Chaser Jeremy Wilson has video of the snaking funnel on the ground doing damage, the same damage we passed on our way north to SR-82. So that cements it. Wish my imagery was cleaner, but, hey, it's February right?
Posting this in the five minutes before my class starts. Three grabs from yesterday, all around 0035z:
Narrow funnel we all thought had made the ground but it was very hard to see. This grab isn't much better, but we encountered damage too far south to have been caused by the big wall cloud, soon-to-be killer tornado.
Lightning illuminates the wall cloud that became a wedge later. Later we would see part of this second tornado from Highway 82 between Nocona and St. Jo as we tried to get north and take the small secret bridge across the river.
Kevin Peterson and I caught a tornado near Belcherville, Texas (4m west of Nocona on 82) at ~6:30 pm and then saw part of what was reported as a wedge with the same storm as it crossed the river. This was the storm that killed three and did so much damage in Ardmore. Our tornado was a tall and narrow white funnel that snaked around to the ground. With the naked eye we could see 4/5 of the funnel, but the VX2100 got the whole thing quite nicely. I will post imagery early next week because of my upcoming teaching and travel schedule. I'll try to sneak up a video grab tomorrow if I can.
Storms might initiate one or two counties west of where progs indicated last night. This is good news, of course, but I don't know how much difference it makes if they instantly accelerate to 40 knots. Either way they're into rotten terrain before maturity, but the more time west of the highway the better obviously. I can't put more than three hours or so into this chase today because of school obligations and a trip to Chicago on Thursday morning. I'll be turning away from some storms that will probably produce tornadoes after I'm gone, but that's life.
I like the 4k WRF-NMM because the graphics look like supercells. If you just don't think too hard about how this sort of resolution probably isn't very reliable, it's nice. And this model has had stretches in the last few years of modest accuracy in terms of timing, location, and mode. I intend to chase that southern supercell, which should fire around 4:30, mature about 5:30 (in time for nice twilight), and scoot into the trees right around sundown.
Tomorrow still looks fair for isolated supercells in daylight west of I-35. That's all I'm interested in for chasing purposes, since I have a ton of class prep for Wednesday and a plane to catch Thursday morning. More important than chasing, however, is the chance for fast-moving tornadoes during the overnight hours in northeast Texas and southeast Oklahoma. If the instability holds out, the situation could be dangerous for residents of Sherman, Bonham, Paris, and surrounding communities.
As for chasing, I don't want to invest anymore than a few hours or 200 miles on it. I don't have a single image from any February chase on my website; it's been a worthless month for me thirteen years running. Current target is Albany to Throckmorton to Breckenridge.
Tuesday could be our first chance of severe weather in North Texas this season. If the target is close and the time investment minimal, I might venture out and see if I remember how to operate a camera or a 2 meter radio. My expectations are low because it's early February, and I have to be home at a reasonable time for Wednesday class prep. We shall see.