10/19/05 REPORTS: Southern Plains

May 5, 2004
Owasso, OK
What a crazy day. We left Tulsa around 11:30 with an initial target of Gage, Ok. I was accompanied by Steve Miller(Tulsa), Lisa Wadlow, Mike Gauldin, Joseph Tyree and Matt Patterson. Just before Enid Matt's vehicle got a flat. They told us to go ahead, so we did. We lost data between Enid and Woodard, so we just decided to wing it from there on out. We were under the impression that things had gone to crap, until I got a call from Steve M. telling me that the SPC had issued an MD mentioning tornadoes. We stayed put until the storm W. of Woodward started putting out more lightning. I wasn't long before we had a rapidly rotating wall cloud and a funnel. Long story short.....the funnel made it about half-way to the ground and we spent the rest of the chase just out of reach do to the terrible road options. I would post some stills of the funnel, but I am worn out and frustrated. Good riddens 2005......

*****EDIT****** I just found out that we missed the tornado that Amos saw by 3 minutes. The guy that was behind us for most of our chase has some pretty good shots on the news. We couldn't get our truck out of 4-wheel high, so we pulled over and messed with it for a few minutes. The guy behind us passed and saw the tornadoes, including a wedge. Grrrrr.......
Short Version:

Eric Nguyen and I observed a tornado south of State Highway 64 near Camp Houston, Oklahoma about 2332z. Coming from behind the storm, we emerged with the mesocyclone still south of the road and rotating violently. The storm exhibited a sharply striated updraft and the radar presentation, from saved imagery we saw later, was remarkable given the early mode of all convection in the area. The tornado formed due south of our position and caught us by surprise as the primary rotation was more to the east southeast. We had stopped to photograph and film the rotation and noticed a condensation funnel halfway to the ground to our south. Within moments, this rotation tightened and narrow vortices descended to the ground. Several of these condensation tendrils rotated around the main circulation, with mist and rain caught in between. The tornado lasted about five minutes and occluded before reaching the road. I phoned OUN and reported the event.

Long version:

Our target was around and west of Woodward where we expected a triple point to move from the eastern and northeastern Texas panhandle. We believed storms could fire on the dryline and remain isolated, but it seemed likely that higher dewpoint depressions and the lack of an identifiable boundary would mitigate tornado chances. In northwest Oklahoma, we felt a storm could fire and move near the boundary, and perhaps take advantage of higher RH air and enhanced helicities along or just north of the baroclinic boundary. With consistent MLCAPE forecasts around ~2000 j/kg (with the exception of the 15z and 18z RUC which overestimated the coverage of morning/early afternoon precip), an aggressively mixing dryline, and some moisture pooling south of a stalled front, we thought there was a small chance for tornadoes.

Convection fired in the northeast Texas panhandle and split repeatedly as suggested by earlier posts regarding the straight line hodos. Our 850mb winds were slow to back and we wondered if this evolution would be rule of the day. However, a cell in northern Ellis County anchored on an outflow boundary that lay southwest to northeast (we’d earlier observed this as a thin line of cu on visible satellite stretching more or less along Highway 15 at 19z) and stopped moving. We were north of Laverne at the time, having pursued and abandoned cells destined for southern Kansas. After one last split, the northern updraft exhibited a small funnel below the rain free base and a midlevel funnel. The southern split intensified and we dropped south to position ourselves. We hoped that backing 850 winds and vorticity advection from the approaching trough had improved the synoptic environment for the ongoing convection.

We observed a few lowerings and modestly rotating wall clouds until the storm accelerated and we lost position, finding ourselves west and then northwest of the updraft. We shot north and then east on 64, entering the backside of the storm around the Cimarron River.

In the Bear’s Cage, rain wrapped around the hook and we observed the rotation I mentioned before. Another interesting feature of this tornadic circulation was a small area of intense precipitation that preceded it. This small core of rain looked “drivenâ€￾ or forced downward and we later wondered if this was something similar to Dr. Rasmussen’s descending reflectivity cores or “blobs.â€￾ As the circulation tightened, it filled with dirt, mist, and these intense, carouseling condensation tendrils that reminded me of the October 9, 2001 vortices beneath the Mountain View tornado before it became a large cone.

A very satisfying and somewhat surprising October chase as storms developed both remarkable structure and tornadoes within chaseable daylight.
Shane Adams and I left Norman around 11:15am and targeted Woodward OK. Along the way up to Woodward we saw a storm with some really cool structure crossing 281 south of Woodward. When we rolled into Woodward we stop to eat, view some data, and meet up with Bill Hamilton.

Shane and I both agreed that we wanted to play as close to the SL as possible and we left out of Woodward around 3pm and headed north. We went north and ended up at the junction of hwy 49 and 64 where we observed three developing storms. We let the northern storm cross into KS and kept a close eye on the most southern cell. We noticed the southern storm starting to get an inflow band and decided right then that that was our target storm. We wanted to get just a few more miles further east so we went to Buffalo and dropped south on 183 about 15 miles and filmed this storm get better and better organized and produce the rotating wall cloud and funnel.

The storm passed to our north and road networks were terrible so we went back north to Buffalo and then east again on 64 to Camp Houston. From there it is a blur and really not much to say.

Not bad for a last chance chase. Very pleased.
AV Chase Account Blog: http://www.mesomick.com/chaseaccounts.htm

Video (5mb): http://www.mesomick.com/20051910/Oct192005Chase.wmv

Very special thanks to Mrs. Hamilton and Jo Radel for keeping us up to date while we where out and about.
Pretty much the same story as Justin and Mickey... Gabe and I left OUN about noon, heading for Woodward. By the time we got to Woodward, we saw that there was one cell in extreme ne TX panhandle, and another just south of that one. As we headed west, the northern cell died, while the southern storm looked healthy. We ended up stopping northeast of Catesby on Hwy 283 to watch the storm cross into OK from TX. It organized rather rapidly, with a nice, rotating wallcloud, and no real RFD to speak of. A couple of other wallclouds developed over the next 30-40 minutes, and there was a nice funnel that we observed as we sat on Hwy 47 WNW of Fargo (W of Woodward). We continued to follow the storm to Fort Supply. I had okay data coverage, so we were able to get radar updates on GRLevel3 rather consistently. At that time, the storm was getting a nice hook echo, with decent rotation in the lowest scan. In fact, I thought we were going to see a tornado while the meso was south of Dunlap, as there was very rapid rotation immediately east of us as we travelled east on E310 Rd. At any rate, when we got to Ft Supply, we were faced with a decision.. We could head north on 183 and hope to find a good east option to follow the storm, or we could head south-southeast on 183, and hope to find a good NNE option. Since the storm had a slight northerly component to its motion, we opted to take the north option on 183, and then see if we could navigate non State highways. Errrr. Wrong idea. We slip-slidded around for the next 90 minutes, someone managing to NOT get stuck on roads such as E220Rd and E200 Rd south of Selman. Thank goodness I did donuts in parking lots after heavy snowfalls when I was younger, as that helped me learn how to recover from multiple fish-tails at high speeds. Of course, I knew that if I stopped in this 6" muddy mess, I'd get stuck in a hurry. At any rate, we somehow managed to find some pavement (Hwy 50) south of Freedom and Camp Houston. By this time (about 6:40pm), I was getting tired from relatively high-stress driving from the past hour. We tried to get a closer view of the base as we headed out of Alva, but it was getting dark, so we called it a night. We did meet up with Amos and Eric at the Alva Sonic, however. It was also at that time that we realized that we missed the tornado that Amos and Eric saw by 10 minutes. Ugh.

Overall, it was nice to see our target area verify. This chase played out a lot like the 5-5-02 Canadian TX chase for me, during which I got caught with bad road options as the storm passed east of Canadian... I got behind the storm and was never able to get back ahead of it. The roads north of Woodward are horrible to say the least, unless you get lucky enough to stay on paved roads. I felt lucky to find a few gravel segments, as that at least gave me some traction relative to the dirt/mud garbage. Otherwise, it was quite frustrating to continually be 10 miles behind the storm as my tired churned away at the mud. This reinforces my chase strategy of never getting behind a storm, period. Hosed me on 5-5-02, hosed us today. I'm just glad we made it through w/o gettting stuck! Oh yeah, and my Earthmate GPS failed to work most of the time we were on the dirt roads, at the exact times I needed it most... :roll:

Thanks to Dan Dawson and Robyn Tanamachi for chase discussion, as we caught up with them near Fort Supply. In addition, thanks to Mark Oerther and his chase partner for lending me their GPS when me failed. This latter turned out to be a bad idea, since we got seperated when I realized that my front-wheel drive needed speed to get past the heavy mud pathces, while he had to take his rear-wheel drive truck slower.

Edit: I did see the same Explorer with 3 antenna's on it once on the backroads (I think) and again as they followed by in to Alva. Well, they weren't "following" me, but they were right behind me. "Hi!" to whoever that was! :)
ft supply tornado

Saw a nice cone tornado northeast of Ft Supply. The cone itself was large with a skinny condensation tube extending to the ground. We viewed it from the west, but it soon was concealed by the hook precip. which was filled with golfball+ hail that cracked our windshield. Tried to catch up to it on gravel roads but it had lifted once we regained position. Had two exchange students from Reading, England with us and they saw their first tornado!

I'll post pictures tomorrow.
Can't really ad much to what everyone else has said they have summed it up pretty well.
So here I go, Mike Gribble and myself headed out of Wichita about 11:30 am and headed towards Woodward OK. Then after the first set of storms fired up we ended up around Laverne OK about were the dryline was. Headed back to the east on HWY 270 (to follow the cell that was showing good rotaion on XM just north of Woodward) towards HWY 183 then back north.

Well that is when things got real fun, we took a right turn that was road (E0260RD) that was on DeLorme (as Mike said this was not the first time he got hosed with DeLome) and started out pretty good then it got worse, had to turn around, this is when I think I saw Jeff Snyder and two others.

Jeff it was me in the Explorer and Mike was in the Jeep. So after about and hour making our way through the back muddy roads finally got to a HWY 34 and then I think that was you Jeff behind us at that point, Well Mike turned south went a mile down the road and said forget the dirt road thing. So then we headed back north on HWY 34 then picked up WHY 64 that took us back into Alva. Was a fast moving storm and could not get back in front of it before we lost daylight, this is when I got behind Jeff heading into Alva. That cattle truck was real fun to follow..LOL

Some some nice rotation, some hail, no wind really all in all was a nice way to close out the 2005 chase season.

Jeff I got to hand it to you on those roads, Mike was asking me on the radio if I had 4WD and said yes, I was so worried about getting stuck, then I see you coming behind me and was like "wow". Got on the radio to Mike and said if he can make it with 2WD we really should not have a problem.

Edit: On the way home Mike and I stopped just out side of Wellington and took a few lighting shots of the storms coming up from OK.

Also I want to thank Mike for his forcast, we where in the right place but the roads did not agree with us.
Well, I've been debating if I wanted to put this up or not. Not overly wild, and certainly no tornadoes. I had sent this earlier to Mickey Ptak.

I made it as far as Alva as the show was over and the storm was blasting to the North. I decided to follow on 281 and ended up on a looong drive through the country side.

All I did get to see from that storm was the Wall Cloud as it traveled NE of Alva. It looked pretty impressive then, so I would bet it was really impressive earlier.

On my way home (took the scenic route) basically went north on US281 to Hardnter, KS, the KS2 to Anthony, really just staying about 5 miles behind the storm as it churned along. Got stopped by a long line of trains at Kiowa and really lost the whole storm there, but got to watch the lightning show.

On up to US160 to Wellington. Once in Wllengton, there was a storm that had formed back over the Kiowa, KS area that was SVR Warned and headed east. There was also another one just East over the Oxford area headed NE. Decided to take a gamble and at least get something out of all those miles. Went North on US 81 to E90th street and went back west to teh Conway Springs area. The SVR Warning had been allowed to drop and I figured I was just about done. Here's the hazard of chasing at night. You can't always see the structure and you certainly can't see what's coming at you. About 5 miles east of Conway Springs, I was suddenly and soundly rocked by 55 mph winds gusting to 65 mph, Heavy rainfall, blowing dust, debris and mist. I simply couldn't see the road anymore. Since it was a fairly non-traveled road, I simply stopped and rode it out, but it was touch and go there for a bit. No hail thankfully. From there, over to Oxford, and home from there.

Long evening.
Tony L, my son Michael and myself spent the night before in Garden City, KS. The morning of the chase we drove down to Woodward, OK and met up with Amos M, Scott C and Eric N. We drove west and watched the three cells coming out of Lipscomb, TX. It was amazing to see them continually split into left and right movers with some intensifying and some dying away completely. We kept our eye on the tail-end-charlie storm and watched as it spun up a couple of brief funnels and threw down incredible CGs. This tail end storm grew legs and took off to the north-east very rapidly leaving us to punch back through the driving rain and small hail to get back out in front of it. From just west of Woodward again we watched it on radar form a well defined hook and ran out of good road options to keep chasing it north east to Alva, OK. Blasted home back to Denver and enjoyed the lightning show on the way home. What a great chase for mid-October! It was great to see everyone out again! :D
As Verne Carlson said, we had a great October chase in Oklahoma. I, for one, am extremely glad Verne, Mike, and I left and stayed in Garden City the night before, as I ended up running a 20 hour day Wednesday, but on a good night's sleep in Garden City. After heading down to Woodward from Garden, we jumped on a supercell which made its way into Oklahoma and stayed with it for a while. Watched as it moved at us from South of Laverne, where the storm showed off some incredible and close CGs which lasted a fwe intense minutes, then made a helacious core punch on it to get back in front as we observed some sick motion. The core punch was one of the most intense I've seen as the wind was driving hail as big as golfballs sideways into my car. The 5 minute experience felt like forever as I moved east to get ahead of the storm as quickly as I could. This punch took my through May where I emerged safely to recollect myself and figure out my next move. With some thought, we elected to try and blast north out of Fort Supply to Buffalo in hopes of catching the next east/west road to try and get ahead of it again. When we finally got to Buffalo, the storm had grown legs and took off eastward. We were hearing reports of baseballs with this storm and then decided that the storm would be impossible to catch. We then called off the chase in Buffalo.

This was a fun, casual chase! I had a great time for October! Was glad to hear that my friends Amos and Eric managed to get ahead of the storm again to catch the tornado. We grabbed a look at the radar after we backed out and saw the amazing hook on it and hoped someone got back ahead of it. Once we arrived in Buffalo, it looked as if the storm had just taken off; that and the reports of possible baseballs, we figured a second core punch along Hwy. 64 would be too dangerous and not too rewarding. I had no regrets with this decision as I was already well satisfied with the day.

Most of all, I enjoyed chasing with and running into some old friends, as well as spending some chase time with new friends. Verne Carlson and his son, Mike; Amos, Eric, Scott, Jay, and Kanani. I saw many others out there as well I didn't get a chance to BS with. I had a great time out and about and was satisfied to close out 2005 with a fun, laid-back kind of chase. After dinner in Liberal, I headed back to Denver arriving shortly before 3am to wrap up 20 hours on the road and 1,117 total miles. I'll post an entry with pics and vid caps by this weekend on my website!
Well to be blunt... October has always treated me like crap. Yesterday was no different! I was set to head off towards Woodward around 11, when I started feeling like absolute crap. At the last minute... I bailed and the rest was history. Took a nap at 12 and when I woke up at 4... I felt fine. That's until I checked the radar a bit later. Nothing like seeing a target verify with you still at home. Argh!

To try and make ammends, I headed off to North Base to try and snag a few CG shots. While it didn't cure my frustration, it did help to supress it!


Jay pretty much covered it. We were targeting Woodward, but we ended up setting up just West of Buffalo instead. We watched storms go up in the far NE corner of the Texas panhandle and die out as they moved NE. Finally, one of the storms went up and held together. The storm quickly split and we were in perfect position to watch the left mover develop its own updraft and pull away. It had very good structure right after it seperated from the parent storm. It was a perfect mirror image of a classic supercell(minus a stout rain core) with a nice lowering on its western flank(I wish I would have stopped to take a picture, but we were more concerned about getting SE of the righ mover). The good structure did not last long though. The storm was starting to fall apart 5-10 minutes after it split. After punching through the core the updraft base came into view, but it wasn't too impressive at this point(it did have decent vertical motion). Here is a picture.

Long story short, Delorme screwed me again. It showed the road we decided to take as a paved road, but in reality it was a sloppy mud road. I was concentrating on keeping my Jeep out of the ditch while maintaining a decent speed when I saw a Boneville appear in my rear view mirror. I was struggling to keep it on the road with four wheel drive, yet some how this guy was gaining on me. I wouldn't have even driven on that road with a car, let alone go 40mph down it. It was one of the more impressive things I have seen in a while. We caught back up to the updraft base by about 6:25, but it was within view long before that. The storm reports had the tornado reported at the same time and location where I caught back up to the storm and I have no idea how I didn't see it. I was a little pissed off about missing the tornaodes, but it was a good chase none the less(I am content just seeing my forecast verify). Jay and I decided to take some lighting pics on the way home. Here are a few of my pictures.


Justin already gave most of the report. I was riding with Matt and Steve so here's the detached meso and sunset we saw at Enid, OK.