2017-05-27 REPORTS: MO/IL/OK/KS/TX

Discussion in 'Target Area' started by Ethan Schisler, May 27, 2017.

  1. Ethan Schisler

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    I'll get the ball rolling on this report thread. Originally I had hopes of chasing Eastern Kansas on this day, however mesoscale models early on during the morning hours of Friday were showing a complex situation, so I held off. I left town around 10am with a general target somewhere in Central/Eastern Missouri. I figured if any storms could go up and interact with the warm front, it would be game on. I got on the first storm outside of Jefferson City, Missouri and didn't really note much on it despite it having a tornado warning. I decided to grab some lunch at Subway and then head down toward I-44 so i got get better data. It was at this time that I noticed a tornado warning (QLCS) to my southwest moving directly toward me, so I decided this would probably be my only play for the day given the storm motion (NE at 60 MPH) and awful terrain near the Rolla, Missouri area. I intercepted the storm from the northeast noting a gust-front on the forward flank of the storm as I was dropping south, fairly impressive looking:

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    Edgar Springs, Missouri Tornado Warned Storm

    I wish I had time to get out and shoot on my tripod here as this was a quality shelf cloud. Anyway I dropped further south and east as the storm motion was SE at this moment. I got straight into the inflow notch on the outside of Edgar Springs where rotation was being shown on radar. I managed to notice a wall cloud had developed with some very strong and focused rotation. I saw some dust and a *possible* vortex get kicked up underneath this feature for about 5 seconds before I had to bail east because of the extreme forward motion. I got one last look at it as it was crossing the highway and thought I saw another brief spin-up, but I could never confirm this. It could have been a brief QLCS tornado, it could have simply been nothing. Who knows....but it would have been in the right place.

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    a few seconds later it moves from right to left.....

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    I immediately got overtaken by 60-70 mph winds in the rear inflow jet of what was a developing bow echo at the time. I decided to call the chase and we got treated to a beautiful sunset as we entered back into Illinois and arrived home around 10PM after driving roughly 700 miles in under 12 hours.

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    Not my ideal chase, but not bad either for a spur of the moment adventure. I just wish the tornadoes this year would last longer and be more photogenic....tired of brief spin-ups.
     
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  2. Brian McKibben

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    Solo chase for me today. Got on the initial cell in S Oklahoma to the SW of Ardmore. Was eating a fried pie at the Arbuckle scenic turnout when i noticed an anvil shooting off to my south. Jetted south on 35 and noticed a nice crisp updraft. Decided Ardmore was too far north for a west option (to avoid large hail) I continued south to exit 21 where i snapped this picture.

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    I was in prime position. I went west and then north finally getting to Lone grove after the hail. Saw a weak wall cloud and the back sheared anvil lost its crispness. Plotted a route to Gene Autry and tried to come on with a continuing east option (yeah... not much luck there). While south of Gene Autry the updraft became much more defined and had impressive horizontal rolling motion as it was rising up. Soon after the cell became tornado warned. And of course it did this when there was no road to keep you on the storm. Ended up in Tishimingo. Decided to get back to 35 in hopes of catching storms approaching Turner Falls area. Sat at the scenic turnout and watched the storm approach. Eventually I got cold feet and decided to go to the southern scenic turnout to play it safe. I didn't see the tornado that was reported in the area.

    All in all... not a bad chase. I would say watching the storm go up near exit 21 was the best part. There wasn't anyone around for miles. It was perfect!
     
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  3. Jacob Punch

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    Well, this chase was interesting, to say the least. Left Kansas City at about 12:30, and headed down to Coffeyville, Kansas, then waited around farther south, seeing if storms were going to erupt at the triple point. Getting bored, we played the first garbage lining up with the tornado warned storm near Miami, Oklahoma. no reason to share those pictures, however, I was really excited when I saw a storm forming near Bartlesville (ofc this is where we started) so we drove back 20-30 miles and met the storm. The storm was picturesque, with a weak lowering, which I thought would get stronger as it moved into a better-sheared environment. The storm then split and the storm barreled over us and dumped about golf-ball sized hail all over us! The storm only ever inhibited weak rotation and soon we became desperate, and almost lost a windshield. I'll post my pictures on here as soon as I can get them to work... So far I love the way they turned out, but the way files are working at this point, it's a pretty weird configuration... I definitely think I got on the most photogenic storm of the day IMO :)
     
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  4. Chris Kerby

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    I'm not a big fan of driving long distances & decided Missouri wasn't worth the drive & stayed home. Later while checking radar I noticed the storm north of Oskaloosa Iowa was looking decent and decided to check it out. Sure enough after I went out the door it got severe warned & then later tornado warned before I had gotten visual. Here's a sped up video of my chase.

    And here's a pic of the wall cloud east of Sigourney Iowa at approximately 5:18pm. I seen a very brief tiny rope funnel a few minutes before this pic that didn't get caught on video due to direction of my car driving at the time. (on twitter I said 4:18pm & later noticed my metadata was wrong...doh!)
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  5. Jesse Risley

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    I started the day in Ponca City on the western fringes of the boundary closer to the main forcing. After about an hour of looking over surface data and CAMs, I decided to reposition towards Bartlesville as initial convection was going up along the boundary in Southwest Missouri and Northeast Oklahoma. The storm Northeast of Bartlesville caught my attention, so I decided to work up to Miami as velocity signatures ramped up on the reflectivity core. However, the clustering and linear nature of the convection hampered the ability of these cells to really interact with the boundary to get tornadogenesis going.

    I followed these initial cells back into Western Missouri, and decided to retreat when I realized I didn't have a big enough chainsaw to continue the chase. I worked back towards the second discreet cell that formed proximal to the boundary, near Nowata. I finally caught up to the cell near Big Cabin, but it had gone outflow dominant. It never really seemed to interact with the boundary long enough to take advantage of an otherwise favorable environment, plus there appeared to be some interaction with a small cell to its southwest, which work to the detriment of its tornadic potential. My consolation prize was some large hail that fell at the rest stop in big cabin. None-the-less, it was nice to visit Oklahoma again. aaed23f50cb0140d62eb471c83b2580a.jpg
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  6. JamesCaruso

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    Started the day in Goodland KS so hit the road at 8am for the long drive south and east. I did analysis in the car while my chase partner drove; we set initial waypoints of Salina and then Wichita so that we could leave our options open, i.e. southeastern KS / MO / northeast OK or the south-central OK dryline play. I was leaning toward the conditional dryline play and that decision was sealed when I saw how early the convection was already starting in the KS / MO region (before noon IIRC).

    Heading south through OKC on I-35, noticed the sky drying out to the west. Knew the dryline was oriented SW>NE so could have just continued south but decided to hedge to the east before doing so. Took 240 east to 177 south toward Sulphur. The dryline was diffuse and being overtaken by the cold front with veered winds out ahead of the dryline but I liked the higher dew points and somewhat more southerly winds down around the Ada / Paul's Valley / Ardmore area. We stopped somewhere near Stratford to watch some agitated Cu and turkey towers but then saw the pair of storms further south near Ardmore go up on radar and could see the anvil of the northern one. We blasted south to the east of the two storms as they ultimately merged. Despite the limited road network it was amazing how route 1 from Mills Creek to Ravia and then 177 from Mannsville toward Dripping Springs enabled us to circumvent almost the exact reflectivity shape of the FFD and cruise south below it until we finally got into a clear enough area for a brief look at the updraft base at the intersection of 199 and 177 to the east of Dripping Springs. It didn't look too structurally impressive and we soon went back the way we came, knowing there was a one-lane construction roadblock we would have to get back through near Ravia. The storm became tornado warned during this time and we watched the ragged base cross route 1 a couple miles in front of us while we waited in a line of chasers at the construction zone. We chased it east through Tishomingo where the sirens were blaring and ultimately called off the chase in the dark at Coleman.

    Meanwhile the cell to the west that went up on the cold front and was earlier near Duncan now had a tornado warning as we drove to Ardmore to stay the night. This ultimately became part of the intense line of storms along the cold front and I believe was later the confirmed tornado near Dougherty. We were eating at a Chili's in Ardmore and the manager asked us to let her know if she needed to get everyone to safety but we told her the rotation was a safe distance to the north and moving east. Zits of lightning in the anvil were like sparks over our heads when we walked outside.

    By the time we checked into the hotel, a cell in the line further to the west had a nice couplet and a confirmed tornado near Ringling. This was right on route 70 to the west of our hotel, as the line had drifted south with the front while the storms trained east. We are not nighttime chasers but decided to make a run at it, being just a few miles up the road. There were a few other chasers out there but we couldn't see anything of interest and the circulation had dissipated so we went back to the hotel and sat in the car enjoying the rain, wind and small hail before making a run for it back into the hotel at almost 12:30am.

    An extremely long day of driving with little to show for it, especially considering the crappy chase terrain in the area, but with a few days of nothing coming up we had to do what we had to do. At least we saw pretty much all there was to see, if we had missed something good it would have been really crushing.


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    #6 JamesCaruso, May 28, 2017
    Last edited: May 28, 2017
  7. Aaron Nichols

    Aaron Nichols Lurker

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    Decided to spend the day trying to look at buffalo near Lawton, and caught the backside of the storm you watched. Shot is from Chickasha, OK, looking SE.
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  8. michael beard

    michael beard Lurker

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    b8a025126a3da4b31f3f00391a5a23b1.jpg d421dddba4551402f79c0920c49becbc.jpg 3028f9482481b70f2019a9353fc837dd.jpg abb27084ac4cbdaa2f537545c44bbae6.jpg hail from west side of ardmore after the first cell past threw

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  9. michael beard

    michael beard Lurker

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    405f32cfa43ba466e3ad58911acd7000.jpg 03a7b3b7b1b89cee97c0a220ffdb3ba3.jpg the wall cloud from east side of ardmore from the first cell

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  10. Bill Hark

    Bill Hark EF5

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    I started in Salina with two possible targets in mind. One was in far SE Kansas/NE Oklahoma and the other in south central Oklahoma. Unfortunately, the high resolution forecast models were not being consistent, and the forecast was especially difficult. I drove south along I-35, stopping occasionally to check data. Near Blackwell, Oklahoma, I stopped again and checked more data. Either target was good, but I thought storms might be more isolated in southern Oklahoma along the dryline. I continued south and paused around Oklahoma City to watch a band of showers. The cap was breaking but these were just weak showers that were all forming together. I wanted to see if anything would develop just to the south. I positioned myself on 9, to the southeast of Oklahoma City. I was in a rural area with easy access to interstates to the south and east. I waited in the sweltering heat by a gas station at a crossroads. I was drenched in sweat after being outside for a few minute. I couldn’t run the A/C as cold camera equipment would fog outside. Cumulus clouds were starting to bubble across central and southern Oklahoma. I continued waiting. Finally, on high resolution satellite, there was indication of development near Ardmore, many miles to the south. I waited a bit longer to make sure nothing would form near me and then blasted south on 102 and 177. I was far from the Ardmore storm that was rapidly intensifying. I lost data from my phone, but Baron XM Mobile ThreatNet was still functioning. On radar, the storm consisted of three cells in a north-south line. I wanted the southernmost storm. All were slowly moving to the east and would soon cut off my northern approach. As I neared Sulphur, I could see the storms to the west and was already in light rain. Road Closed! What? Was that my main path to the storm? I re-routed through Sulphur and got back on 177. It wasn’t closed but precious time was lost. I crossed the Chickasaw National Recreation passing people fleeing the storm. Soon, I could see the base of the southernmost storm. There was some haze, but I could see it spiraling into the sky. I parked in a river valley and waited as it approached me from the west. Rotation was increasing (visible and on radar) and some nearby cows became agitated. A ragged wall cloud formed. I shifted slightly north across the Washita River. The wall cloud was rotating and crossed almost directly overhead. In a nearby field at 7:40 PM CDT, there was a dust whirl that could have been tornadic or more likely rear flank downdraft from the storm. The rotating wall cloud was east. I dropped south on my already planned escape route and turned east to follow the storm. I passed the tiny town of Mannsville. There was a road that turned northeast and provided an easier approach to the storm. I turned left and headed toward the town of Ravia. Visibility was poor due to trees, hills and haze. I caught glimpses of a large dark wall cloud. It could drop a tornado at any time. Suddenly, I see cars stopped on the road ahead of me. It was a damn one way construction zone across a long narrow bridge with a stop light. I waited and watched the storm slowly move east. Luckily it wasn’t moving fast, and I actually wanted the storm to get a bit ahead of me. Any closer and a right shift of the storm could potentially turn that one way bridge into a deathtrap if there was a tornado. I finally crossed that scary bridge and continued eastward along rolling hills. Visibility was worse than in Virginia. At the town of Tishomingo, I could get glimpses of a wall cloud or funnel just beyond the buildings and trees. The tornado sirens were blasting. I had to continued east. At the town of Milburn, I turned north and found a place to watch the approaching storm. I could see a dark wall cloud in the growing darkness. It was moving to my north and east. With the arrival of darkness, I called off the chase. It was too dangerous to continue. I headed back west to Ardmore and got one of the last rooms in the town. I briefly watched an amazing tornado-warned storm just to the north of Ardmore as it basically sat over the highway. The constant cloud-cloud lightning was wild but stopped when I got my camera ready. I went back to town and had dinner. I barely got into my hotel room before additional massive storms pummeled the area. Over all, this chase was exciting but disappointing. I was conservative since I didn’t want any close encounters with baseball-sized hail or tornadoes. At least I didn’t miss any major photogenic tornado.

    Video of the passing wall cloud and dust whirl. Is that RFD or a tornadic circulation?




    Images

    Approaching supercell 7:27 PM from 177 near the Washita River

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    Wall cloud at 7:38 PM

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    Stuck at one way construction zone on bridge over Washita River on 1 west of Ravia at 8:05 PM

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  11. sdienst

    sdienst EF1

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    Here's some video of a brief tornado west of Welty, OK around 8:20pm.
     
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  12. JamesCaruso

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    Bill, nice chase account, when I saw your picture at the bridge it looked just like mine and sure enough the time stamps are exactly the same, 8:05. As I noted in my chase account above, I knew that was there because we had come that way, but it was no less frustrating, especially when we couldn't make it through on the first green light and had to wait for the next one.

    Your chase experience is very similar to ours except that your initial intercept route was different and we never had a nice clear view like you did in that video, that was pretty good positioning you had there.



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  13. James Wilson

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    We chased Colorado and Kansas the previous two days and left for our target along the KS/OK line from Hays at 8am. We jumped on the cell that dropped the tornado but didn't see an actual tornado there. We repositioned closer to the boundary in Nowata OK and jumped on the cells that fired up just East of there. One went TW almost immediately which gave hope for the day but it seemed nothing was interacting with the boundary and just could not get going. We stayed on those cells until they became linear then went after the isolated cell by Nowata. That also seemed to dislike the boundary and did nothing but drop some hail. Overall not a great day as we didn't even get good structure which was great the two days before.
     
  14. JamesCaruso

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    Bill, were you driving a reddish or burgundy Nissan Maxima with a Skywarn sticker? As I mentioned above, our time stamps on pics at the construction zone are both 8:05. The car immediately ahead of you in your picture is a white Ford pickup, and in my photo I see a Nissan and then the white pickup.

    Sorry, I would just post my own picture for you to see if I could but I am accessing ST on my iPad using Tapatalk and unable to upload pictures for some reason.



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  15. Dan Robinson

    Dan Robinson WxLibrary Editor
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    My target for this day was the frontal boundary draped across central Missouri and southern Illinois. The question was where to be along the front. A derecho-bow echo was forecast to rapidly evolve in western-central Missouri and blast east-southeastward. Some tornado potential existed with these storms as they first initiated, but in central Missouri well to the west of St. Louis (possibly just east of Kansas City). Models also hinted at a few leading storms firing on the front closer to St. Louis, possibly offering some tornado potential closer to home into Illinois and its better chase terrain.

    I was still in pre-chase forecast mode when storms fired before noon, much earlier than expected, in both targets. This pretty well destroyed any chase prospects for the day. Convection and attendant cloud cover would limit destabilization and foul inflow of storms later. Not seeing much of a reason to drive hours to the west, I instead opted to drop south to Perryville and catch the early storm cluster moving toward the boundary. This activity was disappointing, with very little lightning and a mediocre shelf cloud as it passed overhead. The environment around St. Louis was also faltering, as weak convection continually fired and dissipated over the metro area. By mid-afternoon, my entire home chase area was convectively overturned and essentially out of play, aside from the open warm sector way down in Cape Girardeau. Some QLCS spinup potential existed down around Cuba-Rolla along I-44, but these storms were running out of time before hitting the convection-neutralized air in eastern Missouri.

    The final squall line of the event in Missouri was tracking east through Jefferson City-Columbia, so the only play I could see would be the shelf cloud from this passing over the city. However, the squall line rapidly collapsed as it hit the stable environment west of the metro, and the shelf cloud was dissipating by the time it entered the metro area. With no photogenic opportunities over the city skyline, I decided the old standby subject of upward lightning would have to do. I drove over to the Shrewsbury tower cluster and captured a few upward hits as the weakening stratiform precip region passed overhead.

     
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  16. Ethan Schisler

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    Adding to my report from earlier this week, I wanted to throw in a couple more frame grabs. After viewing the area of rotation to my west, I continued north between highway 63 and 72 east of Edgar Springs, MO and south of Rolla, MO. After some comversation with NWS Springfield. I'm pretty confident this area was a brief tornado for a time as it crossed the highway 3-4 miles ahead of me. You can even denote a faint horizontal vortex at the top of the area of rotation, sorry for the blurriness as I was driving at the time. The second photo is better and shows the area more concentrated, before I lost visual and it dissipated. It appeared to be buried in an area of confirmed 70-80 mph+ (isolated 100 mph per NWS) straight line winds across Phelps County, which I encountered on the back-side of the tornadic circulation. Nothing spectacular versus what I shared the first time, but thought it was worth posting, since its a *likely* tornado or at least tornadic circulation of some sort....

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    Brief tornadic circulation at ground level with horizontal funnel running E-W at the top of the vortex

    View attachment 3037771abd47e18cce1e68cfbc3aebcf.jpg

    This was as I rounded the bend heading northbound, I'm not sure if this feature is a tornado or not. It's in the same spot as the condensation/dust in the previous photo.
     

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  17. Paul Knightley

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    Late to the party here in reporting!

    Started the day in Garden City having busted in SE CO on the 26th whilst others had fun in NW CO and adjacent KS!

    Spent a good few hours looking at all the data and wrestling with options - I could see three potential areas of interest: S Cent OK around 6pm in extreme instability; portions of NE OK and SE KS closer to the warm front; and SE CO/NE NM and TX/OK Panhandles, in post-frontal upslope flow beneath reasonable shear.

    In some ways, my protracted procrastination (we didn't leave the hotel until around 11am CDT) effectively ruled out the S OK play - TBH I didn't really fancy the big drive into the very soupy air - the notion of it being a busy chase day in OK also played on my mind. I also didn't see a great deal of reason for going east, and I really liked the idea of something photogenic on the High Plains. CAMs suggested SE moving cells should fire of the higher terrain, e.g. Raton Mesa, with all models showing the N to NE flow tending to become more easterly in the late afternoon/evening as a surface low developed in NM.

    So we headed WSW to Springfield, CO, for lunch, and waited a while. Storms form near Pueblo, and others over the Raton Mesa and environs. After a time, one or two became better organised as they drifted eastwards, and so we dropped south, past Campo, to Boise City, OK. By now, a severe warned cell was WNW of that place, in NM. We headed west and parked up to watch it. We then stayed ahead of this supercell, zig-zagging down to Stratford, TX, where the leading edge of the core overtook us, briefly, as we headed NE into town - we intended to then drop SE towards Dumas. However, on leaving town the core once again overtook us - but instead of a few half-dollars in the mix, hen-eggs started pelting down, perhaps a shade larger. Needless to say this didn't agree with our vehicle! We got out of it pretty quickly, but sustained some damage - got an SN report in, which made it into the storm reports for the day. We headed to AMA for the night, stopping briefly south of Dumas to try to get some dusk shots of twin supercells to the NW and NE, but a low-level outflow boundary, marked by some low clouds, soon moved over abd blocked the view.

    We arrived in AMA about 10 mins ahead of the now well-detached OFB, which passed over with pretty decent gusts (40-50mph) and some blowing dust.

    This ended up being the best chase day of our ~2 week chasecation, and I'm very happy we played the more marginal risk area, as it really delivered (this time!).
    e0aab110de839728cafaedaa8bff99f8.jpg
    Supercell west of Boise City, OK, looking to the west.



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    Supercell seen to the west, north of Felt, OK. Really love this view with the hail shaft!


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    Supercell somewhere west of Stratford, TX.
     
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