17 May Storm Warriors track severe weather, offer safety tips


As the threat of severe weather loomed over the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles, a team of storm chasers stood by, anticipating the worst.

“To think that it’s not going to happen here or it’s not going to happen to me is the biggest misconception,” said longtime storm chaser Bill Ford, who brought his family-based Storm Warriors team north of Amarillo to track Monday’s storms.

By 4:45 p.m., National Weather Service Amarillo meteorologists were reporting a tornado in western Cimarron County, with reports of hail up to an inch in diameter in the area. At 5:45 p.m., tornado warnings were in effect for Dallam and Hartley counties.

At that time, Amarillo and a large portion of the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles were under a severe thunderstorm watch, with the possibility of wind gusts of up to 70 mph and hail as large as tennis balls. The watch was effective until 10 p.m.

Ford said his team was tracking the storms with a video production crew in tow to film a pilot episode for a reality TV show, which Ford said would focus in part on educating viewers about storm preparedness.

The Storm Warriors’ name stems from the group’s mission statement, W.A.R. — Warn, Assist, Restore — which the team aims to achieve by educating communities on how to prepare for severe weather, providing aid and assisting in searches when disaster strikes, and helping families in the aftermath of severe weather events like tornadoes.

“We believe that the more aware, we call it storm aware, that families are, the more people will be able to survive these events,” Ford said.

For storm safety tips, live storm chasing feeds and more, visit www.stormwarriors.tv.

Amarillo Globe News

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