Friday, April 23, 2010

04/22/10 Chase...

NWS in Norman, OK graphicast for 4/22/10. Moderate risk for severe thunderstorms.

April 22, 2010 will be a date that I will always remember. This was my first time to actually see and experience a photogenic tornado. I have to say it was exhilarating! Here's how the chase went.

SPC Day 1 Outlook

SPC Tornado graphic

SPC Hail graphic

SPC Wind graphic

SPC issues a mesoscale discussion for the TX panhandle. Tornado watch likely.

We left Iowa Park around 1:30 and reached our base city (Childress, TX) around 2:45. On the way up there we saw several little rain showers and extensive cloud cover over the target area. The "crapvection" finally moved off to the east allowing the sun to break through. It didn't take it long before towers started to build. At about 3:30 we start to see storms pop up on radar and we shifted our target area to Clarendon, TX.

Thunderstorms starting to show up on radar. Our GPS signal is the dot in the circle.

As we leave for Clarendon the cells start to intensify. Halfway there we stop at Memphis to refuel (because its always a good idea to fuel up before you start chasing).

Hmm... That southern cell is looking better now.

BAM! The cell explodes and starts to go crazy. We decide now is that time to move. Luckily these cells were only moving north at about 17kts.

I took this out the windshield you can see the storm has a nice anvil. Next stop Clarendon!

We reach Clarendon and the storm starts to look better. But it looks like it may be splitting, maybe we should watch that?

This is the base of the northern cell. There's a developing wall cloud there too.

A look over my shoulder to the cell on the south. Hmm...That looks like a wall cloud and even a funnel.

Structure from the northern cell.
Now structure from the southern cell.

Hook echo on the northern cell and the southern cell starts to explode. We cannot chase this storm there are no routes north.

Northern cell now has a tornado warning. The southern cell is starting to hook as well.

Possible tornado on the ground from the northern cell.

Look at the inflow bands! (northern cell)

Structure from the southern cell.

Nice structure from the southern storm. We decide to go after this one instead.


The storm starts to produce a funnel cloud that transitions into a cone.

Its on the ground now! Tornado on the ground!

This was a very photogenic storm. You can see the precip core in the right, the wall cloud/updraft base in the center, and the tornado.

Violent rotation now. Thank God its only over an empty field.

This was taken with my 500mm from a little less than 1 mile away.

Just a beautiful tornado and storm!

A radar image after the tornado passes through Goodnight, TX.

We did not have any Internet or satellite signal so there are no reflectivity or velocity scans. The storm takes the same path and heads mainly north. We decide to dump this one and head down towards Quanah where a tornadic HP supercell was expected to cross.

We get down to Paducah, TX but the storm is wrapped in sheets of rain. We did not have any visibility and there were reports of a rain wrapped wedge tornado. We decide to just head home.

What a day! A beautiful supercell, photogenic tornado and some awesome images! I couldn't think of a better way to spend a Thursday.

Check out Jason Brock's awesome timelapse of the tornado at

Thanks for viewing!


About Me

My photo
I am 25 years old and I have been a photographer for 11 years now. I love nothing more than taking my camera out on a photo shoot with me. I mainly focus on nature photography.That is where my passion is. I love looking at all of God's wonderful creations and capturing them in the photographic medium. I have won awards and have received special recognition for my photography. It is my calling and my passion!