May 18, 2010 Tornado near Dumas, Texas.

chase images and log by William T. Hark, M.D.


On my first chase day of the 2010 season, there was a Moderate Risk across the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles. A negative tilted trough was approaching from the west and moisture return from the south was increasing. Supercell thunderstorms were likely and possibly tornadoes though I was concerned the low level jet would not strengthen enough before dark. I also was not impressed with the moisture quality.

I started the day in Weatherford, Oklahoma after a late arrival the previous evening in Oklahoma, City. After checking data, I decided to head toward Amarillo and then decide on my final chase target. I noticed that the wildflowers along I-40 were unusually beautiful. In Amarillo, I checked more data and decided to target in the Texas Panhandle near Dalhart. I also decided to meet up with Dave Lewison, Scott McPartland and Chris Kridler who were also chasing with Mark Robinson. Mark was leading a group of meteorology students (Dayna Vettese, Brad Rousseau, Heather Reynolds, Meghan Yeo) and was chasing for The Weather Network in Canada. I arrived in Dalhart, Texas and spent some time hanging out in a parking lot. In addition to those listed above, I also hung out with Charles Edwards, Mike Theiss and George Kourounis of Cloud 9 Tours and their group of clients. (Images while waiting in Dalhart: pic (1), pic (2), pic (3)) Eventually, a storm formed to the southwest of Dumas and moved northeast. The whole group left at 4:37 PM CDT. We headed southeast on 87 toward Dumas. By 5:13, we could see a wall cloud (4) and lowering under the storm. We briefly stopped on 385 by County Road O, southeast of Hartley. Due to rain and small hail, we shifted eastward on 87 at 5:25 PM and stopped by Farm Road 2589 along 87 (3.5 miles west of Dumas). The storm was to our west. At 5:43, we sighted nice elephant trunk tornado (5). The tornado (6) only lasted a couple of minutes. We continued to watch the approaching storm (7),(8),(9),(10). Our group shifted south as the storm neared our location. We probably could have gone east on 87, but we were concerned about getting cut off by the core. We passed some of the VORTEX 2 vehicles. We had to go far south before we could turn east again on 354. The storm was to our north (11) and was approaching Dumas. We blasted east, trying to get ahead of the storm. The storm (12) had nice inflow bands. We turned north on Ranch Road 1913. We stopped briefly about two miles south of 152 to watch the storm. The storm was a HP with a pretty white wall cloud and inflow tail. Nearby was a radar crew from VORTEX 2 (13) scanning the storm (approx 7:03 PM). The wall cloud (14) merged into the big rain core. Inflow was increasing. We couldn't see if there was a tornado in the core that was approaching our northerly route but I wouldn't be surprised if there were at least some spin ups. As we were blasted with winds at 7:15PM, we continued north. Further north, we passed more VORTEX 2 vehicles (15) and deployed sticknets. At approximately 7:20 PM, we turned east on to 152. The storm, that was to our west and north, was close to overtaking us. We briefly stopped again at 7:25 before continuing toward Stinnett. We watched a long line of VORTEX vehicles, chasers local followers pass us on 152. Dave Lewison paused to take some images of the Canadian crew (16). In Stinnett, the tornado sirens were blasting at 7:38 PM. We stopped on 152 between the intersections of S Davis St. and S. Williams Ave, listened to the sirens and watched the residents looking toward the sky. The storm (17) was nearing the town. A brief funnel (18) was visible to the north over the homes in Stinnett and this may have been the tornado reported six miles northwest of the town. We drove north from Stinnett on 136 and we could see the storm shifting eastward. Chasers were everywhere. We found a place near County Road O and watched the rapid descending cloud motion (19) and rain bands to the north at 8:01 PM. There was likely a large tornado obscured by rain and clouds. The storm (20) was moving east and there was no way to follow it. After about five minutes, we shifted south and east on Ranch Road 2277, about 2 miles southeast of Stinnett where we found a better viewing area of the storm to our northeast. (Image of Chris Kridler (21) watching the storm.) The light was fading and the chase was over. We drove to Borger and found a nice restaurant thanks to some locals and enjoyed dinner before going to Shamrock, Oklahoma for the night.


(9)

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4) 5:17 PM CDT

(5) 5:43 PM

(6)

(7) 5:49 PM

(8) 5:55 PM


(10) 6:05 PM

(11) 6:50 PM

(12)

(13)

(14)

(15)

(16) 7:28 PM

(17) 7:43 PM

(18)

(19) 8:04 PM

(20) 8:07 PM

(21)

XM Radar Images



4:37 PM CDT

5:41 PM CDT

5:55 PM CDT

6:10 PM CDT

Go toMay 19, 2010 Oklhaoma storm chase

All images Copyright 2010 William T. Hark