Storm chaser describes 'odd' tornado formation in Texas
Tuesday, May 19, 2015, 12:07 - We started our day off in Abilene, TX and after some breakfast, we began our trek southwest along the I-20 toward Midland, TX. This was our "target" to start the day to get us into position for storms to fire. After waiting at a gas station in Midland for a couple of hours, storms began to develop near the NM-TX border. We started vectoring southwest toward Pecos, TX where the storm was.
The storms today had BIG hail so we needed to be very careful about avoiding the cores. We positioned ourselves just southeast of Pecos, TX to watch the storm. It had a lot of rising motion and rotation as well as a very hefty core. We pulled off and watched it for a while and sure enough, we got a funnel cloud and then a tornado!
It was brief, only on the ground for a minute or two, but a tornado nonetheless. It was probably one of the oddest tornadoes we've ever seen which is demonstrated in the video timelapse below shot by Dave Lewison [on Monday]:
It was the only tornado report in the United States [Monday].
After it lifted, the lightning danger really started to increase. For the remainder of the day we kept along with the storm. It wasn't moving particularly fast so we'd stop, shoot some video and take some pictures, then the core of hail and rain would start to catch up on us and we would reposition again. We continued like this until about 7:30pm CT. What sealed the deal was a very close lightning strike so we got in our cars to start our journey to Midland, TX where we're spending the night.
Tornado 101: Everything you need to know about staying safe
The lightning show on the way home was incredible. Just an amazing amount of cloud-to-ground lightning like I've never seen before. We got into the hotel fairly late and I'm currently dumping all of our videos and images onto the harddrive as I type so I don't think I'll be able to edit and post any photos or video from today. Luckily there is the video above by Dave which illustrates some of what we saw today.
Tuesday holds a risk for storms again in and around this area so we won't have far to go!