May 19, 2021


Initial Target
Storm Intercepts
Midland, TX
Lubbock, TX 11:44 AM 5/19/2021
Plainview, TX 9:14 PM 5/19/2021
Midland, TX
0 mph
Wall Cloud


Weakly sheared dryline setup in TX PH. Targeted Midland/Odessa area for afternoon thunderstorms and perhaps a supercell. Intercepted south moving cell northwest of Midland noting non-rotating wall cloud. Cell merger and outflow initiated several additional short lived updrafts, but storms quickly fizzled. Headed north to Plainview to make ground on the day 2 target.

Crew and Equipment

Chase partners: Jennifer Brindley Ubl, Anton Seimon, Tracie Seimon, Hank Schyma. Equipment: Sony AX100, Samsung S9, Photography courtesy Jennifer Brindley Ubl shooting on a Nikon D4s.




Morning target discussions:

Woodchuck: "Prospects today are obviously slim. The best CAPE looks to be south of our local outflow boundary, with a supercell possibility around Crane south of Odessa. Midlevel winds have great turning but horrible speeds and cold air aloft sure has lots and lots of hail. I see a secondary, sleeper opportunity around Buffalo OK just east of the panhandle where good low level turning should coincide with moderate CAPE and low LCLs as mentioned yesterday. The southern target is especially easy for us to reach, but I’m all ears if people vote for the northern one or something else. We will hang in Snyder for the time being. "

Turtle: "Odessa to southish of Midlandish. Backed surface winds atop the dryline bulge/OFB. 3Cape pool, Modest instability. Some concerns about shear/lift might result in questionable longevity of cells, but that didn't seem to affect yesterday at all. Low expectations target."

Nature Juxtaposed with Industry
7 miles SSE of Midland, TX
3:32 PM
We drove through Midland, TX and awaited storms south of the city. There were numerous pull-offs to get off the road thanks to the oil and gas industry. Every worksite at which we stopped on this trip was littered with beer bottles and trash. This spot, however, was strewn with drums marked with Xylene labels. Many of the drums sloshed when moved, still partially filled with liquid, no doubt leaking into the environment as the drums rusted.

Wall Cloud
11 miles W of Midland, TX
5:29 PM
Storms fired to our northwest and we scrambled for the intercept, negotiating the roads and traffic north of I-20. A robust wall cloud formed as the storm dumped a massive precipitation core along with prolific cloud to ground lightning. There was no real rotation that we could discern, however.

Dying Cells
9 miles ENE of Odessa, TX
6:04 PM
We tracked new updrafts south of I-20, dodging rush hour and industrial traffic coming out of Midland. Storms quickly fizzled, however, likely under sheared and dying in their own cold pools.

End of Chase
13 miles SSW of Midland, TX
6:34 PM
We decided to end the chase before storms completely collapsed so that we could make some ground on the Day 2 target. We drove back north and stopped in Plainview, TX for the night.


Despite this being a no expectations, marginal risk chase, we still didn’t come away with much more than a brief, non-rotating wall cloud and so we’ll tally this as a bust. We didn’t miss anything either though, and I felt like we had made the most of the day. It was disappointing seeing the blatant disregard for the environment in the industrial landscape of west Texas, but ultimately not surprising.

Lessons Learned

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