I don’t think I have ever had a chase day that was so frustrating, challenging and then ultimately rewarding, as May 23. The day before we had busted hugely; we’d targeted the Clarendon area, missed a tornado near Howardwick by a matter of miles (because of my poor positioning!), all the while chasers who picked a northern target were rewarded with a long-lived and photogenic tornado up near Spearman. Following such a disheartening day, I needed success!
We started the day in Shamrock and I had two targets; one was up near Woodward, the other was southeast of Lubbock. We bided our time on the Caprock as I tried to decide whether to blast north or head south. As the day wore on, a dryline bulge was becoming apparent and it was looking like some pretty mean backed winds would overspread excellent instability just southeast of the Amarillo area. I finally decided to blow off the Oklahoma target in favour of the Panhandle. We positioned near Wellington and watched as updrafts rose and fell, trying but not managing to survive.