McClellan Lake TX Tornado
(Part 1 of 2) This taught me not to give up on even an outflow dominant supercell. Just 20 minutes earlier, we sat in dusty, frigid, northwest winds, gushing from an old mesocyclone region which had become rain-wrapped and suffocated by cold air. After we moved southeast, a new mesocyclone formed along an inflection point in the outflow boundary. It briefly became classic in structure with a clear slot, rear-flank downdraft (RFD) and rain-free base (RFB). Many storm chasers were stuck in a damaging core at left rear, unable to enjoy their silhouetted view of the funnel while giant hail bashed craters into their vehicles. Fortunately we were inside a dry slot, behind the hook, with a clean vantage through the hook's very thin precipitation strand. This pathetically weak tornado spun up from a ragged, slowly rotating area of scud under the new meso. Several very reliable storm observers confirmed it by reporting puffs of spinning condensation on the floor of a shallow canyon under the funnel. The outflow would stretch this vortex southward...
5 W Lake McClellan, TX (20 May 99), Looking E