16 May 2016: Oklahoma Panhandle tornadoes and severe storms in Texas
May 16, 2016: Today, Kathy Velasquez and I targeted the western Oklahoma Panhandle with an eye toward seeing a storm that might produce a tornado. Despite a lot of cloud cover and relatively cold temperatures, we saw just that - plus beautiful storm structure as we chased storms into the Texas Panhandle.
Click on the thumbnails to see a larger image.
We targeted the western Oklahoma Panhandle and saw the first storms going up in southeast Colorado, so we went west of Last Chance to watch the best one approach.
Even this early, it showed signs of rotation.
The storm also had dramatic, huge mammatus clouds.
We had to reposition on the scant road network and paused just west of Felt, Oklahoma, to watch the storm.
It kept making funnels. This shape - a funnel? - was buried in the rain.
The apparent funnel was wrapped up in precipitation.
A cone tornado appeared about 4:32 p.m. CDT, obscured by the rain and hail.
Here's a closer look (contrast enhanced) of the cone in the rain.
The tornado, at left, elongated into an elephant trunk.
Here's a closer look at the tornado.
And a wide look - tornado on the left, new mesocyclone on the right.
The tornado got skinnier as rotation continued on the east end of the storm.
The tornado became even thinner.
A closeup as the tornado emerges from the precipitation.
The tornado ropes out. It lifted about 4:43 p.m. CDT.
We maneuvered just east and south of Felt. Around this time, another tornado was reported.
Gorgeous green color indicated hail in the storm.
A wider shot - what a beauty!
Flowers and supercell.
I was loving this beautiful white-and-green coloring.
And one more look at the storm at this stage - stunning!
Farther down the road, this was the view to the north - green thanks to hail.
But to the west, another storm produced a short-lived tornado, about 5:30 p.m. CDT.
A shelf cloud from the cluster of storms.
Later on, at Dumas, Texas, the mammatus were fantastical.
Looking west, the mammatus were amazing at Dumas.
South of Dumas, we watched a new updraft beyond the wind turbines.
Much farther south on Route 87, we stopped to watch the sunset behind a storm producing large hail. The colors were incredible.
More wild colors in the sunset and storm.
An oil pump jack keeps working as the storm slides by.