Jenny Brown and professional Dallas photographer, Justin Terveen, set out early Saturday morning in hopes of a little “Caprock Magic” in the Texas panhandle. While there was only a Slight Risk of severe weather in the forecast, it’s these days that often end up producing some of the most photogenic storms of the season. After making good time into Childress, the two stopped for a quick bite to eat and looked over the latest surface and model data. The most favorable target area was west of Amarillo along the dryline at the TX/NM border where a narrow band of instability was expected to develop by late afternoon at the same time a weak upper level disturbance was forecasted to arrive. Another player in the forecast was a remnant outflow boundary from early morning storms. As it was still early in the afternoon, the two decided to take a drive around Caprock Canyon State Park and let a few storms begin to fire before deciding which one to target. A few began developing in far northeastern New Mexico, then awhile later, another batch began to develop just west of Amarillo and began to look healthy and organized. The two headed west into Tulia then north on I-27 into Amarillo giving the storm a little time to mature. It soon became apparent that the cell just northwest of Amarillo near Dumas was going to be the dominant storm of the day, so they drove north to intercept shortly before it crossed Hwy 287 just south of Dumas. The storm became tornado-warned after moderate low level circulation was detected by radar. Jenny and Justin arrived at their location along Hwy 287 near the Crawford Ranch in time to observe incredible amounts of dirt and tumbleweeds being sucked up by the mesocyclone, and tons of rapidly rising scud being ingesting by the base of the moderately rotating wall cloud. They stayed at their location until the wall cloud began to occlude, never producing a visible tornado. (Edited 4/13/15 – The NWS office in Amarillo later confirmed one EF-0 tornado in far southeastern Potter County based on storm chaser video). They dropped south on Hwy 287 then continued east to pace with the storm, stopping numerous times along the way towards Panhandle then White Deer as it continued to cycled back up and down for the remainder of the evening. Scroll down for a random sampling of shots from the chase!
Video Link via Insagram: https://instagram.com/p/1WhMn7Nav8/?taken-by=texasstormchasers