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Amazing Tornadoes !!

South Plains, Texas - May 12, 2005

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What a day!! After blasting south out of Kansas to get down near Plainview Texas, we finally caught up with the tornado warned storms that went up there. We encountered 2 tornadoes at very close range. The first started as a slender white cone that grew in size and turned dark and dusty as it crossed the road directly ahead of us. It was a very dramatic tornado indeed but this was just a preview of things to come. Shortly after the first encounter, another dusty tornado formed in the field right beside us. It grew into a large, complex multi-vortex tornado and we found ourselves trying to cut ahead of it but there was no time. We were in the "Bear's Cage", caught between the tornado and the giant hail that was now wrapping around it. We had no choice but to retreat at the last second as we were on the edge of the circulation. Fellow Ontario chaser, Dave Patrick was there as well and his video camera instantly fogged up from the rapid drop in air pressure. Our new problem was the giant hail that was now pounding us like a gorilla on the roof of the van. We sustained a lot of damage including a smashed windshield & passenger rear window, destroyed windshield wipers, a damaged antenna and various other dents. Some other chasers (Chris Kridler, Dave Lewison, Scott McPartland & Pete Venture) got pounded up even worse than us with tremendous damage to their vehicles. It's now 1:30 A.M. and we've managed to limp back to Amarillo. Probably my most intense chase day ever!

South Plains Tornado You Tube