Texas Gustnadoes (northern Hutchinson County ): May 21, 2007


I started the day in Liberal, Kansas. My target was in the Pampa area of the Texas Panhandle. Storms were likely in front of the approaching dryline and tornadoes were possible with increased low level shear. Instability was adequate. My main concern was very weak mid level winds. I received a call from Charles Edwards of Cloud 9 Tours and met them for breakfast. After breakfast, I drove south on 83, then 70, stopping along the way to take pictures. I found an interesting abandoned house south of Perryton, Texas. The wildflowers were especially beautiful this year. In Pampa, I checked data and had lunch at Dyer's Barbecue. There was decent instability at my location and a bullseye of increased shear. An isolated tower developed southwest of Pampa but it died. Meanwhile, a line of storms was forming along the dryline west of Dumas. I decided to target the southernmost part of the line. I went west on 152 to Borger and north to Stinnett. The storms were visible to the west and had completely merged into a line. A storm to my north was slightly more dominant. I drove north and then northeast on 207 as the storms approached from the west. The dark western sky contrasted with fields of yellow flowers. I obtained a nice image of a FedEx truck with the sunlit flowers and storm. I passed the Doppler on Wheels (DOW) and the Tornado Intercept Vehicle (TIV). The storms were starting to overtake the road, and I saw a couple of gustnadoes in northern Hutchinson County. One strong gustnado crossed the road at 5:23PM and continued to my east. Video was difficult due to heavy rain. I continued northeast and then east on 15. I looked for photo opportunities ahead of the storm, then would move on as the line overtook me. Large clouds of dust swirled in the outflow winds. I obtained a nice image of the storm at 6:08 PM behind a grain elevator near Perryton, Texas. Although no tornadoes, I saw a couple of gustnadoes, nice storms and beautiful landscapes. I was more enthusiastic about the tornadic potential in Kansas the following day.

YouTube video of Hutchinson County gustnadoes and dust clouds in Hansford County, Texas


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Next Page: May 22, 2007

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