Supercells In A Dust Storm

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When we set out for the Texas Panhandle, with a target of Happy TX, I never imagined the challenges we would face. A powerful LLJ blasted the region with 50 to 60 mph sustained winds. The sky filled with dust and visibility was as bad as I have ever seen it on the Plains. Although this region looked ripe for supercells and maybe some panhandle magic, it was going to prove *very* tough to see anything…

This dust is gonna be a problem Canyon, TX 04:33 PM
This dust is gonna be a problem Canyon, TX 04:33 PM
Dusty day in Happy, TX 05:24 PM
Dusty day in Happy, TX 05:24 PM
Developing supercell swimming in dust Kress, TX 06:17 PM
Developing supercell swimming in dust Kress, TX 06:17 PM
Tulia, TX 06:52 PM
Tulia, TX 06:52 PM

ABOVE: At last the supercell tried to shake off the dust and reveal itself as it approached from the southwest.

Wow. That changed ⚡️ Tulia, TX 07:48 PM
Wow. That changed ⚡️ Tulia, TX 07:48 PM

ABOVE: The supercell developed a flat, circular base and began to take on classic characteristics as the sun began to set, setting an eerie but beautiful scene through the dust.

Tulia, TX 07:50 PM
Tulia, TX 07:50 PM
Wayside, TX 08:17 PM ⚡️ #txwx
Wayside, TX 08:17 PM ⚡️ #txwx

ABOVE: Probably the closest our storm came to becoming tornadic happened near Wayside at around 8:20pm. The supercell wrapped hard and tried to develop a nub lowering at the top of the updraft curl.

ABOVE: Pretty colours and beautiful structure set the scene as the storm passed over the Palo Duro Canyon.

ABOVE: The storm wasn’t tremendously active in terms of lightning, but it did manage to light up for a few minutes as it became tornado-warned and, finally, moved away to the northeast. All in all, dusty and difficult – but fun – chase day!



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