342 Stopped at rim of Canadian River Basin and Carson hooked up TWC
4:34 342 Leaving site. Isolated cell east of Amarillo is moving to Pampa area.
We will head south to intercept.
5:00 370 Stopped on the north side of Pampa, set up cameras. Cb is approaching from southwest and has a nice looking rain free base with dense, linear precip core.
5:07 370 Leaving film site and will head east around the loop.
5:11 373 Stopped on bridge. Wall cloud develops under rain free base.
5:13 373 1 pict. S and 1 pict. W.
5:17 373 Cell merger takes place.
5:19 373 Zoom shot of towers to the south. Blocky wall cloud W.
5:42 373 Leaving film site. Storm has become outflow dominant. Spotters think they see tornadoes but its scud. Weather Service places Tornado Warning out for this outflow dominant storm.
5:44 375 Rt. 60 SW
5:49 380 Rt. 70 S of Pampa- Anvil is falling apart. Fibry anvil S.
5:54 385 Stopped south of town to get a radar update.
5:57 385 Quick update. Cold air undercutting our storm. Heading S on 70.
6:30 Stopped at I-40.
6:39 Leaving site heading west on I-40.
6:49 3 picts. with cross in it. (Tornado Watch Midland-Amarillo)
7:00 432 Stopped to take numerous pictures of crepuscular rays and grain elevator to the west.
7:24 CLAUDE- Pit stop. Then south on Rt. 207
7:30 1 pict W of towers (Tornado Warning for western Briscoe)
7:37 Heading southbound out of Claude on Rt. 207. Cb south has tornado warning indicated by radar -western Briscoe and eastern Swisher. Storm is sliding off to the east. Storm is reportedly over Lake MacKenzie.
7:47 Stopped briefly to take stills of brilliant rainbow and lit canyon. Cb NW and CB S are both backbuilding to the west.
8:02 480 FM3300 West- Stopped to take sunset pictures.
8:46 480 FM3300 East - End of the chase. Heading northeast for position tomorrow. We'll eat dinner in Pampa and then proceed to Liberal.
9:27 534 CLAUDE- Rt. 207 N to 60.
9:45 553 Rt. 60 NE. Heavy core NE.
10:15 582 PAMPA- Heavy Rain. Stopped at Hardees for dinner. Rt. 70 N.
11:48 649 PERRYTON- Rt. 83 North.
12:39 700 LIBERAL, KS- Stopped at Super8 for night.
TRIP SUMMARY: 15.7 hours, 699 miles.
Caught the only confirmed tornado in the Texas panhandle.