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Thursday, March 29, 2007

2007-03-28 Report


Eric and I watch the CU field in the OK panhandle east of the town of Balko, OK on HW 270.


We moved a little east on HW 270 to position ourselves to the east of the line of developing mesos coming out of the eastern TX panhandles. This view is looking back west at the multi-cell cluster that will soon become our meso of the day.



Tornado #1 touches down east of Booker, TX. It moves quickly north accross the road as we look out to the east.


Tornado #1 turns into a well defined cone as it moves north. We start to lose site of it in the RFD rains and move north towards Elmwood, OK.


Tornado #2 spins up south of Tornado #3, for a minute we have two tornadoes on the ground simultaneously!


Tornado #3 grows into a strong elephant trunk moving north, at this point it's close to crossing into OK.


Tornado #3 continues to grow, we move north through Elmwood, OK and intercept it from the west going east. We lose sight of it on some hills, the

next time we will see it, it has grown into a 1/4 mile wide wedge that unfortunately takes two lives.


Wedge crosses HW 270 just east of Elmwood, OK


Tornado morphs into a large cone north of HW 270 - we are only 1/8 mile away at this point!


Lightning strike and cone tornado north of HW 270 in Beaver CO, OK


As the Beaver CO tornado ropes out to our east we look west at the setting sun and see a roping out tornado near Guymon, OK lit up by the setting sun!


Here's a map of the tornado path and our path alongside it to the west.
Eric and I left Denver at 7:00am and after talking to Chris Rozoff decided that we could make the southern target in OK/TX. With nowcasting along the way by Tony Laubach we setup shop in Beaver County, OK and watched eagerly as the cells south of Amarillo went crazy. Late afternoon cells finally began to show some life in our area and a multi-cell passed over the county and split from the southern cell which quickly became a meso and began showing great structure over Booker, TX.We watched a wispy touchdown east of Booker, TX, then a cone touching down, a landspout and cone on the ground at the same time and then a stout stovepipe tornado as the storm moved from TX into OK.
We headed north and shot east again and came over the hill at roughly the time the house with the 2 fatalities was hit. We learned about this later in the night and were not aware of this tragedy at the time.
We were able to pull right up the tornado as it went from a wedge into a double vortex that rotated around itself in the most amazing site I have ever seen. At this point the tornado retrograded west in the field just 1/8 mile from us.
We got easily 45 minutes of tornado footage from this supercell. What an amazing chase, although tempered by the 2 fatalities. Have many more images to process and video to review.
Here is a YouTube of our video from TWC this morning:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgq0QuscU5s
summary of the beaver / lipscomb counties tornadoes
tornado #1:rated ef - 2 (max winds 110 - 137 mph)
path length: 22 milesmax
width: 150 yards
tornado began: 7:28 pm ... ended at 7:53 pm
2 fatalities / 0 injuries
the tornado originated in northern lipscomb county between booker and darrouzett ... about 6 miles south of the beaver / lipscomb county line at 7:28 pm. the tornado moved northward and entered beaver county at 7:39 pm. damage occurred on a farmstead about 1 mile into beaver county severely damaging several outbuildings and a grain bin.little or no damage occurred to the home. the tornado continued north, briefly became a large multi vortex tornado ... and then consolidated into one large funnel ... snapping power poles and large trees. the tornado struck and destroyed a single family home about9 miles north of the lipscomb / beaver county line at 7:50 pm ... where two fatalities occurred. it appeared that the couple killed in the tornado did seek refuge in their small bathroom, which was destroyed. in addition to the small home ... a storage barn was destroyed and two vehicles were moved as much as 20 yards. a horse trailer was destroyed as it bounced and rolled for approximately 50 yards. the tornado continued moving north for approximately another 6 or 7 miles ... damaging only power poles ... fences ... and trees before it lifted.



AT 757 PM MDT...THE PUBLIC REPORTED A TORNADO 1 MILE SOUTH OF
HOLLY. THIS SEVERE STORM WAS LOCATED 7 MILES NORTHEAST OF
HARTMAN...OR 14 MILES NORTHWEST OF COOLIDGE...AND WAS MOVING
TOWARD THE NORTH AT 30 MPH.

* THE TORNADO WILL IMPACT MAINLY RURAL AREAS OF SOUTHEASTERN KIOWA
COUNTY...AROUND HOLLY.

Check out these youtube posts of TWC coverage from that evening:

Part 1/3
Part 2/3
Part 3/3

Mileage: 992

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