Scales of Spin

Scales of Spin

Jon Racy, John Hart and I  saw at least six tornadoes with two supercells on this major outbreak day, but under generally lousy, low-light photography conditions, after being unable to get to the Panhandle in time for the most visually striking tubes farther SW.  Regardless, this was an outstanding storm-intercept day.  The southern of two intermittently tornadic storms recycled itself just long enough to produce this classical supercell structure, before becoming filled with precipitation and losing good contrast in the twilight.  The vault region at right looks transparent, but actually was dropping damaging hail.  Meanwhile, the whole storm was rotating in a broad sense, while the wall cloud spun faster, and its pronounced funnel, still faster!  Although we never could confirm ground circulation beneath this particular attempt in real time, closer observers would.  The storm would produce at least four more tornadoes that we could see south of McLean, and another couple that we didn’t witness, still farther north in darkness.  At one point we became bracketed by a tornado to the near southwest, another tornado a few miles to the southeast, and a hail core with 4-inch ice bombs just to our north, simultaneously.   Jon, whose life was cut short by cancer nearly five years later, referred to this trip as the favorite storm chase of his lifetime.

2 NE Hedley TX (28 Mar 7) Looking WSW
34.8923, -100.636

 

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