Caprock Magic - Part 2

All images and text © copyright Gene Moore
unless otherwise indicated


The next tornado was very interesting to watch and a lesson about getting damage out of "a blue sky". This tornado was hanging out the back of the storm and the debris cloud pictured was over a half mile behind the storm under fair skies. An obviously dangerous situation where fortunately no one got hurt. Even in a tornado prone region like west Texas the tornadoes are expected out of dark skies.

The whirling debris cloud came close to a couple of structures, but missed them as it tracked north. We could not fit both the funnel and the debris cloud in the same picture frame because the funnel was almost overhead.

debris cloud behind storm debris cloud - zoom

Another image is included after it traveled further north. This may just look like a dust whirl, but it was spinning at tornadic speed. Imagine if this had happened at night, and people thought the storm was over, only to get clobbered after the sky clears. The debris cloud proceeded slowly in our direction, but dissipated before forcing us to move.

  wide angle of storm

While we were shooting the tornado hanging in clear air another tornado developed to our northeast. This is a wide angle of the back of the cell including the tornado. It too was hanging out the back of the storm, but not nearly to the extent of the one were were currently filming. The funnel was a thick blue white tube that slowly stretched out like it was staying in one spot while storm was leaving it. A collar of spray was visible under the bottom of the funnel. Chaser Alan Moller was on this storm. We saw other tornadoes to our east that looked much like the one picture here. At one time we observed two down side by side, but they were too distant to photograph, so we just watched.

  funnel stretched behind storm

The mesocyclone responsible for producing this tornado is the one that formed our first tornado. We got side tracked watching the tornado hanging out in the clear air and let this one get away. This tornado was bigger, but the one we were close to was more unique. It's hard to get them all on a day like this, and so many times they all come down at once. It had turned out to be quite a day.

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