07/01/04 REPORTS: Southern Plains

Larry J. Kosch

It sounded like there were some good storm chasing going on in the Southern Plains today. So a REPORTS thread is set up for you. Put your first hand chase reports and all of the goodies right here. 8)
Awesome local chase

I left home about 7:30 (Ponca) and moved on to Blackwell for a data stop and partner. From there, we traveled on to Medford and watch the squall line get going to the north. We were watching a tail end charlie storm with some ragged lowerings over the Wakita area, but it never produced anything that I know of. Moved to Renfrow for a closer look and watched several small short lived lowerings and some really massive lightning. As far as a tornado chase goes, that was pretty much over. We leaped frogged the storm back to Blackwell for yet another data stop at the office.

Checking the VEL1 from VNX showed a distinct circulation signature in the South Haven, KS area at the 0.5 Degree and 1.5 degree images. BREF1 showed heavy rains in this area as well. There was also yet another arm of thie squall line forming back towards the Medford area. This is where my partner and I split up. I covered the North Section and he got the south.

Moving North on I-35 to US 177 I saw what appeared to be a large lowered base. It looked to have a forming inflow band and an updraft area. Behind it though, was really heavy rain. Directly to the east of this core, was a tremendous amount of lightning. CG's like I haven't seen in several years. It was enough that I shut down all the radios and told the station that I would call them back in a few minutes. From there to the state line was an interesting drive, watching this storm develop.

South Haven, KS. Tranquil when I moved to US 81, then it broke loose on me just west of town. Buckets and Buckets of rain. In the space of minutes, the local fields were flooded and water was over the road. I followed this storm back to the Braman OK area and then moved south on I-35 again to intercept another branch in the Tonkawa area.

Tonkawa OK. I-35 & US 60... Can't see a darn thing except the lightning and the tail lights of the guy in front of me about 20 yards. Again, really heavy rain fall with small pea size hail. Winds are gusting to about 40 MPH and the lightning really had my attention. As the rain moved over the town, I thought they had a power outage and the lights just went out. It wasn't that, it was the rain covering it all up!. Moved out of the rain, lightnig area about 4 miles east of Tonkawa and moved to OK 156 & US 60. Let the storm roll me over here. I estimated 45 MPH winds. Got soaked by leaving my window open a crack and had several CG strikes within 500 yards of my truck.

187 miles total drive and an awesome experience getting through it all.

Gayla and I arrived in Childress, TX by mid afternoon to lots of haze, dewpoints in the 70s and lots of CU. Checking data showed target was verifying as I was interested in the N/S boundary to the west and a weaker NW/SE oriented one just north of Childress. My hope was something would form on the one west and propagate SE down the other one. Seemed more like May than July! You wouldn't believe how green NW TX is right now!

First good storm went up SW of Childress and played around with that one for a while until it didn't visually look as good all the while the one north of Childress was looking more like a classic supercell. Finally couldn't take it any more and went after that one. After getting north of Childress again could make out a nicely formed wall cloud but so much haze couldn't tell much about it. Ran into Jay McCoy and Kanani (hope I spelled that right) and played around with the hail a bit then the storm near the road there seemed to die while another one further west was getting it's act back together. So we went BACK to Childress and the NW up 287 to get a great view of this storm. Produced a couple of wall clouds, one even with a little bit of rotation while spitting 2.25 inch hail at us, but appeared a little bit high based to me. We stayed with that until almost dark near Childress where I got some great mammatus on film after the sun got at a low angle and we saw a nicely formed classic supercell off to the south bathed in a nice orange sunset color and then spotted Roger Hill's group heading south for it. Quick check of the radar in Childress showed it moving SE faster than I would have liked so decided to take my nice July chase and wrap it up. 3 storms all within 30 miles of my target. Love it when a target verifies!

Put up a short video clip of the hail, mammatus and orange supercell.

Large hail falling near Childress, TX

Microsoft AVI Format runtime 1:03 5.2 megs

Also spotted RJ Evans I think it was and some guy with Michigan plates who was obviously chasing the storm, although nothing about the vehicle said "chaser". Who said storm season on the southern plains is over? :wink: