Final set of photographs from the 31st May 2007 event.
Beginning in Amarillo, we made out way to Dumas where we checked more data. It became apparent that a dryline bulge was setting up in the northern Texas panhandle. However, we only made our move when the first echos showed in extreme southeast Colorado. Making our way north, although the storms were severe warned, and echos looked decent, the updrafts indicated otherwise.
Proceeding to a vantage point under the anvil in the Oklahoma panhandle, we simply enjoyed the surroundings. Occasional bolts and brief periods of active phases attracted our interest. A couple of farmers came past for a chat almost unaware of the storms nearby.
The lightning activity in particular cell the northwest became more frequent. Suddenly in the haze, the appearance of an high precipitation supercell structure emerged. Just as I reminded Brad that this is what it looked like way back on 27th May 2001, a tornado warning was issued for the cell. What surprised me was the doppler indications of rapid rotation!
It merely took 10 minutes or so to be near the storm and in a position to film timelapse - across the border into extreme southeast Colorado. This was the start of a transition to a skeletal HP supercell phase to wet HP supercell. The structure consisted of a donut shape with precipitation core in the centre. But the funnel cloud persisted throughout with variations in shape and behaviour.
Finally as we made our way southeast and south, other chasers emerged from the north. I admit we did remain a little too long only to find out that our escape route was a muddy slick road. No option now except head into the rear flank downdraught and the core. This seemed endless despite the sunlight. The hailstones smacking the vehicle with ferocious winds did not make things comfortable.
Yes we were in this:
Once out of harms way, we were in chase mode once again. The storm had attained incredible structure - our aim to maintain an easterly vantage point with respect to the supercell.
At one point, even the smoke from a grass fire was sucked into the inflow notch. And the lightning - it randomly pierced the earth from anywhere near the core to many miles out of the anvil - certainly kept us on alert with one eye on roaming.
Finally, as we stepped with the storm east and on approach to Guyman, we noticed rapid inflow into the wall cloud region. Then, as we were concentrating on the wall cloud to our west, a cone within the precipitation was observed that began to take on a snake - funnel appearance. Our last day and another tornado! This tornado finally roped out after a few minutes.
This phase may have been over, but I was shocked to note a warning was re-issued - this time an extremely dangerous and life threatening situation - the possibility of strong to violent tornadoes! And this was near Guyman - the circulation within few hundred metres. A funnel was observed but a ground circulation was difficult to confirm from our perspective.
Once the storm became outflow dominant, we made our way easy towards Canadian and then Shamrock for an easy trip to Dallas.