It took a while for Alethea Kontis and I to “pull the trigger” on this year’s storm-chasing trip. That’s what my chaser friends who don’t live in Tornado Alley say when they’re planning to hit the road. For most of us, with jobs and families and other things that keep us busy, we can’t do a lot of spur-of-the-moment thousand-mile trips. It’s better to block out a week or two and maximize our time on the road.
The pattern didn’t look fantastic, but I thought there was potential around the periphery of the ridge. And we were rewarded with many beautiful storms, all of which I will eventually post on the blog. This was the first one we chased, on May 24, starting eastern New Mexico and working its way east into Texas after dark.
We saw the potential even as we left Florida, and I was determined that we would chase this day if we could get there. It was a long haul, and we got on the storms a bit late, so our position wasn’t great to see the tornado our friend Jason Persoff saw. And a later tornado was seen by chasers who didn’t mind driving into the heart of the beast. I don’t have much stomach for core-chasing, so we stayed back and were treated to gorgeous, dramatic structure.
The storm turned into a dust-eating UFO after dark as it moved into the Texas Panhandle, and we got hypnotic lightning shots and timelapses before the chase was done.
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