It’s getting stronger by the minute. MAY 9th 2015 Guys, I think I’m going to risk everything… Strong rotation but it’s moving very quickly to the north. It’s going to be really hard to get ahead of it. We’re driving fast heading North, on the only road available. So Vincent is going to lose his driving licence obviously… This is the last time you see me in the show… PRODUCED BY CHAOTIC CHRONICLES WITH THE HELP OF PEIGNOIR PROD DIRECTED BY CHRISTOPHE ASSELIN I’ve been too optimistic I guess… Especially when I look at the last radar scan! Well, it’s going more to the north… We might get on its ass. Siren! Now we’re a bit “kamikaze”, let’s be careful We felt like we needed to go through it. Risky move considering the storm was tornado warned and we were driving toward the rotation. It’s very wide… We’re going to lose sight. We have to watch the radar closely. We saw some heavy rain shafts as you usually see around tornadoes. Very impressive rain shafts. We need to get to the north of the hook. Where is it? On our left? CREATED BY CHRISTOPHE ASSELIN – We shouldn’t stop, right?
– It’s making an occlusion… Be careful because we’re getting really close to the rotation. That’s tough with the slight radar delay. It’s tricky but the rotation is more to the north. Until the last minute we doubted we could pass it because the storm accelerated a bit. We can see the clear sky from the hook. We’re about to get out of the rain. We’re getting out. Do I go east, or do I try north? No, north is too risky! I take east and we’ll try to go north further away. Luckily we passed it just in time to take the road east and get a better view of the supercell. It’s beautiful behind us! Let’s make a stop! It was only 24 hours after our landing and we already had a beautiful supercell. A green wall of rain We got the first thrills of the trip. No need to say that unlike the last two journeys we’ve had no time to warm up! Do you see the inflow band? AN INFLOW BAND IS A LINE OF CLOUDS WHERE THE MOISTURE IS SUCKED UP BY THE STORM. We continued to drive east a bit to stay ahead of it and keep a good view of that rotation area. What’s up on the radar? It wasn’t tornado time for now but we stayed hopeful and kept driving east to see how it was evolving. Minutes went by and the lightning activity increased. It was strengthening with regular positive lightning. Very specific thunder rolls. It was loud enough to wake the dead. POSITIVE LIGHTNING IS RARE BUT ALSO MORE POWERFULL THAN CLASSIC NEGATIVE LIGHTNING. But the storm was having trouble getting organized around its mesocyclone. And above all, it stayed HP which means it was producing a lot of rain and that didn’t help to see what was going on under the base. The storm looked like it was weakening now. It marked the end of the chase for that day. We decided to go found an hotel in the city of Ardmore. We really needed some rest but it would be a total failure because new storms developped south of town in the evening and it became a parade of storms during all night with very close lightning bolts. We were wondering if it would eventually stop. When would we be able to sleep? We would not survive the whole month like that! MAY 10th 2015 This new day looked promising for tornadoes but a bit more to the south. Yet another challenging day! On the higway heading south after only 30 minutes of driving we came across a storm that started to go wild. “If we get a tornado now, this is too easy”! We figured something was happening and that we should keep an eye on it. Look the ascending motion there! There’s a rotation! We had to keep in mind that the big play of the day was south of Dallas. So we went along the storm during a while but we quickly set off toward south. It was a good move because a new strong storm had formed and was approaching Denton, near Dallas. It became tornado warned when we arrived in town. It was tough being in a city and having the traffic limiting our options. As best one can, we managed to find a kind of open view on a parking lot. There was some amazing motion in the sky. What a beast! It’s coming right at us! No, I think it’s going to our north! It’s coming right for us! The edge is still on the same axis… so it might just tengent us. Look at the motion! That’s unbelievable! – We have to get ready!
– Yes, we need to leave! A tornado warned supercell over a downtown is really not what you want to see especially with a circulation wrapped in rain. The rain is coming, we need to leave before we can’t see anything! It was getting harder and even dangerous because the escape roads were too uncertain. We figured it was not a good idea to keep following this rapidly moving storm. Now we keep driving south as a new storm fired up south-west of Dallas. We hope for even better environement there with more moisture and stronger winds. We got on its path and tried to understand its organization by taking a step back for now. Wind at our back! About 15 kmph with a 69°F dewpoint. Stronger wind there… Yes but these green values are wind gusts, not mean speed. We can’t even see the base yet. There’s no positive lightning anymore… Considering how slowly the cell was moving we eventually decided to get closer or we might miss a tornado. After just a few miles, the storm structure finally appeared. We found a nice elevated point of view. The storm began to move faster so we got back on the road, not getting too far away, driving a few miles and then stopping again. The rotation is in the rain… Look! There’s an inflow notch appearing on the radar! Very good sign! The structure is really well shaped with multiple layers. And that is where the rotation is the strongest. I think the notch is even further to the north. The issue is we don’t have any road going north! It’s strenghtening! It became very interesting because the inflow winds really strenghtened with 50kmph gusts. We saw a thick inflow band forming on the north flank. Look how it’s sucking up! The base widened and began to get ahead of this annoying rain core. The rotation is clearly visible with that lowering. Guys, it’s tightening up! There’s another wall cloud there too! Looking good! The only thing missing was the tornado but we thought it would happen very soon. Funnel cloud, there! The rain is getting in the way again… Let’s go guys, rain is coming! Storm chasers everywhere! We went through the city of Hillsboro with a nice apocalyptic atmosphere and positive lightning striking to our left. POSITIVE LIGHTNING IS OFTEN ASSOCIATED WITH THE MOST ORGANIZED PHASE OF THE STORM. It will be very hard to see a tornado today. Kind of irritating… If I were you, I’d make a stop! It’s magnificent behind us! This storm is truly beautiful with crazy colors like a vivid turquoise-blue. It might be a sign of a significant hail core or of a rain wrapped circulation. I think we’re in a good position! At some point, we noticed a darker area inside the core of this very high precipitation supercell. It’s really dark behind the rain! Anyway, it was too difficult to see what was happening exactly. We fought until dark and tried to reposition ourselves to get on the good side of the storm hoping we’d have a better view. I think we should race into it… Rain is too intense… Problem was, with the night coming observation got really difficult and we had to rely even more on radar images. We should get ready to turn around. It’s getting dangerous. But this road is a one way! Really?? Then we have to find another road! The night was now here, as was rain I was behind the wheel and had a hard time with no visibility at all. I think we’re inside! – Do you want my sun glasses?
– I need a welding mask! There was no point in carrying on the chase as it became a line of storms moving very quickly to the east. It was time to look for an hotel. As a matter of fact, we arrived in the city of Corsicana. Problem was we were in a flat area so the draining of the water didn’t go well. We ended up being blocked at the city entrance without being able to reach hotels. It took at least one hour before we managed to get around the obstacles and found an hotel. It symbolized the last two days of chasing with all that pouring rain under HP storms. Long gone is the arid representation of Texas we had on our previous trips We immediately felt it would be very different this year which means we were going to experience new things. We were happy with what we saw structure-wise but it was still a bit frustrating not to have even a brief tornado showing up. Tornado, Tornado! NEXT EPISODE JOIN US ON FACEBOOK, TWITTER AND YOUTUBE!