Storm Chase Details

Chase Date: April 26, 2023
Miles Logged: 680
States Chased: TX
Largest Hail Encountered: 2"
Highest Wind Encountered: 50MPH
Severe Risks: SPC Outlooks

Chase Recap:

I would end up on an intense supercell near Waco trying to stay out of the hail core. With reports of baseball and softball sized hail, I kept my distance and glass intact.

Departing Norman

I would depart Norman shortly before noon and head south on I-35. Many chasers were way to the west on a storm out near Dyess Radar east of Abilene. The storm was obviously behind the front, so I continued south. Luckily I cleared Fort Worth without a lot of traffic slowdowns, and was past downtown by 2:30. I continued to Hillsboro where I grabbed gas and lunch before heading west towards Meridian.

Storms had fired up to my west, with the first one becoming Severe Warned right after 4pm. This was my target storm at first, but it quickly became apparent I would need to drop south to the storm rapidly forming near Valley Mills.

Arriving to the storm near Valley Mills

After dropping south on highway 6, I found myself coming into a rapidly developing storm near Valley Mills, Texas. I got into some hail as I dropped through the developing core, so I knew the updraft was intense. The storm was barely a blip on radar 30 minutes before and was already dropping quarter size hail.

I dropped south of Valley Mills on Texas Highway 317 and sat near the updraft. The storm would become tornado warned and provide a persistent rotating wall cloud. When it became obvious I’d need to move east, I made some poor navigation choices, going all the way to Crawford then east back to highway 6.

Waco Supercell

With the lake in the way, I’d have to make a decision on whether to go around to the north or to the south.

I started heading the north route around the lake on FM185. Shortly after heading that way, I realized I would likely not beat the hail. I turned back to highway 6 and took the south route around Lake Waco. I continued all the way to I-35 before heading northbound.

East side of Waco

As the storm moved through Waco, I continued along highway 6 to the east. I kept my distance to stay out of the ice. Eventually I broke off and headed home. I was greeted by the cold front as a shelf cloud as I traveled north.