Nature

Texas Tornadoes Provided Insights About Storm Chasing

On Wednesday, multiple tornadoes were confirmed across Texas and Oklahoma, providing storm chasers with some of the most beautiful tornado photos available. However, when night fell, one storm scared a lot of chasers.

Storm Chasing

Kansas tornado

(Photo : Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images)

Storm chasing is described as the intentional chase of any extreme weather phenomena for any reason, but most typically for curiosity, adventure, scientific inquiry, or news or media coverage. A storm chaser, or simply a chaser, is someone who pursues storms.

While seeing a tornado is most people’s primary goal, many pursue thunderstorms and enjoy observing cumulonimbus and similar cloud forms, watching a bombardment of hail and lightning, and seeing what skyscapes emerge. A limited number of storm chasers intercept tropical cyclones and waterspouts.

Also Read: Drought-Stricken West At Risk of Intense Storms   

Texas Tornado

Storm chasers and bystanders witnessed a spectacular white cone tornado dance across a field of wind turbines outside Crowell, Texas, roughly a two-hour drive north of Abilene, Texas.

Several chasers, including AccuWeather‘s Tony Laubach and his pursuing partner Ed Grubb, tracked the storm as it grew in size, kicking up Texas red soil and passing near people’s homes and farmland.

“It was eerie how there manifested and came out of the tree line; this bowl of dust, and then the funnel appeared,” Grubb recalled.

The twister seemed to track straight over one of the wind turbines as the storm moved just south of Cromwell, but the turbine looked to be spared any severe damage.

“Watching it roll straight over those wind turbines, which are enormous, but how the tornado dwarfed them so drastically,” Laubach added. “However, the terrain, sky, and clouds combined to create a stunningly creepy palette from Ma Nature.”

Storm chaser Brandon Clement was also following the twister near the windmills, and he uploaded an incredible video of the tornado “eating” one of the turbines on Twitter.

Extreme Weather Cluster

Other storms that hit Wednesday night did, however, cause damage. A tornado twisted into a town outside of Lockett, Texas, causing damage to multiple structures. Six members of a storm chasing tour group whose van was directly impacted by the tornado were among those affected by the storm.

“We pulled up here and turned to face the wind, but everything struck us. It spun us around; it turned us 90 degrees,” Cloud 9 Tours operator Charles Edwards told Clement. Although Edwards showed Clement that one of his arms had been seriously lacerated, all of the passengers and escorts in the vehicle were said to be safe.

The National Weather Service had to issue repeated warnings for the storm as it curved northward on its unique route, putting storm chasers like Edwards and portions of Lockett in danger.

Leaving Damages

Property damage ranged from light to moderate in the northern area of Lockett, with roofs ripped off, trees toppled, and dents on automobiles struck by debris. There were no storm-related deaths in either tornado.

Related Article: Another Tornado Cluster Left Towns in Oklahoma and Texas in Ruins  

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