Chase Date: April 25, 2009
Miles Logged: 1439
States Chased: OK, TX
Tornadoes Witnessed: 1
Largest Hail Encountered: 2"
Severe Risks: SPC Outlooks
I woke up on Saturday morning in Tulsa at the Motel 6, which is where I stopped the night before after driving down from Lansing, MI. The initial target was Shamrock, TX. We stopped at a Waffle House in Oklahoma City and met up with Scott Bennett.
We got on the road and right around Elk City, Scott’s truck broke down. Eventually we got it towed to a dealership, and Scott joined me in my truck for the rest of the day. We ended up going out to Shamrock, TX where we met up with David Drummond.
After sitting around for an hour or two, a cell started firing to our west. We shot north to intercept near Wheeler, TX. We ended up shooting northwest towards Mobeetie while the cell got it’s act together. A wall cloud formed and dropped a funnel, and then went away as quickly as it started. We sat around for another 5 minutes, and it did the same thing, dropping a funnel. It was at that time I noticed a dust swirl in the field next to us, and I pointed it out to Scott. Next thing I know, it went away and reformed again right in front of us, about 20-40 yards. Everything swirled in front of us, and then it moved off into the field on our left. I flipped the truck around in time to see some cows get agitated by the tornado. First Texas tornado, and closest I’ve been to one. (20-40 yards)
We followed the cell north and east for quite a distance, and it again almost dropped a tornado as you can see in our video. We got right next to it as the wall cloud was rotating rapidly.
Scott’s hat and oakley sunglasses blew off in the wind and I went running after them. I ended up tripping and falling flat on my face, and skinned myself up pretty good, bleeding from the elbow. Thank goodness David had a first aid kit. We got myself bandaged up and back on the chase in no time.
A little bit later, this funnel appeared while we were watching on the road side. It never appeared to touch down, however.
We decided to give up on that cell and drop south through Elk City, topping off our tanks and heading for the cells south. We made it down to Cordell as the sun was setting and observed the cell for awhile, chasing it up to Corn before calling it a night. We ate at Jerry’s in Weatherford before I headed back to Moore with Scott to stay the night. Sunday was going to be a big day as well, so I needed to get some sleep and Scott needed to get back to Steve’s house.