Who chased? Chris and Dan Egan
If ever there was a classic Southern Plains chase day, this was it. All the elements were there, and SPC agreed. An uncommon Moderate Risk, along with a 15% hatched Tornado Risk and a 45% hatched Hail Risk made this a must-chase situation.
Past Rapid Rotation Storm Tours guest Dan Egan thought enough of the event to fly to Denver from Philadelphia to chase with me again. After spending the night in Dumas, Texas, we found ourselves in McLean, Texas as storms began to initiate. We positioned on Highway 273 south of McLean and had a great view as an intermittent cone funnel formed to the west.
This funnel persisted for a while until a tornado touched down that moved north towards I-40. Thankfully the tornado didn’t affect the city of McLean. Video of this classic Panhandle tornado below.
After this tornado, we headed north towards the interstate and caught a quick glimpse of a second short-lived rope tornado.
As the storms moved east, we went east as well. We came across these tennis ball-sized hailstones near Erick, Oklahoma, in Beckham County.
A larger tornado affected Elk City, Oklahoma a few minutes later. This tornado was so heavily rain-wrapped that neither we nor other chasers could gather any worthwhile video. The tornado proved deadly, taking the life of one man in his vehicle. Numerous structures were damaged or destroyed in the area.
After dinner in Sayre, Oklahoma, we embarked on the tough all-night drive back to Denver (and made it back an hour before my day job started…).