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April 22, 2010 West Texas Tornadoes



Video and Pictures are below this report:

I started off in Childress, Tx and stayed there through noon. I did see a few little storms that morning near there and got into just a bit of small hail. Eventually, I made my way up to the NW where the clouds were thinning out a bit. By around 330pm storms begin firing just to my west (west of Clarendon) and I headed north to intercept it down the road a bit thinking it would take a little while to become established. The second picture is actually the first cell (and would eventually produce the tornadoes a bit later near Groom/Boydston). The storm really intensified (quicker than I hoped/expected) and so I tried to get closer. The third picture shows the back of this rapidly strengthening supercell with a possible tornado between the road and left side. This is the NWS report from the time:

THE FIRST TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN 5 MILES NORTHEAST OF GOODNIGHT IN ARMSTRONG COUNTY AT 459 PM AND LIFTED AT 502 PM CDT. THE TORNADO WAS ON THE GROUND FOR ONE TO TWO MILES WITH A MAXIMUM WIDTH OF 50 YARDS. THE TORNADO WAS RATED AN EF0. NO DAMAGE OR INJURIES WERE REPORTED.

I tried to cut across some dirt roads but it ended in a fence so I got back to the hwy and headed north to I-40 and then west to the next offramp at Boydston. The storm had great motion and soon some of the funnels appeared to be touching down. Eventually a longer lived tornado formed just to my SW. I got out of there as that torando roped out and a few baseball sized hail stones began to Here is the NWS report on this tornado:

THE SECOND TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN 4 MILES SOUTHEAST OF GROOM IN DONLEY COUNTY AT 510 PM AND LIFTED AT 526 PM CDT 2 MILES EAST SOUTHEAST OF JERICHO. THE TORNADO WAS ON THE GROUND FOR 8 MILES WITH A MAXIMUM WIDTH OF 100 YARDS. THE TORNADO WAS RATED AN EF0. NO DAMAGE OR INJURIES WERE REPORTED.

A lot of the pictures/video I shot were not in perfect focus as I was battling a infection above my right eye - my shooting eye - that actually landed me in the hospital Friday through Sunday! I raced east on I-40 to position for another intercept on the storm. I saw some more great rotation and did some time lapses. Eventually I made my way back SW to another storm just behind the first. I had a brief view of a nice tornado from far away...Here is the NWS report on it:

THE FIFTH TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN 8 MILES EAST SOUTHEAST OF GROOM IN DONLEY COUNTY AT 607 PM AND LIFTED AT 609 PM CDT. THE TORNADO WAS ON THE GROUND FOR ONE HALF MILE WITH A MAXIMUM WIDTH OF 25 YARDS. THE TORNADO WAS RATED AN EF0. NO DAMAGE OR INJURIES WERE REPORTED.

By the time I got there the tornado had lifted but rotation was still intense. I made my way up to near Lake McClellan. I observed several bried spin ups beneath a rapidly rotating lowering. Its possible the whole thing could have been considered a tornado but I didnt think that at the time. You could see the strong winds at the surface but at the time I thought it was mostly RFD. In the video you can just barely see some rotation elements though. Here is the NWS Report about this tornado:

THE SEVENTH TORNADO HAD A LARGE...BROAD AND INTENSE ROTATION THAT PRODUCED MULTIPLE BRIEF TORNADO TOUCHDOWNS. THE TORNADO BEGAN 1 MILE NORTH OF LAKE MCCLELLAN IN GRAY COUNTY AT 630 PM AND LIFTED AT 652 PM CDT 4 MILES NORTH OF ALANREED. THE TORNADO WAS ON THE GROUND FOR 9 MILES WITH A MAXIMUM CIRCULATION WIDTH OF ONE QUARTER MILE. THE TORNADO WAS RATED AN EF0. NO DAMAGE OR INJURIES WERE REPORTED.

After that the storms began to merge and race east. I got back to I-40 and raced east. I eventually decided to leave those storms and head SE to intercept a nicer isolated storm approaching extreme SW Oklahoma. I got there after sunset and was treated to a night lightning show. There were several tornado reports and I made my closer to the storm. The NWS Norman called around this time to try and verify the reports... but I didnt see anything at the time. I got up in there pretty good (a little too far actually). I began racing east and had some strong inflow winds (NE!) for a few seconds then I had strong winds (S) and zero visibility. I was certainly a little concerned but I made it out ok and although I paralled the storm for a while I eventually called it a day and headed home. I would count 5 tornadoes (the first tornado near Goodnight, at least two touchdowns up near I-40 and before that - some may consider that more that 2, the far away tornado with the second storm, and the tornado circulation near Lake McClellan).

Here is some video... I havent gotten to look at my dashcam video yet!





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