2024-06-03 EVENT: TX/OK

Mar 30, 2008
Norman, OK
Another day in a string of slight risks across the Texas panhandle/western OK area. Like yesterday, a MCS rolling across Oklahoma has laid a boundary. Like yesterday, this seems to be sitting around the caprock again today. Fort Worth and Norman 12Z RAOBs showing very rich moisture, with a 74 dewpoint and MeanW of 17 on FWD.

Unlike yesterday, Water Vapor is not showing any major wave coming at the boundary today. Still see potential for today and plan to depart for the Childress area here shortly.
That area has the better EHI, but several of the models are in agreement with not breaking out CI there. Hopefully you'll get a nice mesoscale accident from the Caprock Magic once the dryline starts to sharpen up. The NAM 3k and HRRR have a line coming out of the OKC metro and possibly heading toward Ardmore, Ok near dark... that also coincides with a slightly elevated STP. I'll be curious to see what the Day 1 outlook has to say in the 2000z issuance.
We are still hanging tight in the hotel lobby in Childress, where we stayed last night after the Silverton tornados. Until as recently as the 16Z run, HRRR was showing no convection until after dark in central OK. But the 18z run shows a cell along I-40 between AMA and Shamrock. Was thinking of heading toward Quanah, then possibly up into OK or more likely staying on the TX side to avoid a later river crossing with SE-moving storms. The HRRR gives me pause… Two opposite directions from here…
I've seen many instance where HRRR doesn't handle outflow boundaries very well and doesn't show convection. These are the kind of days you watch visible satellite like a hawk. Learned the hard way long ago watching storms go bonkers from home after relying on CAM's on these types of days.
I haven't actually looked at a model run today. Mesoanalysis showing best 3cape, mlcape, and shear down by Childress. Also if you go out to +4 on 850 winds, it shows them backing down along the red river later.

KFDR showing the boundary very well right now. I'm eyeing Wilbarger/Hardeman/Foard counties
Good point Sean, and the HRRR wasn’t handling the ongoing morning/early afternoon convection in OK very well either. Probably should stick to my original Quanah plan and not be swayed by ghosts on the HRRR. Clearly the best moisture and backed winds are in the SW OK region. Sitting too long here in Childress to hedge north vs south is likely to leave me stuck in the middle with nothing!
Well the good news is that there was convection. The bad news is the cap is holding tight, which is good news in a way because all targets were not good, which of course saves lots of driving if you chose the wrong target. Right?
What was likely my last chase day of 2024 ends with a blue sky bust.

Obviously this day does not justify a Reports thread, so I'll just post here instead.

Many of us are probably subject to wish-casting to some degree. Every time I see a mesoscale setup with 70s dewpoints and extreme instability in OK, I fantasize about an El Reno type of event (minus the tragedies of course), since I did not chase that day. I had that, and redemption for missing this year's Eldorado day, in mind as I looked at analysis, saw SPC's mention of a possible strong tornado, and read the increasing concern in NWS Norman's midday AFD.

Thanks to @Ben Holcomb and @Sean Ramsey - due to their posts above, I stuck to my Quanah target and stopped second-guessing myself just because the HRRR had begun showing an intense supercell southeast of Pampa. This at least saved me some needless driving. I left Childress, hung out in Quanah, and a couple of precipitation echoes began at ~5pm CDT, one near Hollis OK and one right over my head in Quanah. Initial motion was NE, although expected to be S/SE for mature cells. Given that these initial echoes were initiating so close and would be shifting E of my longitude, I repositioned to Vernon so that I could give things time to develop and then move into OK from there if needed.

Not too far east of Quanah, there was no Cu field. The initial cells had evaporated. We hung out in Vernon until around 7pm, when we decided the only play was to head toward the severe-warned storm in Clarendon - which actually had initiated not too far from where at least one or two runs of the HRRR had shown it. Backtracking along our original route, unfortunately in the opposite direction of Dallas where we are departing from, we drove only about 15 minutes before the storm began weakening and quickly lost its severe warning and faded to nothing.

We stopped around 7:20 to consider our next move, when an SPC MSD discussion for the area popped up on RadarScope - #1156, issued at 7:22pm CDT - "...latest hi-resolution radar imagery from Amarillo shows multiple isolated severe storms ongoing across the central and eastern Texas Panhandle." WTF?!? There were NO ongoing storms or warnings at that time! Clearly the MSD was drafted a little earlier, but there were never more than two or three storms, which I suppose technically is "multiple" but in my view the MSD way overrated the situation as of the time it was issued.

It was clear we were capped out (pun initially unintended, but now intentionally left upon editing ;)), and even NWS Norman in their evening AFD said their focus on severe potential had now shifted to overnight development in central OK. Surprised that overcoming the cap, especially while conceding that large-scale forcing was absent, was never mentioned as a potential failure mode by SPC or NWS Norman.

A disappointing last chase day to say the least, especially after the earlier expectations. On the bright side, at least it wasn't a huge positioning drive. Now in Wichita Falls and heading to DFW this evening for tomorrow's flight home.
I also hung out in Quanah, and once the above mentioned rain showers dissipated, I did make a move towards the storm near Clarendon, but luckily only made it to Childress before that storm started weakening. I hung out in a parking lot and ate some chicken strips from Golden Chick (turns out Chicken Express is better), and once it became clear that the show was over I headed back to Altus.
I made it down to Eldorado. Checked out the field of mesquite trees that the 5/23 tornado took out. Didn't bother going after that western storm and headed home the long scenic way
I was on the storm near Clarendon pretty much from the start. It looked good for a few minutes, but died quickly! I think the cap was just too strong for the convection to maintain itself.