MAY 25, 1996
FRIONA, TEXAS TORNADO
Carson Eads, Bruce Haynie, Gene Rhoden, and Tim Marshall
Steve Tabb and Beverly
Time Odom. Town/Heading Remarks
10:42 703 LIBERAL, KS: Leaving town. Heading South. Looks like a TX panhandle day again. Rt. 83 S.
11:31 754 PERRYTON, TX- Low overcast, strong east winds. Some patchy fog.
Upper low has remained nearly stationary over Las Vegas, NV and should be moving east today. We are going to have the same kind of scenario as yesterday. There appears to be an outflow boundary from Amarillo to Pampa. We are targeting the southwest portion of this boundary as are chase target. Dryline is backing up in response to the pressure falls, thus, we believe the action area will probably be close to the Texas-New Mexico border. Target town is CLOVIS, NM.
11:41 761 Rt. 70 Southbound.
12:42 820 PAMPA- Rt. 60 SW towards Amarillo. Still socked in with low clouds. Indefinite ceilings. Southeast winds.
TORNADO WATCH BOX- 60 E-W, 40ENE Raton to Hobbs, NM.
1:35 879 AMARILLO - Rt. 27 S. We can hear Al Moller, Chuck Doswell and Sam Barricklow on the radio. They are heading SW on Rt. 60.
1:52 899 CANYON - Rt. 60 S. Strong E-SE winds. Low overcast.
2:10 922 DAWN - Strong southerly winds. Some BINOVC.
2:22 935 HEREFORD - Stopped briefly at a McDonalds. BINOVC still.
Strong south winds.
2:50 949 BLACK - Highly sheared Cb with knifing anvil to our SW back in blue sky.
2:58 958 FRIONA - Stopped. We have two baby Cb's. One NW one SW.
Received a visit from some DPS troopers. Carson got some data.
T=81, Tw=71. Took 2 picts with Carsons anemometer, polarized.
Radar on TWC. Isolated cell SW of us moving our way is the best looking one so far -perfect!
3:33 959 FRIONA - Leaving town. Heading south on FM 214. Radar indicated a cluster of storms near Hobbs moving east-northeast, doesn't look as good there right now. Isolated Cb just SW of us is the one I like.
Band of low cumulus extending to the SW. One pict S of cumuliform band extending west over road with cumuliform anvil heading east.
4:02 988 Lots of blowing dust is obscuring our visibility sometimes down to just feet. Severe Thunderstorm Warning issued for our storm.
4:07 992 Crossing into Parmer Co. Cb is to our NW.
4:11 997 Rt. 145 W. Blowing Dust ALQDS.
4:15 000 Stopped when we broke out of dust. Large Wall Cloud NW.
4:21 000 Continuing N bound on dirt road. (a no-no) Lost Steve Tabb.
4:37 016 Rt. 214 N. - Inflow bands feeding into storm.
4:42 RFD notch developing NW. Large lowering NW.
4:43 025 HUBB-Sam and Al can see wall cloud also. Storm is ingesting lots of dirt and will pass very close to Friona. Taking video.
Dust whirls underneath wall cloud first spotted by Bruce Haynie.
4:50 032 FRIONA - Wall cloud just to our west. Stopping southeast of town.
Rapid motion in wall cloud. Small funnels noted. Larger horizontal funnel overhead.
CARSON: Can't stay long boys.
TIM: Lot's of rotation, up overhead. Look at it wrapping back to our NW. Guys. Look NW.
TIM: Let's go north Gene, it's gonna clear out. Look over the grain bins.
AL MOLLER: Tremendous convergence.
4:52 032 Leaving film site and will head north of Friona on Rt. 214.
4:53 033 White funnel appears over the grain bins and extends towards the ground.
TIM: We have a tornado northwest. Tornado NW of Friona.
White tornado still there (as we cross bridge). Very nice.
AL: There is a tornado to the north.
TIM: Still a funnel -we've got two of them to the NW.
CARSON: We've got sisters -ha. ha.
TIM: We are going to the suck zone. Could be a multi-vortex.
AL: Where are you at Sam.
SAM BARRICKLOW: 214 and 60.
SAM: How far is it to a turnoff Al.
4:55 TIM: We've got a tornado to our NW.
4:56 TIM: Tornado dissipated.
SAM: I'm heading north on 214.
4:57 TIM: We're heading N of Friona on 214. We have to watch for a new wall cloud developing somewhere off to our right.
SAM: Storm is west of Friona, four to five miles moving north.
AL: We're going north on 214 just ahead of you. There's something very low to the ground over there. I thought it was a tornado.
5:00 Stopped at the first bend in the road north of Friona.
5:06 Moving westbound on 214. There's a large lowering that is rotating to our west and it is completely occluded several miles behind the RFD. There are brief -what appear to be - touchdowns under the lowering.
Stopped with Al, Chuck, and Sam.
Leaving film site heading eastbound.
5:15 048 FM 2298 N. -
5:19 050 Entering Deaf Smith County.
5:22 Wall cloud NW.
5:24 FM 1058E. New Hi-8 tape. Carson stops van. Blew fuse or something.
6:05 061 Back on the road eastbound. The storm is moving due north into the colder air. We decided to leave the storm.
6:43 076 HEREFORD- Pit stop.
6:48 076 Southbound on Rt. 385. We are gonna jog SE and catch the tornadic storms that are now south of Lubbock. Tornado warnings still in effect for Cimmaron and Deaf Smith Counties. Severe thunderstorm indicated by radar north of Vega in no mans land.
7:06 098 DIMMITT- Cb with long flank NW. Another Cb with mushy anvil S.
Heading SE on Rt. 174.
7:20 115 HART- (Tornado reported at Wilson at 7:05pm). Continue 174 SE.
(Tornado Warning for Garza and eastern Lynn Co. At 7:25, spotters and Lubbock radar indicated a possible tornado 17 NW of Post or 7 miles W-SW of Southland moving east at 30mph.
7:44 143 PLAINVIEW: Stopped for dinner.
8:52 146 PLAINVIEW: Leaving town after a steak dinner.
10:09 234 AMARILLO: Staying at the Econolodge.
TRIP TOTAL 11.5 hours, 531 miles
WHAT WE'VE LEARNED:As the upper low moved east, unidirectional flow evolved east of the low forcing the storms to race northward and evolve from tornadic to non-tornadic. In contrast, the storms that developed near the base of the trough (ie. south of Lubbock), remained under difluent flow aloft and stayed tornadic well into the evening. Once again, tail end charlie storms did far better at maintaining tornadic potential.