April 29, 2009 Texas Panhandle Tornadoes
April 29, 2009 Texas Panhandle Tornadoes

This was a huge day, for a very small area. I had big expectations as the day began and it went exactly as I had hope... actually better than I could have ever imagined. An old outflow boundary had set up in the SE Panhandle that had east winds and dewpoints about 5 higher than the rest of the Panhandle. I knew if you could get a mature storm to hit that boundary then some true Caprock magic would happen. My initial target area was the Tulia-Plainview area for development and to hope for the storm to make it over to the boundary.

Storms developed west of Plainview and began to advance east. It was very disorganized and multicell at first, but it start to come together near I-27. Outflow continue to plague this storm as gustnadoes were in no short supply for the next hour. There were a couple nice wall clouds, but it was obviously lacking the goods to produce. Then the boundary happened.

I was giving up on the storm and was headed to the eastern storms, when a funnel passed directly overhead as I was getting out from under the southern end of the storm. I decided to get east aways and see if the boundary was going to do any magic. I noticed a large funnel coming out of the mid levels of the storm rotating quite fast. The whole updraft began to get wrapped around the funnel and within a minute of this occurring, a funnel quickly appeared underneath the base.

The slender funnel exploded in size and began moving SE toward the highway lined with chasers. In the video, you can see 4 powerpoles get knocked over with 2 power flashes as it passes between some other chasers. it then moved into the field to my south and it was like being near a waterfall with the sound of the rushing air just to my south by a couple hundred yards. I began to move east to stay with it and out of the rain when another tornado came down near Cedar Hill. It was amazing to see a site like that with 2 tornadoes on the ground at the same time. The rope out of the first tornado was incredible. Not long after the tornado lifted I came across the TIV1 that had just passed me, off in a ditch because of muddy roads with the support truck in the ditch right behind it.

My best chase to date for sure. Though March 28, 2007 had many more tornadoes this was a much more intense chase, probably because I had chased this one solo.

Here is where I drove on this day.

Here are pictures in chronological order.

Here is the video from April 29, 2009.