8/17/97 TX Chase by Michael Cohen


From: michael a cohen (cohen.ftw@JUNO.COM):
Subject: Archer County Chase

Today was one of those day's where I had not made any plans to do
anything. It was about 5:00 PM  and I turned on our local radar to see
what was happening as we had a 20% Chance of Thunderstorms.
There was a complex of storms just north of the Red River and they
extended from Wichita Falls, to just west of Ardmore.
Well, without looking at any data and wanting to take a drive I took off
up I-35 to Gainsville.  Seeing that I was to far East I went on Hwy 82
thru Nocona and and then on to Ringold where I  took Hwy 81 into Bowie.
From Bowie I took 59 thru Vashti and got on FM 174 to Buffalo Springs.  I
then went south on FM 148 to FM 175 and finally got to Hwy 281.  I went
North on 281 to the North Loop 187 which put me just to the west of
Antelope, Tx. Driving up Hwy 281 I could see a well developed wall cloud
and back in the rain curtains I could see a bowl shaped lowering but
could not confirm due to trees and rain. I was listening to the Wichita
Falls ARES group who had spotters in the area. As I was watching the
lowering to the west as they put out a Tornado warning for my storm.  At
this time the storm had wrapped up with mid level rotation but the feeder
from the South East was soft and mushy.   When I pulled off the road just
North of Loop 187 I could now see a
tornado on the ground. It was about 5 Miles to my West. This lasted for
about three minutes.  At my location I had North winds about 10 Miles Per
Hour.  No Rain and it was clear to my South. Time was
7:48 PM. The tornado was finger shaped with a small debris cloud at the
base.  As it lifted, it stretched out in a long horizontal vortex with
the
debris cloud staying much in the same area for about a minute.
At 751 PM the tornado had dissipated and the wall cloud had been undercut
by outflow. The entire storm seemed to be moving down the boundary to the
southwest.  The north end of the wall cloud put out some intense CG's as
the tornado was on the ground.  On my way home I stopped in the Ft..
Worth Weather office.  I spoke with Mike Mock who pulled up the base
reflectivity and velocity off the 88D.  You could see that the storm at
7:47 had really gotten it's act together.
Not bad for a lazy Sunday in August.  A short 4 1/2 Hour chase.     


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