This day reminded those who forget that even though all of the math and variables may not line up, that just has jack to do with how stunning nature is when she wants to be. Yes, it can be oddly pleasing sometimes to see everything come together so perfectly that what happens next is beyond belief, but most often you’d just rather not have that happen. Our initial target of southeast Kansas looked like it had some of the ingredients for this to happen, but when early morning storms sank through the area it became apparent that there was little chance better storms would end up forming and taking advantage of these.
Basically the only place that had a shot at some evening storms became near Childress, TX, as it was on the intersection of the dryline and a boundary left by the earlier storms which would help force them up. Naturally, being prepared to go watch some storms for an entire week prior, we went there.
The dryline was the only thing that could provide nearly enough forcing today. Energy was incredibly explosive, though, with CAPE reaching 5,000. As a result, one tiny tower formed near Paducah, TX that went from zero to 60 quite fast.
It got a bit bigger. I also got a respect for pre-dampened clay roads. Definitely not a good idea. A group of chasers got stuck ahead of us, and getting around them was still the most accomplished feeling I felt the whole trip. Thanks to my driver.
Finally got my abandoned house and storm photo.
It did briefly attempt to spin up pseudo-funnels a couple times, but less moisture near the dryline meant that cloud bases were a bit high, making the odds of a tornado touching down less than ideal. To make matters worse, even though there was just enough shear to get by, the low-level turning and strengthening of the winds was just not there, with barely a light breeze as we stood before it.
For all the locals north of us, their night was full of thunder and hail. For everyone south, blistering heat and humidity, but sunny skies.
The explosive instability gave the updrafts quite a nuclear look. There were twins at this point, with the one behind catching up to our initial storm and merging together with it.
One storm now. Anyone on this road was a chaser. Texas is so empty.
Hard to explain how hot it was.
Definitely enjoying the show.
It was like all the energy everywhere was exploding into the atmosphere.
The RFD cooled us off to probably just under a 100 degree heat index. It was really spiky looking.
We got ahead of the storm one more time as it started spitting out constant lightning.
The spiky inflow bands gave it a menacing look as hot air streaked into the storm from all directions.
These guys really wanted their picture taken with lightning. Their photographer missed, but I didn’t!