Storm chasing can be the most rewarding hobby there is — but it can also be the most frustrating. May 16, 2021 featured a lot of both — we missed a beautiful tornado but recovered in time to experince the prettiest structure I’ve ever seen.
After starting the day in Snyder, Texas we made our way to Lubbock to wait for initiation. The ingredients were generally all there for pretty storms and we were confident that we’d get something cool. After several hours we began to get a bit nervous that the atmosphere was being suppressed by subsidence and we may not get storms where we were. After checking satellite and mesoanalysis, we decided to drift south toward O’Donnell in hopes that something would pop. Unfortunately for us, it did — by Lubbock. We turned around and raced back, but not before missing an absolutely gorgeous tornado not far from where we had been sitting hours earlier. It was quite the gut punch. But the beauty of storm chasing is sometimes there’s a silver lining in a missed opportunity — in this case that silver lining was a stunningly sculpted supercell colored by beautiful pastel hues at sunset. A bummer for sure, but hard to complain all things considered. I won’t soon forget this structure!