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11 May 2016:
Texas Panhandle severe storms and lightning

May 11, 2016: Sometimes, as a storm chaser, I take a chance on a marginal forecast rather than chase a higher likelihood of severe storms in a place I don't want to chase. Today I targeted an area with decent upper-level winds and dewpoints - where Colorado meets the Oklahoma Panhandle and the northern Texas Panhandle. I refined the target to a storm coming out of New Mexico, and after driving in a rather frustrating loop (road network issues), I ended up in front of a storm coming out of Clayton, New Mexico, that just got prettier and stronger until it ended up being warned as severe. It and its sister storm had incredible lightning that I chased all the way back to Amarillo. Share

Click on the thumbnails to see a larger image.

    When I finally made my circuit and got in front of my chosen storm in the far western Texas Panhandle, I stopped to get a few shots.
    The lightning out of this storm was intense. This is a video grab taken northwest of Dalhart.
    The storm became very beautiful as it strengthened.
    Beams of light!
    Last train to supercell...
    I went east at Channing to stay ahead of the storm.
    It had some rotation and increasing amounts of hail.
    Here's a look back at the storm with its hail core.
    A closer look at the hail core and "area of interest" under the base.
    At twilight, the monster hailer advances north of Masterson, Texas.
    I took this shot at Masterson, showing it crossing Route 87.
    I stopped for a while and took photos of the retreating storm.
    It was still spitting out large amounts of lightning.
    Lightning illuminates the base of the retreating supercell.
    One more shot of the base of the now severe storm, with its intriguing features, and lightning.
    I then turned my attention to the storm approaching from the west. I kept this surreal image in the mix because it has the moon above the laminar severe storm.
    There was fantastic lightning in this storm, too.
    The lightning crawlers lit the structure beautifully.
    A wonderful arcus cloud and lightning as the storm approached Amarillo.
    The shot of the night! A great lightning crawler spun out of the storm before I fled the core.
    There was rotation in the storm, and it was quite evident in the leading southern edge. The mothership invades Amarillo! The storm then became linear after flinging quarter-size hail.

2016 reports and photos | blog | main gallery page

All photos copyright 2016 by Chris Kridler,,