Success (Now Break) for Tour 1

Posted on 13th May, 2017

Tour 1 look like they had a cracking start to the chase season, with some of the netweather guests managing to secure a bonus chase day. Sadly my friend Olly volunteered to be left behind to await the other chasers (the importance of arriving a day before the tour begins!), but he has informed me he has seen some nice stormy weather since. The bonus chase (May 9th) had them head west out of Dallas and towards west Texas and east New Mexico to chase down some supercell structures on the dryline. 


The SPC predicted a slight risk of convective weather and a good 5% chance of a tornado in the area they were chasing. A GIF of the convective outloook for them can be seen below. Reports from a few other sout there reported that they saw a fair few funnel clouds, some impressive hail fog and enjoyed a good core punch!  Not bad for a bonus chase day!


The SPC Convective, tornadic and hail outlook for May 9th 2017 (Source:


Their second day started in Childress, one of the Texan towns that we are very fond of. Those who followed my blog during the 2016 chase, will remember that we stayed here after the spectacular lightning in Turkey (Texas), where the cell was approaching and had become tornado warned. It also served as our starting point for the Dodge City Chase on May 24th 2016 (full report here... and video of the dramatic chase here...).  In short, we love Childress!


Hook-Echo over Childress

Radar showing a hook-echo over a tornado-warned storm over Childress on May 10th 2017


Paul and his team started well within the 10% tornado risk by staying in Childress and then hitting the road. Interestingly, it would appear the storm came to them, as a tornado warned storm (demonstrating a great hook-echo) passed over Childress. The team further chased the storms into Oklahoma, where they managed to see 2 tornadoes. I've seen a few videos of one of them (unfortunately all shared on private accounts - so I can't share!) and one appeared to appear from the left of the cars in quite a quick and dramatic fashion. I'm pretty impressed by the footage (even if the videographer complained of focusing issues!).


On their third chase day, they head into northern Oklahoma for a 2% risk. ALthough there was a larger risk further to the east, the chase territory is much better in Oklahoma and would enable clearer views for well as act as a safer option. A few reports from the Tour 1 team said that they saw a funnel cloud off a storm that organised near Guthrie, Oklahoma. Mike also said that he had witnessed some of the biggest hail he had ever seen come from this storm.  I think they finished the night enjoying a slap-up meal in BJ's Restaurant in Norman, Oklahoma (and those eagle-eyed, non-giggling-at-the-name readers will know this is where we had our final meal of the 2016 chase


Unfortunately the weather has decided to stop for a few days, but the models seem to show some good potential to allow the team to chase continuously for the final 5 days of their tour.  The plus side of no weather means that you can take a breather, recharge and do an old-style American roadtrip and visit some of the tourist attractions and landmarks along the way.


The Twistex Memorial

The Twistex Memorial in Oklahoma. rest in peace Tim, Paul and Carl.


Yesterday, the team visited the Twistex Memorial in Oklahoma. This memorial is to the Twistex Team (Tim Samaras, Paul Samaras and Carl Young) who were killed in the line of action chasing the infamous El Reno tornado on May 31st 2013. These chasers always played safe, always had an escape route and unfortunately, El Reno was a beast of a different nature and it killed them. I'd love to visit the memorial at some point as the information the Twistex team have gathered has shaped tornado research and helped to save lives. RIP Tim, Paul and Carl.


Jason, at The Big Texan Steak Ranch

Reminiscing of the times I visited the Big Texan Steak Ranch


The team finished their day in Amarillo - heading to the Big Texan Steak Ranch - a familiar haunt for chasers everywhere. It's very touristy and pretty OTT, but it is a must for anybody who passes through Amarillo. I remember fondly the last two visits and wonder if we will head through Amarillo this year. Who knows... but with less than a week until I am out there as well, the weather could make it possible - especially with the talk of a weather pattern change (from Weather Underground) for the week that I am out there...


Hopefully I'll keep you updated of the chases that are undertaken before I head out there myself...and look forward to bringing you news of some of the chases I'll be on myself. Until then, stay safe!




P.S. I've recently installed some share buttons (left of the screen). I'm trying hard to get this blog up and running with regular content and updates. If you've enjoyed what you have read and think your social network community would like to follow me - feel free to share! Thanks in advance! Jason

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