Storm Chase Details

Chase Date: May 10, 2015
Chase Partners:
Bart Comstock

Chasers Encountered:
Alec Scholten, Shanda Hinnant

Miles Logged: 672
States Chased: TX
Tornadoes Witnessed: 1
Largest Hail Encountered: 1"
Severe Risks: SPC Outlooks

Chase Recap:

Slow Start

Started off the Sunday thinking the day was maybe shot with the morning convection (which has been the story all year long), but nonetheless I managed to get Bart woken up and on the road to come pick me up in Norman. I was carless still, but thought we’d miss tornadoes if we didn’t go. Initial target was near Waco.

We were behind the curve all morning and neither of us had anything to eat, so eventually in Sanger we coordinated a gas + food stop, Bart dropping me off at the Jack in the Box and him filling up while I got us food and then us getting back on the road again. It worked and we had a minimal time for the stop and had full bellies and a full gas tank.

We headed south towards Texas Motor Speedway on I-35W, getting off at the 114 exit. I believe we saw a quick spin up almost immediately when arriving just west of TMS, but then followed the rapidly rotating wall cloud north on 35W up towards Argyle and Denton.

The circulation crossed just north of Crawford Rd and we got off the freeway and headed to 377 on Crawford, turning north and intercepting the tornado as it touched down along US-377. We headed north a couple miles as the tornado went across US 377 from right to left and tearing up trees and power lines.

We quickly realized we’d never be able to keep up and bailed south after making sure there was no bad damage anywhere, going to Hillsboro after the storm that was forming to the south. We made it to Hillsboro and refilled the truck then headed west and southwest, intercepting the next storm just north of Clifton.

The next 2 hours was spent staying in the hook of the storm on a less than ideal road network (road options and road quality) with some impressive wall cloud formations and wrap ups, but no tornado. We were finally caught by roads and traffic when we got back to I-35 and gave up, bailing south and heading to Waco for a steak dinner. The storm really spun up after crossing I-35 and dropped a tornado that was witnessed by Reed Timmer and his crew. What a bummer, but it was becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with.

We met up with Alec and Shanda and their tour in Waco for steak dinner before the long drive back to Norman through flooding. Turns out the flooding wasn’t too bad.