Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Report - May 10, 2010 Oklahoma Outbreak

May 10 was a well forecast and hyped event that ended up panning out as advertised. A compact 50mb trough was forecast to eject quickly through the southern plains during the evening with rapid low level moisture return beginning May 9th into the 10th. Deep moisture had spread over much of the warm sector in Oklahoma and southern Kansas by midday Monday with upper 60’s dewpoints present. Deep layer shear was more than sufficient for supercells and strong low level shear suggested tornadoes were a good bet with any storms from near the sfc low in KS down the dryline through much of Oklahoma. The morning of the 10th my dad and I ventured north of OKC a bit to wait and see how things would develop. We were eyeing the north central part of OK where an instability axis was pointing in towards and 0-1km shear was a bit better for early in the day. The HRRR model runs were consistent with development in north central Oklahoma as well earlier in the day. With 50kt storm motions, we decided to go for this northern target thinking it would be in better chasing terrain and road network than points further south and we could stay out of the metro areas near OKC (which ended up getting hit late in the day). We made our way into Enid at roughly 2pm to watch some growing cumulus in northern Dewey Co. These storms quickly became severe tracking northeast towards Alfalfa Co. We made our way towards Nash OK where we got our first view then continued north out of Nash heading for Sand Creek. By this time our storms was tornado warned and exhibiting strong mid level rotation but seemed a bit high based and still needed some time. By the time we reached SR11 southwest of Sand Creek, we watched as the storms quickly developed a RFD cut and displayed rapid cyclonic motion. Soon a small tornado rotated out of the side of the mesocyclone just west of us.

(All video stills, got some good video)

As it lifted we jumped east on SR11 with the storm developing extreme rotation over our heads as it raced east at nearly 50kts. I got my first view of a developing multiple vortex tornado out my window south of the road as it began tossing debris from trees into the air then turned into a large multiple vortex tornado a couple hundred yards behind us. I filmed out the back window as most of this was happening with my dad driving east stuck in heavy chaser convergence. Small vortices would dance around the main circulation from time to time while the storm was doing damage.

Once we got east a bit, we watched as the once rain wrapped tornado cleared out and the tornado had a stout appearance just south of Wakita, OK.

We continued east towards I-35 and decided to leave this storm due to motions and rain wrapping around the meso. Next we dropped south to the next supercell which was producing a tornado east of Billings but we could not see it from the north and a core punch didn’t sound too good with baseball hail falling. We pulled into a gas station near Billings to take a look at the hail damage.

Meanwhile, more storms had been forming near the OKC metro and back home around Norman. We opted to drop south and try to get ahead of these in eastern OK but that never worked with the hills, trees, and road network. I was on the phone with Cassie most of the day who was on campus in Norman and had to take shelter because of the tornado that tracked in south Norman along highway 9 doing substantial damage. Overall, a tough but successful chase with storm motions and a major outbreak for the state.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Report - April 22 eastern TX panhandle Tornadoes

For about a week or so, a large upper trough had been forecast to slowly eject out over the plains 4/22-4/23 with ample moisture return finally making its way northward before the system could impact the plains. Morning analysis showed deep moisture (low 60’s) along the edge of the caprock in the eastern TX panhandle with low clouds slowly eroding. The chase crew left Norman around 10am and headed straight west on I-40 towards the panhandle. A short stop at taco bell in Shamrock and a some data checking and we moved a bit further west towards McClean around 1pm or so. Some storms were already firing in sw KS and northern TX/OK panhandles with growing cumulus southward in the south TX panhandle and along I-27. One confluent zone in Armstrong county was creating enough surface convergence for some growing Cb. We moved south to Clarendon and watched some attempts before a couple of storms formed. It didn’t take long for the storms to exhibit mid level rotation. We went north out of Clarendon and watched as the northern of the two storms quickly became tornadic and produced a large barrel tornado off in the distance. We stopped and watched the end of this tornado as another formed in the new wall cloud as a cone and was on the ground for some time. Sean Waugh, yelled out as another tornado from the storm to the south rapidly produced a tall stovepipe tornado off in the distance near Goodnight, TX. We watched both tornadoes from a distance. The leading storm’s tornado eventually dissipated while the southern storm (Goodnight) kept churning growing into a tall stovepipe/cone before roping out after nearly 20 minutes on the ground. We bailed north to catch up with the leading storm on I40 then eventually retreated west again to catch up with the cell near Alanreed TX where it produced 2-3 tornados north of the interstate. After the show was done we made our way back east towards OK as most of the storms became linear in nature. All of these pics are video grabs.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Report - April 22 TX panhandle, Apr 23 se NE

Chased yesterday in the Texas panhandle and intercepted 5-6 tornadoes. Shot most of my footage on video camera and don't have my desktop for uploading my HD video. Only took a few shots with the camera, here are a few of the first tornadoes from south of Jericho, TX.

We continued the chase marathon with a trip to Nebraska today where things didn't exactly pan out that great. A few severe storms and a nice lightning show near Beatrice were the highlights of the day.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Report - April 21, 2010 south TX panhandle

Kiel Ortega, Tiffany Meyer and I intercepted a few severe warned storms around Floyd county TX and encountered some good hail with 1 stone measuring 2.75" south of Quitaque. Good overall for a first 'real' chase of 2010. More chasing coming up in the next few days as well.

Friday, January 29, 2010