Thursday, March 22, 2012

OK Tornadoes - March 18, 2012 chase summary

Last Sunday turned out to be a spectacular day. I had high hopes for this chase, and were exceeded with ease though our exact target area was a bust. Had multiple issues this day, like only having internet for about 10% of the time and my camera stopped recording in my dome halfway through the chase. Despite these problems it was still a great chase.

Started the day targeting the Eastern TX Panhandle, but focused more on the NE Panhandle. We set on I-40 for an hour or so, but eventually moved up to Pampa till about 4:45. After watching the stuff near Childress go for a couple hours finally gave up on the NE Panhandle ever firing and decided to head SE. I made a straight shot into OK to near Sayre and cut south in front of the slow moving storm cluster. Going this route instead of coming in from behind gave me one of the best storm structure shows of my life, which made my day even without the tornadoes. I set in the area around Willow, OK and let the storm come to me. Witnessed 3 tornadoes before the storm even got to my location and saw 2 more within the next 20 miles of driving on the clogged highway. Total tornadoes for the day is 5, but I could easily argue 7 or so not that it matters.

This day will not be topped anytime soon, because I have rarely seen structure like this that also produced so many tornadoes, even a quite large one you can see in the first photo below. As long as it took me to give up on the other target I really should not have any tornadoes to show for Sunday, but mother nature threw me a bone after my pathetic showing in 2011. I am going have another 25+ tornado year one way or another. I got close in 2010 with about 22 tornadoes, but have not topped 25 since 2007. An active year here in the Panhandles will be key to this happening though. With the recent rains it is not that far fetched anymore.

Timelapse video -


  1. wow, such amazing shots you have here

  2. these are great shots your brave for getting that close!!