April Fools’ chase near Benjamin, TX

April fools! Outlooks for this chase day in northwest Texas didn’t promise a whole lot. The chance of tornadoes was relatively low, and hailstorms were the most significant threat. At the end of the day, although no tornadoes occurred we were treated to quite a lightning and structure show. There was even a gustnado (small non-tornadic area of swirling dust and high winds associated with gust fronts) that chased us down Highway 82!

As we approached the storm, we were greeted by a mean-looking wall cloud that seemed like it wanted to drop a tornado at any minute.


We pulled off the road for some CG (cloud to ground) lightning strikes while we waited for the storm to get a bit closer.


We found a better vantage point among cacti and barbed wire to watch the whole supercell tighten up. (Note: when chasing in NW Texas, beware of rattlesnakes!)


Gustnadoes can still be a damaging threat, so we snapped a few shots and grabbed some video before it had a chance to chase us too far down 82. For a day that didn’t hold a lot of promise, it was still a gorgeous storm and one heck of an adrenaline rush!

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