Chase Date: May 23, 2016
Chrystal Ceniza, Jari Ylioja, Jena McShane
Andrew Newcomb, Darin Brunin, Mike Scantlin, Dick McGowan, Connor McCrorey, Bill Oosterbaan, Tom Oosterbaan
Miles Logged: 653
States Chased: TX
Tornadoes Witnessed: 1
Largest Hail Encountered: 2"
Severe Risks: SPC Outlooks
After arriving back in Norman from Big Spring at about 5 am (Thankfully Jari drove home) I got up and went into work around 10 and worked for a few hours getting some tasks done I needed to get done, and was able to leave around 130 and we promptly headed out to the Texas panhandle.
Our target was near Childress or even further west towards Plainview, so we headed down I-44 to Lawton then west on US62. As we were nearing Altus, a storm started exploding near Hedley, TX and almost sitting stationary. We rushed west and made it to the rest stop north of Memphis before waiting and watching the storm that had fired die a slow and painful death.
Meanwhile to the southwest, there was storms in Floyd county that were really struggling, but we decided to head south in case one of them actually decided to be something.
Those died too, and we ended up sitting at Allsups in Matador thinking we had completely busted.
Eventually a storm fired near Turkey, TX and pretty much remained stationary for hours, moving only maybe 20 miles its entire lifecycle. At one point it seemed like the storm would produce NW of Turkey and then had some weird mesocyclone north of Turkey before cycling in a new one SE of town. We ended up heading that way down FM656, occasionally stopping. As we neared the caprock, the structure became jaw dropping and we spent the next hour or two taking photos and lightning photos and generally enjoying an almost stationary storm.
Another storm had fired to the south and was putting out these amazing lightning zaps. Unfortunately I didn’t catch any of them on photos, but they were incredible out the back of the updraft.
We eventually headed south towards that updraft when the weather radio went off for a tornado warning near Turkey.
We headed back to FM94 then north to FM656 and west, witnessing a huge fat cone in between lightning strikes. I wasn’t sure of what I had seen until I saw the video from other chasers who were much closer.
We attempted to see any further tornadoes this storm would spit out, but it generally cycled down, so we headed back to Turkey and then to Childress to get something to eat before heading home.