From May 17 to May 30 2015 I chased storms with Cloud9 tours (http://www.cloud9tours.com/).
I flew into Will Rogers airport, Oklahoma City, OK on Saturday 16 May meeting Ian and Mark Rees at Newark airport during the stop-over. We then bumped into Paul Harvey at Will Rogers, we took a taxi to the Days Inn at Norman, OK.
There was a nice storm that had been going on for a while when we arrived at the motel – in fact it disrupted the travel of several of the guests.
May 17 was a travel day as we had to ensure the departing tour 1 guests reached the airport and consequently couldn’t start early enough after induction to reach any severe weather. We spent the night in Childress, TX.
Here are a few shots from the orientation and travel to Childress.
First chase day! We targeted SW New Mexico for this day but did not quite make it. We settled onto our storm, sheltered from the hail and then began the chase. We experienced some impressive hail drifts and some even more impressive flash flooding seeing a number of abandoned vehicles nearly completed submerged off the sides of the road. Here are a few pictures from the day:
Short video of the flash flooding:
Started off in Odessa, TX ending up in Childress, TX (again!). We did chase a nice little storm but apart from some nice gust front and lightning (and yet more heavy rain) that was it. Here are a few pics from the day:-
20 May Travel day to Amarillo, TX
Had supper at The Big Texan (didn’t take my camera!). Andrew Kirby made a brave attempt at the 72 Oz steak, just as his future wife Cristy had done in 2008.
Down Day – Some of the group went shopping whilst the rest of us wandered around the Palo Duro, TX. Rather scenic it was too.
We chased up into Colorado, ending up in Burlington, CO. I took a few pictuers but none worth sharing!
Another travel day – Ended up in Wichita Falls, TX.
This was either a travel day or a chase with “no cigar”, I can’t remember which! Either way here a couple of pictures:-
Not a lot today:
Chase day. Lots of lightning and on a tornado warned storm. Caught a brief glimpse of a distant tornado. Some nice structure.
Today started off very badly. Jade Vee missed or slipped on the last step of the stairs at our Motel 6 in Abilene. It left her with an obviously fractured left ankle. We called an ambulance which took her off to the local hospital for treatment. This delayed our departure by over an hour making our initial target unattainable. But as it turned out this meant we were able to sneak up on the storm of the day. We bagged 3 tornadoes and then I snapped some nice lightning later that night. Just look at these pictures and videos!
Caught this lightning from inside the car on the way to the storm
Just North of Canadian, TX. We had just jumped back into the vans to reposition when we heard over the radio, “Tornado behind us!”. Sure enough there it was. We screeched to a halt alongside the old bridge we had driven over only days before and enjoyed this tornado for nearly 10 minutes:
Here is the first video:-
Another video here:-
And another showing the wider view:-
Video of the tornado as it ropes out:-
You can see how happy Dani is to see her first tornado.
Brad Riley, our driver, looks thrilled. This is not his first tornado!
Video with the tornado sirens (turn up your sound!):-
Got some nice structure, big hail and some blowing dust. Also check out a funky little “time-lapse” video.
Photoshop “messed” this up somewhat, but I think it’s funny
Ok, this is better, even if we have 2 Jos’s.
Used my lightning trigger to snap some lightning shots. I had around 300 shots and got lightning on 4 frames. So I made it into a pseudo time-apse. Quite cool really.
Later, whilst we drove to the motel we had some nice dust blowing, check out the video below:-
Checked off another State today – New Mexico. Great scenery and a little storm.