May 31, 1992 - Night-time Tornado between Turkey and Northfield, Texas

The chase began at the Amarillo National Weather Service Office.  On this day, I chased with Tim Marshall, Carson Eads, Patrick Kerrin and others.  Carson and Tim were teamed in one vehicle, Patrick Kerrin, a Canadian storm chaser was solo in his vehicle and my youngest son, Scott was with me.

An ABC television crew had been following Tim and Carson for most of the day.  After seeing and shooting video several non-tornadic supercells, they returned to Amarillo just after sunset.  The earlier storms produced rotating wall clouds and funnels, but no tornadoes were spotted.

Several other chasers were in the general area,  including Bruce Haynie, Al Moller and Chuck Doswell, but they could not see the tornado from their locations.

I videoed this tornado while  looking east-southeast from a highway intersection located in the Red River Valley several miles northwest of Turkey, Texas.  The tornado was visible intermittently for almost four minutes. 

Turkey, Texas is located in a fairly remote part of the southeastern Texas Panhandle.  As a result, we could not find a Ham Radio SKYWARN net through which to report our observations.  Fortunately, a radar based tornado warning was issued by the Amarillo National Weather Service for this tornado. 

After the tornado ended, we drove back to Turkey and then south to Floydada on the way  to Lubbock to spend the night.  We barely avoided a nasty accident just north of Floydada when the group of now five cars barely missed a large, black and brown Limousine bull that was standing in the middle of a two lane road.  We all literally came within inches of hitting this massive animal, but fortunately he didn't move as we drove past and we all missed him.

The tornado occurred at night.   Lightning flashes provided illumination so we could see the tornado. Click on the individual images for a larger view.

92053120.jpg (14825 bytes) The lightning illuminated tornado is located near the center of the image, with a funnel aloft and a dust whirl visible on the ground underneath.
92053121.jpg (13423 bytes) The condensation funnel filled in quickly.  It was already half way to the ground in this image.
92053122.JPG (19480 bytes)
92053124.jpg (10364 bytes)
92053125.jpg (12237 bytes)
92053126.jpg (12252 bytes) The tornado had reached maximum size when this image was shot..
92053127.jpg (9560 bytes) The tornado begins to shrink around the middle.  Although it is not visible in this digitized image,a second tornado was visible to the right of the first, in two frames that were too dim to include on this page.
92053130.jpg (10995 bytes) Outflow undercut and killed the tornado.

Copyright 1989 - Samuel D. Barricklow - All rights reserved

These images were made using a Sharp VC-C20U VHS video camera and were digitized by a Snappy box.

Video of this event is available through Storm Stock

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Last revised: November 30, 2008