From The Vault – 11 May 1992 – My First Tornado

From The Vault – 11 May 1992 – My First Tornado

Scanned in low res.

And unfortunately the slide has taken a beating, as I passed around the original all throughout the remainder of the trip (rookie mistake or what!). Chased with Bob Kleyla of the Fort Worth office. Met him around 9 and he plotted a sfc map by hand, which I was smart enough to ask if I could keep as it was my guide over the next few years for learning how to pleth and analyze!

I should scan that and throw it up here! We headed up the “Highway to Heaven”, US 287, turned right at Bowie, and then up to Nocona (passed the boot factory and promised myself to get a pair of Ropers – still haven’t done that!).  Bob noticed that the dryline had jumped east so we high-tailed it east through Gainsburgers and then north at Whitesboro towards Oklahoma.

I was starting to realize at this point that no matter how much I had read about chasing and how much chasing I had done around SW Ont, I had so very much more to learn!  The great thing about chasing is that axiom NEVER changes. So we crossed the Red and made a quick gas stop and as we left a TOR warning came over Bob’s radio. We topped a large hills and then pulled over, finding scatted tennis-ball sized hail, which I photographed.  Suddenly there was very rapid cloud-based motion (what I later would come to recognize as a rather vigorous RFD) off to the NE and then this formed:


Lasted about a minute or two and then was gone.  We headed N then E but got blocked my damage from the Kingston Tornado.  We headed back W and ran into a roadblock (we were heading away from the storms!) and the local Deputy (he was maybe 20 yrs old) insisted we head north into what was a very prominent hail shaft (probably baseballs)!

Bob explained he was a meteorologist from Fort Worth and he eventually let us continue west to head home. Bob reported the tornado back to the office and when I returned called Don Burgess (IIRC correctly because I has seen him in the NOVA program back in ’86!) and send him slide dupes and other details (I also made sure the FTW FO has copies).

He related that they had surveyed and confirmed a weak tornado near Lake Texoma where we had been looking.

If only all chases were this easy!