Chris Kridler's Sky Diary: storm chasing, photography and rainy-day tales

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storm gallery: May 29, 2001

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May 29 was shaping up to be a potentially significant severe weather event along the dryline in the Texas panhandle, with strong rotating wind profiles and lots of instability. We saw lots of towering cumulus clouds early in the afternoon but made our first data stop in Vega. Image from video. We went after the first storm that went up, south of I-40. Philip Flory advised us by phone that the storm had split. We got this interesting view of what may have been the remnants of one storm as we headed toward the main updraft. Image from video.

This good-looking updraft gave us high hopes. Image from video. The first wall cloud looked interesting, but then the storm began to look linear as it reorganized. Image from video.

We ran into the Cloud 9 Tours group and other chasers - a prelude to what would be the largest chaser convergence I have ever witnessed - as the storm began producing one meso after another. Image from video. This was another, more impressive wall cloud. We were hearing of tornadoes on the ground on a storm to the north at this time, but we didn't want to leave our rotating storm. Image from video.

When a huge rear-flank downdraft kicked up lots of dust, we thought the storm was getting ready to put down a tornado. Nope! Image from video. We began to get an idea of the storm's beautiful structure near Quitaque, where it was sucking in inflow like there was no tomorrow. It was a vacuum cleaner, inhaling red dust. Image from slide.

Finally, we got far enough ahead to see the rotating beast. Image from slide. The storm became a magnificent layer cake! I've never seen such amazing structure. You could see it slowly rotating with the naked eye. Image from slide.

Here's a longer view of the gorgeous storm. Image from slide. Outside of Childress, we listened to the tornado siren and watched the storm as it passed south of town. The video time-lapse looks pretty cool as it spins eastward. Image from slide.

Links to 2001 chase reports:

  • February 14-March 31: Fog, a few storms and blue-sky distractions in drought-stricken Florida
  • May 6-8: Roiling severe storms in Oklahoma and a mothership in Kansas
  • May 9-11: Pretty storms in Iowa, Minnesota and Missouri
  • May 16-19: Lightning and downpours during a Kansas chase and an outflow boundary from heck in Texas
  • May 20: A too-close encounter with a tornadic supercell in Oklahoma
  • May 23-27: Dust devils, Texas storms and a dust-bowl-style gust front in Kansas
  • May 28: Beautiful storms in Colorado and a tornado at dusk
  • May 29: A monster, rotating, layer-cake supercell in the Texas panhandle
  • May 30: A gorgeous storm from New Mexico that produced hail from hell
  • May 31-June 1: A look at Texas tornado damage and pretty rotating storms in Kansas
  • June 3-24: Severe storms and fantastic lightning in Florida
  • July 3-August 4: Shelf clouds sweep over the water in east-central Florida
  • August 10-11: The Florida Keys offer a skinny waterspout and shimmering sunsets
  • August 17-23: Florida again proves itself king of the shelf clouds, lightning and sunsets
  • August 31-September 24: A layered gust front, lightning and the remnants of Tropical Storm Gabrielle

go to the main gallery page | go to storm chasers
go to reports from 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997