5/26/2004 REPORTS: OK

Got a nice LP cell that tracked from Union City to Mustang to OKC. Low level rotation was weak but structure was just incredible. At times it had a long beaver tail feeding into it. Storm rapidly fell apart upon moving into OKC and was totally gone by 8pm. Saw tons of chasers out there today, including the UMASS radar truck and the DOWS. I'll try to get some video captures later.
There was no report thread when I posted so here's my report from the "now" section...

As you all can tel by the timing of this report, we were on the west-central OK cell. I went to work as usual, not really thinking I'd be chasing today. Got home an hour early, and decided to check data for my bud Eric Collins, who's in town till Sunday on his annual pilgrimage to the Plains to chase storms with me. When I called him, I was pleasantly surprised to find him still in his motel room. I told him I'd do a more extensive check and call him back. Within 30 minutes, we were rolling westbound towards the west-central OK storms (the only ones out there then).

Intercepted the tornado-warned cell in Hinton, OK, where a nice wallcloud with incredible rising motion and moderate rotation was in progress juat west of town. Within minutes, we were blasted by RFD from the WNW, as the storm began the first of a few cycles. The storm however, was never the same after the initial cycle, and we followed it east on OK37/152 back to Cogar/Minco?Union City, and finally Mustang.....where we sat and watched it die a slow, painful death, but not as painful as the live reports were started hearing from the Noble County storm, which is still in progress as I write this.

My OKC metro area curse continues, although I suppose that's a good thing to normal people. I'm wondering if anyone is on the Noble County storm, we saw everyone and their dog out there today. Overall ,my "behavior" report (pathetic we have these now as a standard portion of chase accounts) is good. The lone exception is the guy east of Union City, who stopped just off the road (with no shoulder) and proceeded to open his door - which stuck out a good 2-3 feet into our lane. If I hadn't shouted at Eric (who was watching the updraft out his window) we would've taken the guy's door off, and who knows what else. So whoever you are guy - you're welcome.

Just got a call from Angie Norris who's chasing with my girlfriend Jo.....they said they got a nice funnel. No details other than that, I'm sure she'll post those later in her own report. Anyway, pleasantly surprising and relaxing local chase, but no fruit. I'd love to be up north right now on those twin cells....Tulsa looking to have an imminent Tornado Emergency situation before long.

Who says 2% slight risk days are junk???
I picked up that cell as it fired around Erick on I 40. I was moving VERY fast initally, as I did a stop for data in Erick and it took me until Clinton to catch it. It slowed up some around Hydro where it was moving around 30mph or so as it tracked ENE. It did have some ominous lowerings, that had some brief rotation, but that was about it. Right as it got into the outskirts of the SW section of the OKC metro area it just fell apart. There were many people on it, chasers, local weather trucks and even the local news helicopter! I did hear over the scanner that there was a breif touchdown on the north central cell around Red Rock and Hwy 412.
I pretty much saw everything everybody else has described so far on the I40 cell. I ended up chasing with Kevin Scharfenberg today and had a great time considering I was not expecting any kind of chase weather today in OK.....it was a nice surprise.
My day started out late. We (new chase partner along for 2nd time this week) left about 3:30 from V-A. We hit up Lawton, and by then, I had decided to head for I-40. So I continued west on 62 up until just before snyder where I took 54 north. We saw what was the Supercell that went right into OKC to our northwest. We arrived to it about Corn, Oklahoma when it was kind of elongated. A developing storm merged into the backside of it and after that it became very organized and that's what I'm guessing caused the storm to finally get its act together. We fell behind (what else is new) and had to travel several "local roads" to get back to the highway. We went through Binger, then North to Hinton, and was still behind. All this time we are just about 10 miles south of the storm and then west with the WallCloud in view.

We hit I-40 east, took a wrong exit, had to pass through El Reno, but by then the show was ending. We kept the base in view almost the whole day, just we never got very close until about Union City. It was all going fine till some idiot almost took my door off. j/k, I was parked several feet off the road, but I thought that'd add a nice touch to an otherwise depressing report.

We saw the storm dissapate, take on some LP Characteristics until finally killing itself for good. What a sunset we witnessed on our way back to Velma. WOW! :shock: Definately one of the best I've ever seen. Not much more to add except the updrafts were exploding today (I'm sad I actually saw the whole thing for most of the day). Also, I'd like to get some others opinions on if you noticed the storm got more organized as that second updraft tower came into the backside of the main storm. Interesting stuff to ponder until Saturday, where everything looks very interesting.
Dave Crowley, Justin Teague, Juan Herrera and I caught two brief tornadoes near Red Rock and Prue, Oklahoma on Wednesday evening. The tornadoes dissipated before we could stop and tripod, so screen captures are all I have:

Highway 15 between Pawnee and Red Rock, OK - east of Sooner Lake:
[Broken External Image]:http://wvlightning.com/2004/may26as.jpg

[Broken External Image]:http://wvlightning.com/2004/may26cs.jpg

Near Prue, OK around 9:00PM:
[Broken External Image]:http://wvlightning.com/2004/may26es.jpg

Larger screen captures:

Near Red Rock:

Near Prue:

We were originally heading north into SE Kansas, where conditions looked very favorable for supercells. We saw the cell explode over Enid and jumped on it instead, intercepting it east of Red Rock. A nice outcome to an unexpected chase day.
We spent much of the morning agonizing over various targets, ranging from Lubbock to Childress to Clinton to Enid to Coffeyville, Kansas. Finally we rolled out of Wichita Falls around noon and headed west toward Vernon. Around 3:00 PM, we set up camp west of Quanah and south of Kirkland in a remote field, watching a boundary bubble and roil to our north as a field of vigorous low cumulus slid toward us from the south. The cu marked the northern edge of the best moisture fields and we felt that when the moisture reached the convergence along the boundary, storms would fire.

Eventually, we drove into Kirkland for gas and learned about the Tornado Watch to the north as we prepared to leave. We abandoned our target and headed for Altus, initially chasing the storm that approached Oklahoma City in the early evening. Steve Miller alerted us to a small storm exploding northwest of Quanah, so we turned to face this new convection.

We flanked the storm and, as we rolled along the eastern edge of the cell, it split. The northern split--which was mostly core--raced northeast as the primary updraft remained in place very near the Red River. The southern split died quickly and we rolled east in pursuit of the new dominant storm. Meanwhile, crisp and deafening lightning fell around us as we drove through the remnants of the south split core.

When we finally gained some ground on the storm in Tillman County, it collapsed and died as quickly as it had begun. We shot stills of a wine red hue painting the backside of the remaining updraft and called it a night.

Extra thanks to Steve Miller for great nowcasting all evening.
Just like to say thanks to Dwain Warner for his aweosme nowcasting today!!!!
May 26 Texas Storms

Today was a very frustrating day. I started in Wichita, Kansas and drove to a Flying J Truckstop in Edmond, Oklahoma to check data (great Wi-Fi). This would be a marginal day and I almost considered blowing it off. The combination of backed winds and instability was is southwestern Texas below I-10. I couldn’t make it to that area in time. Another possible area with slightly backed slower winds was near Abilene to Childress, just ahead of the dryline. Winds were veered across Oklahoma. I drove west and again checked data at another truckstop in Sayre, Oklahama. I decided on the area just south of Abilene. As a left Sayre, I noticed a small tower developing over Sayre. It was quickly growing. I then found out about a tornado watch for central and western Oklahoma. Now I was in a dilemma. Do I follow a storm into a tornado-warned area with overcast skies and veered winds or do I go to a more favorable area that is only in a severe thunderstorm warning box. I decide to blow off that storm (which I believed became a nice supercell that crossed Oklahoma) and head for storms to the south. As I drove away, the storm to my north was exploding.

I drove south on 30 through Hollis, then south on 83 to Childress, Texas. The construction on 62 is very annoying. More storms were forming south of Lubbock. I continued south and plotted an intercept for a storm that was approaching the towns just north of Abilene. The storm was now tornado warned. Another storm formed to the southwest and started to kill my initial storm. I dropped south through Aspermont and Hamlin, Texas to target the new storm. I hate approaching storms from the north. I received a few hail dents and a cracked windshield as I grazed the core. I rerouted my approach and tried again from the east. The meso was now approaching Anson. Then it abruptly died. My chase was over and nothing to show except a cracked windshield and a few dents. Hail was slightly smaller than golf balls. I later found out the storm did produce a confirmed tornado nearby, Oh well. I’m now in Abilene and will probably chase dryline storms on Thursday. This weekend will be very active. Thanks to the Chase Hotline and Jason Politte for nowcasting.

Bill Hark

http://www .harkphoto.com
I will have to agree...that storm evolved into one of the best LPs I have ever seen in Oklahoma. The structure was absolutely incredible! One nice thing was by sticking to the dirt and grave roads, I only saw 3 other chase vehicles (Reed T and crew and Rocky were 2 of them) out there. It was not until I hit 152 that I ran into the mass of vehicles.

It was kind of ironic that I spent the day installing weather stations on our 2 command posts and our rapid response unit. Great set up for an evening chase.
Ponca City area

Well, I really didn't think I was going to get a shot at anything last night. I watched the cells west of OKC jump up and then watched another one over Enid. Unfortunately, I was waiting to hear from a guy about taking photos of his champion dogs. Soon enough, I heard of a cell that was barreling into the Tonkawa area. Knowing the photos of dogs wasn't going to happen, off I went. Started out on US 60 about 4 miles west of Ponca. I generally stop in here to meet up with a storm spotter I know. He was at US 60 and I-35, so I stayed put here

[Broken External Image]:http://genji.image.pbase.com/u46/okie34/upload/29435274.storm1.JPG

[Broken External Image]:http://image.pbase.com/u45/okie34/large/29435275.storm2.jpg

After watching the rain curtain move in my direction and hearing reports of golfball hail, I decided discretion was the better part of valor and moved north up to Hubbard Road and started moving west to get on the backside of the storm. Hooked up with my storm spotter friend and watched a cell forming up over Lamont, Oklahoma. Of course listening to Ponca EOC and their spotters, it sounded like the storm that I had just driven through passed to the north of Ponca and made it's way to Kaw City. Though it was severe, it never did really have a good potential to drop a funnel. The cell over Lamont was cycling through low and hi ends though. It was pretty much isolated and I thought that due to the fact the other storms had rolled through just ahead of it, it probably wouldn't get enough energy to really get going. I was wrong.

[Broken External Image]:http://genji.image.pbase.com/u46/okie34/upload/29435278.storm5.jpg

This is looking at a cutoff (?) inflow band just west of I-35. Watching this storm gather power was really awesome. It looked to be heading due east into Ponca. Ponca EOC was playing the radar and reported to major rotation. However, looking at this, I would say the radar was not picking up the lower level rotation we were looking at due to the distance. There was rotation there. Spotters were reporting it and it almost sounded like Ponca EOC wasn't beleiving it until they saw it on Radar.

[Broken External Image]:http://genji.image.pbase.com/u46/okie34/upload/29435279.storm6.jpg

This was the sight about 2 miles west of Ponca City. Golfball hail was reported in Ponca at several location along with gusty winds. The north side of Ponca received the brunt of this. There was a funnel reported, but I have my doubts as I was 2 blocks to the south of the reported site and never saw anything but rain and a small hail core.

We followed this on through Ponca City staying on Business 60 (South Avenue) and finally called our chase just east of McChord on US 60. We did see a couple of small landspouts (?) where there was an actual condensation funnel spinning up from the ground, but no associated higher level rotation.

No tornado though the storm could have produced one at anytime (I almost thought it was going to drop one in my lap a couple of times) and about 10 zillion storm gawkers running about in Ponca. Local PD was out in force and apparently stopping people for the slightest of infractions (I know of one that was stopped, ticketed for no seatbelt, in the middle of the severe storm just a few minutes ahead of the TOR warn).

Farmer Brown was out in his ancient pickup and CB on US 60. He stoped right in the middle of the road with about 5 spotter chasers behind him. That was pretty close. Locking up the tires on wet pavement is NOT a nice feeling.

Great evening all in all though.

John Diel
I headed north from Stillwater, OK yesterday evening to catch up with the severe storm located near Garber, OK. I intercepted the storm at the junction of Highway 15 and Highway177. The storm had an incredible amount of rising motion flowing into the updraft base and was spinning like a top. As I was marveling at the storm’s structure, I noticed a woman mowing her yard just to my north. I was in the process of explaining to the lady the significance of the situation when the storm set a tornado on the ground 100 yards to our north!

Switching gears, I have read complaints in the forum of “gimpsâ€￾ blocking the roadways. Well, I witnessed this first hand yesterday. Some idiots were parked on Highway 15, on a hill, blocking traffic! Unbelievable
My chase partner, Chuck Vlcek, and I, started out headed SW out of Ok City, and had just stopped at the Altus Library when simultaneously the T watch box and the convection west of Elk City went up.

We booked it back nw and caught up with the storm as it was sliding over Hinton and tracked along side it on 152 as it pulsed out several wall clouds, wesk to moderate rotation and a few possible funnel clouds, along with spectacular cloud structure. Lots of fellow chasers, media vehicles, police out there. We even saw a chaser rig with Oregon license plates - anywone know who they were????

Of course we could have just stayed at our hotel in Norman that morning and had a nice short chase, but I only have a week, and I am going to have my arse planted in a car seat moving as much as possible!

Special thanks to our nowcasters, Bill Winkler and Steve Bieda! See you all today in sw Missouri!
Jo Radel and I left Norman about 6pm yesterday targeting the cell near I-40 and got in postion on 92 between El Reno and Union City. We watched as the cell put down some close CGs and as it struggled to cycle. It finally did put down a decent funnel about 7:30pm which lasted about 30 seconds (by the 50% rule, you could call it a tornado, but that would be pushing it...we'll just leave it as a funnel). We repositioned briefly on 152 just outside of Mustang (along with the doppler, a couple of the chase tours and a bunch of others) watching the cell continue to fight to stay together before heading back into Norman. Total distance...about 70 miles...not bad 8)
Oh, yeah, think we also might have made a WF sighting :roll: ...anybody know if he was lurking about yesterday?

John, just so you know, none of your pictures are working/viewable...

I pretty much have the same story as others who were on the El Reno to Mustang storm. Got out there about 6:30... saw a few attempts at a wall cloud, but mostly disorganized stuff... As the storm weakened, the strcture remained incredible... Despite not seeing much in the way of signs of tornadic activity, the awesome structure more than made it for me...
Doug Kiesling and I played the dryline yesterday with a target west of Lawton, near the Texas line ... met with Tempest and saw Blake Naftel and Brian Morganti's great video of the beast in NE Kansas on the 24th - wow! They were headed up to the frontal boundary, but I just don't get much opportunity for Oklahoma dryline chases and wanted to take advantage of the possibility (and I've had my fill of warm fronts lately, to be quite honest).

The dryline finally went a couple hours before sunset with one of the most beautiful storms I've chased in a long time ... great structure ... circular, rotating updraft against a terrific downdraft curtain. The colors were just amazing as the sun set against the backside of this storm moving over the Wichita mtns. Reds, blues, whites - just gorgeous. Loved every second ... will post pics after I have time to work on them following the trip. Headed down into TX today - hopefully I can get there in time.

Mike P.
Hotlinking issue?

Seems like there amy be a hotlinking issue with pbase.com even though I found no problems with two different internet connections. That's ok.

Got to: http://www.pbase.com/okie34/storm_photos to see the photos. They are the one's titled "storm1.jpg, storm2.jpg, etc.

Sorry for the inconvenience! :oops:

John Diel
Brief post as usual; now on the Tempest Tour vehicle laptop (hopping computer to computer these days)...

Had an excellent chase day on Wednesday, May 26. Targeted the Enid to Purcell area along/south of the WF and ahead of the surface low. Was tempted by the early I-40 convection; but Bill and I stuck to our guns. While sitting in Fairview; I was thrilled to see an area of enhanced CU 10 miles to our E purcolating; following the TOR watch being issued. S/SE winds increased significantly behind and S of the enhanced CU; soon CB'o'genesis occured; followed by some incipiant sup'O'cell action; then topping it all off; the cell went tornadic. Can I be cocky and call this the perfect storm?

Was stopped by a train briefly in Enid; before proceeding E. Excellent convergence transpired directly to our E; and the wall cloud/meso really got it's act together. Following this; the wall cloud rephased and waited until we stopped E of I-35 on HE412 S of Red Rock (near Sooner Lake). The backlit meso wrapped up; and rapidly produced what Bill dubbed as "Red Rock the inferior" (in reference to the 26-April-1991 "I gotta get this just once in my life Bobby P/Gene R. wedge). The tornado persisted for 8 minutes before lifting.

Bill and I shot excellent tripoded video of the entire lifecycle; some of which has been airing on TWC most of Thursday. The guests on Tempest (a meteorology class from Illinois College in Jacksonville, IL) were estatic; still on edge from Monday's "ubernadoes" in S.CEN NE and N. CEN KS.

I personally feel spoiled and wonder how this weekend will fair. Chasing in the plains until Monday; returning to Kalamazoo at that time and will make random marathons now and then as per ususal.

Update on today; May 27; Ummm... jibber jabber near Cisco. Currently in FTW; down day most likely Friday. Gearing up for the weekend.


Blake W. Naftel - KC8VPG
[email protected]