May 23, 2016

Turkey TX

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.

Wellington updrafts copy

Above: Updrafts rise and fall near Clarendon but ultimately did not survive