November 16, 2015

Groom – Pampa, TX

November 16, 2015 was clearly going to be a widespread severe weather event in the Southern Plains, and since I hadn’t chased for a few months I decided to bite the bullet and go for it. I did not expect that this would become one of the most prolific Autumn tornado outbreaks in the region in recent memory. But, by the time the day was over, forty one tornadoes had been reported, many of them long-track and strong or violent. Scott and I caught three of them.

We spent much of the afternoon north of Amarillo, chasing small cells that were pulsing up and down in intensity, none of them able to fully mature. Finally, a lone storm developed west of Lubbock, and matured into a supercell as it passed south of Amarillo. We positioned at the town of Goodnight to intercept, and watched as it raced toward us from the southwest.

As the storm got closer, its structure became better and better visibly, with clear, strong rotation and a large bowled wall cloud at its base. The wall cloud was very near to the ground, and produced a brief, broad and weak tornado as it approached.

November 16, 2015, Supercell storm that produced the Groom, Miami and Pampa tornadoes.

Visibility improved as our first tornado-warned supercell of the day approached.