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Tornadic Storms April 1st, 2014

Tornadic supercell develops in Throckmorton County in west central Texas.
Tornadic supercell develops in Throckmorton County in west central Texas.
GR Level 3, Gibson Ridge Software

Conditions were primed for discrete tornadic storms to form near Throckmorton County, in west central Texas. At 8:00pm this evening, NWS issued a tornado warning in Throckmorton County for a discrete thunderstorm that was moving east at approximately 35 mph, and this severe storm developed a tornadic mesocyclone.

Kevin Saunders captures a dramatic supercell as it becomes tornadic
Kevin Saunders captures a dramatic supercell as it becomes tornadic
Kevin Saunders, Rockwallwx, TVN

Tim Marshall had today's chase area figured out by 8:00am this morning, in an area where a dry line boundary intersected with a stationary front, along with forecast mid to upper 60f degree temperatures, and 60+ dew points that were being drawn up from the gulf by surface winds backed from the south-south east. A low pocket developed in that precise area, with increasing convective available potential energy (CAPE) and surface vorticity during the late afternoon, along with increasing energy helicity (EHI), as the cap eroded initiating several volatile thunderstorms, of which the southern most cell (tail end charlie) right turned, and headed eastward as a mesocyclone. Along with a tornadic hook echo, the Throckmorton storm put out cloud to ground lightning (CGs) and baseball sized hail.

Kevin Saunders, Rockwallwx, live streamed stunning footage during his TVN coverage of this developing tornadic storm as he had pre-positioned well, and the tornadic cell moved his direction. John Hallen, Severe Warning Systems (SWS) was also on the scene with TVN, as the rapidly rotating wall cloud moved past his location, as well.

This was a good initial tornado chase for severe weather monitors and first responders this season. There were no reported casualties so far this season, and most storm spotters reported a good experience tracking the dangerous but elevated supercell as it evolved.