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5/8/05 REPORTS: Plains

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We chased the severe warned cell that went up over Lawton, OK. Intercepted just northeast of Lawton and moved ahead of the system on I-44. There were reports of golf ball sized hall, but we only ran into some pea-sized stuff on the interstate. A dangerous amount of drivers were pulled over beneath the underpasses on both the left and right shoulders.

The storms all lined up and started moving east then southeast. We dropped the chase around Purcell, OK when the light started to fade. Best part of the chase was some amazing mammatus that lit up as we pulled into Norman around 8pm. Hope everybody in Norman caught a glimpse of those.
We busted in a different part of Texas today, opting for NW TX near Henrietta. Best part was that we setup south of there on 148, and waited an hour on our puny little cell to develop while watching two areas of severe convection 50 miles either side of us north/south. We finally gave up and left, only to have a new cell develop behind us as we drove north back to Petrolia. Except we didn't notice it until we were in Petrolia. So we went back and watched the severe-warned storm die quickly after we returned (to the same spot we'd been).

Another frustrating day in a frustrating season.
Lance Maxwell and I chased the storm in S. Central OK. We got on the storm kinda late b/c we were debating whether to go or not until 1700. We headed south on I-35 to Purcell and headed West and South again. The storm looked like it was cycling a couple times but could not get its act together. I think part of the problem was the DL stalled again today. We watched some great looking cloud structure that formed from the storm outflow. Soon later the couple of cells in the area merged into a line and we headed back to Norman. We also got a few shots of the sweet mammatus along I-35.

Staying in Norman again tonight and hoping for a change in the models for tomorrow.
Full report to be added later...

Went southwest from Norman via I-44 to Chickasha, then E/SE eventually taking us to Pauls Valley. Though no severe weather was seen, intense lightning (pics later) and an amazing sunset and rainbow (below) made this chase a success. No adjustments have been made to the coloring in any of the photos.






EDIT: Tried to make a panorama of the rainbow in Pauls Valley and here is the result.

Chased East Central South Dakota. Intercepted about five mariginally severe cells before tailing a cell that was showing some mid-level rotation. After about 30 minutes it looked to be falling apart. Ten minutes after leaving it got much stronger/well organized and a tornado warning was issued for it. Got back to it quickly and there was some persistent rotation. Stayed with the cell for the next hour. Didn't see a tornado but got some pictures/film of both a wall cloud and funnel cloud. It was also neat to see so many scuds forming right on the surface.

Got a bit of a late start today after mowing the lawn and doing a few other chores. I was going to venture west to Salina and then south to get ahead of the storms that eventually went tornado warned near McPherson, KS, but I got sidetracked by some cells developing SE of the thunderstorm hotbed known as Concordia, lol.

I sat east of Clay Center while the storm developed into what would be an HP hailer. The first shot is of a couple of towers that went up as the storm continued to back build to the SW. I paralleled the storm for quite a bit while it continued to dump rain and hail. The largest report from our county was one-inch hail that covered the ground outside one of the fire stations on the north end of the county. I didn't go anywhere near the core as I could see clearly that it was dropping hail that I wanted nothing to do with. It quickly became outflow dominant and provided a pretty good light show. As I type this I still hear some thunder outside. A precurser to more days to come...............




Great pictures you guys posted above!

Sat in Grant county in NW OK today for about 3-4 hours. Around 4-5pm noticed while sitting in Harper a developing area of more enhanced CU to my SW. Considering the dryline buldge was in the general region, along with 80/60 SFC conidtions I figured init would likely take place there. In short, a storm developed in the SW portion of the county early on and rapidly weakened after reaching about 55 dbz on radar. Several other updrafts attempted to survive over the next hour to no avail. Finally, a storm developed around 7:30pm and actually took on some pretty decent structure for a short while, NWS OUN also issued a SVR on the cell at the time. Figured that with OFB nearby and obs out of PNC and Stillwater showing ESE winds and 80/63 or so, we were in buisness. Well, after about 30min this storm proceeded to rapidly fall apart as well. End of story.

The last 2 days have been very frustrating, convective initiation has taken place yet the convection has failed to mature, making it all the more frustrating especially considering both days had decent/good conditions in place.

Drove back to Wichita and observed some very nice CG along the line of storms in SC KS. I also encountered some pea sized hail while in ICT driving home, some excitment at least!
Originally posted by Aaron Kennedy
Like many others... I ventured out of OUN to check out the multcellular crap-fantastic. Actually, at the time I left, it was 2 isolated storms SW of here with an OFB moving west on a collision course.... how could I not go out!?

End result was a ok shelf cloud/gust front near Pauls Valley and some very nice mammatus back in OUN.


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I'd be repeating Aaron's story, so I'll just quote him above... Squall line, shelf cloud, wind, very small hail, and some nice mammatus... All in 100 miles or so.
I chased in and around Wichita Falls today after busting near Turkey Texas Yesterday. Today wasnt much better but did get some quarter size hail in Wichita Falls. Also had to actually STOP and wait out a traffic jam of idiots blocking U.S. 287. I couldnt believe people were BLOCKING the highway for what was at worst quarter size hail.
I pulled up behind the blockers and hit the horn till people moved out of the way to let the people who wanted to get going do just that.
This traffic jam could have easily been an accident waiting to happen.......Many semis had to hit the brakes to keep from plowing over people. I am wondering if they shouldnt post signs on overpasses now warning people not to block the highways during storms. Emergency vehicles would not have been able to get through if something more serious had been going on.
It was good to get out today and yesterday tho and alot of jovial chasers were out and about. It was nice to meet James from the DFW area as well as a couple other chasers we met in Childress who were from Houston.
Didnt see as many chasers today as most people stayed North.
The cell near Bowie was actually quite pretty but mainly a big shelf cloud and lots of outflow.
Other than 287 being blocked by a bunch of dummies for a bit it was a better chase day than yesterday. Still havent seen that great severe weather day for Western north Texas yet tho. Of course thats been nearly years in the making.
Took my oldest daughter on her first chase today. She can now tell her classmates the definition of "High-Based $h!t..."

Omaha to Spink, SD to Le Mars, IA to back home.

Ran into only one other chaser today--couple of guys in a Colorado Chrysler minivan with a Skywarn sticker, at the big rest area as the corner of I-29 and SD-50. Wandered over to say hi and they wouldn't roll down their windows for anything.

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Four bases lined up, doing nothing...

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Must be 10,000 feet off the ground...

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Tight little precip shaft east of Le Mars.
Chased in South Central Kansas in the Moundridge area. Today was one of those days when everything that could have went wrong did. To keep this short. Within a 30 minute time span I ran over a two way radio, got my windshield cracked by two inch hail, and hit a dog while traveling 65mph. Those things combined with the unimpressive storms themselves made the day one that I will want to soon forget. Though, on the way home I was treated to beautiful double rainbow just outside of Hillsboro, KS.

I cell hopped in South Dakota. Despite the great number of cells to play with, none were very attractive visually
despite dropping copious amounts of hail. The only remotely interesting pic was taken about half way between
Watertown and Sisseton where a lowering developed.
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I was able to test out Pilot MyCast and it worked fine where Verizon offers digital service and best with more bars.
Here is a screen shot of the Grand Forks radar zoomed to the county level.
Stayed in the Nortern part of Oklahoma. More to watch (not saying much) than yesterday's panhandle trip.

Grabed this from video taken just north of Nash , Ok. off hwy 132 about 7:18 pm , just before the cell was severe warned.

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It was a small and snakey but it looked better thru 10x50 binoculars though....

Few other pics from hwy 11 east of 132 .
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have a few other pics up here http://www.stormdriven.com/050805pictures.html More to add later this week
Eric Holthaus and I decided we had studied enough for finals and left Norman at 6:45 pm to head south into the lovely storms 25 kt 500 mb flow produce. We went on I-35 south of the Canadian and then east on HW 59. Eric is selling his car so we had hoped to punch some hail cores, but were stuck with Zdr > 2 precip. However, the CAPE created some strong updrafts for the most electrical storms I've seen this spring. Numerous CG's struck within 100 yards of us along 59 and lots of IC flashes spidered overhead. Around 7:45pm we attempted to catch up to Gary England's Chopper 9 up near Seminole, but the northern storms had punked out at this time as the line accelerated southeast. Got back to Norman around 9:10 pm so I could pretend to study for my radar final again.

Nice contrast for the lead edge of the mutlicellular junk looking east near Byars

Shelf cloud in SE McClain Co.

Sunset, looking west toward the dryline from near Maud

Shout-outs to everyone I met and saw at the Shamrock Best Western on Saturday as well. Despite being a bust, it was a fun day with good company. Special thanks to the Steakhouse north of Shamrock for staying open and accomodating us an hour after close as well....mmm steak tenders!
I intercepted the Central KS complex by mid afternoon near Lyons, KS... where the southwestern-most cell produced periodic high-based funnels as new updrafts propogated south-southwest down the boundary... much like June 11th of last year near Ft. Dodge, IA... but not the same results.

I then went after the the storm immediately east-northeast of it (the McPherson storm) as it approached Newton. There were indications that this storm may produce a brief spin-up tornado before the outflow raced south, but it wasn't to be. West of Newton, I let the shelf cloud roll by me, and the underbelly was simply fantastic! A classic "whale's mouth" shelf cloud. Made for excellent photography.

I then headed south an intercepted a small, LP corkscrew on the northwest side of Wichita. This storm produced quarter-size hail and was pseudo-supercellular in nature before being swallowed up by the northern complex.

Darkness then fell, and on the way home, stopped for a good 30-45 minutes for a spectacular lightning show looking east-southeast from northeast of Kingman.

I observed no tornadoes, but this was quite a satisfying chase.

Mike U

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Left home about 2:00 p.m. with the initial target area of Wakita and vicinity. Stuck around there for a bit before moving off to Anthony, Ks. Watched lots of stuff try to fire off and certainly watched the storms in Kansas (way too far to even think about running to) which were very impressive all day from a distance.

Finally gave up on the Anthony area and started back south watching a small set of Cu and one tower starting to be persistent. Finally set up in Nash around 4:00 and watched as three cells formed and fell apart, merged, blew around for a while. We finally decided we had enough and my partner took off to the north heading back to Blackwell via OK 132 and OK 11. I headed East on US 64 for Ponca City. Lo and behold. About the time I get to Lamont, I hear a severe warning go out on this storm. Golf Ball size hail? Wow! What am I missing here? Turn north on OK 74 to OK 11 then back to Medford and pass through a short round of some large rain drops but no wind or hail. The storm we had watch earlier had finally got it's act together and was pretty well isolated. No lightning to speak of, still pretty high based, Nice Mammatus on the back side. Crescent moon shaped precip region and updraft. Looked really good for a while. We watched as this moved over Medford tracking along OK 11 and the cell finally falling apart. Really interesting show.

Finally got home about 9:30 only to be called out about 11:00 for a severe warning over Medford. I set up by Lamont, OK (US60 and OK74) and waited, and waited. Watched some really active CG's over the Jefferson area and then it just stopped. Waited a bit longer watching new activity develop over the Deer Creek area and decided to call the Station Controller. "Oh, the activity seems to have redevloped over I-35". %@**, I'm way out of place for this. I finally get caught up to the storm on the East Side of Kaw City, near Shidler. Ran into some dime hail and heavy rain and wind up to about 45 mph. Enough of this, I'm tired, have to be at work at 6:00 a.m. and it's 1:30 a.m. at this point. Someone else will get to call it.

Not a "bad" day (any day out chasing is a pretty good one), but certainly could have been a really awesome day if the set up were just a bit different. Passed several chasers north of Nash, heard a few more over 2M. Probably passed a bunch or was passed by more. Answered lots of questions about weather for folks that sopped by and wished several Mother's a very happy Mother's Day. Pretty good day in my book even though it was long and I'm paying for it now.
Originally posted by Jeff Snyder+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Jeff Snyder)</div>
<!--QuoteBegin-Aaron Kennedy
Like many others... I ventured out of OUN to check out the multcellular crap-fantastic. Actually, at the time I left, it was 2 isolated storms SW of here with an OFB moving west on a collision course.... how could I not go out!?

End result was a ok shelf cloud/gust front near Pauls Valley and some very nice mammatus back in OUN.


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I'd be repeating Aaron's story, so I'll just quote him above... Squall line, shelf cloud, wind, very small hail, and some nice mammatus... All in 100 miles or so.[/b]

Ditto for me...except add "large slushy raindrops" for the stuff that fell from the sky.
Scott Eubanks and I waited in Wellington until a shower went up near Medford in extreme northern Oklahoma, just west of the interstate. We met up with Justin Teage and Dave Crowley, along with a few of their friends, and cheered on the small cell as it struggled to move off the dryline and into the deeper moisture east of the highway. It never made it. Eric Nguyen and Scott Currens joined us as we tried to compare the cell with other storms that began weakly--ignoring the fact that every one of those cases had midlevel winds that would at least blow your hat off. :)



Justin Teague and Dave Crowley analyzing the storm and the surface at the same time

The Wichita storm was quite spectacular from our distance, with a symmetrical crown and the first rock hard convective appearance I've seen this year so far. Lets hope this week's airmass is more productive.

On my blog I've posted a few pics of the last several days, the most intersting of which is probably the rooftop dogs overlooking a convenience store in the middle of the Oklahoma panhandle. Yes, that is a sad catch for the first week of May. LOL. More images and full-sized pics also on the blog. Running short of time this morning and housekeeping getting impatient.

We slept at Shane's house again, and met up with the whole crew again for a chase yesterday (Shane, Jo, Chad and Mickey). We went down to Wichita Falls, TX and watched a junky cell develop... And we decided (only me and Kurt, the rest went home) to bail north towards the Ardmore area cells.

We got near Comanche and got EXCELLENT structure... And for about a half hour it literally took on a SPACESHIP shape. We continued east with these storms, and they continued to strengthen and remained severe...

I got some beautiful shots... And some decent video, so the day wasn't a waste! :)
Derek Deroche and I started teh day in SJT since he had to work at WFOSJT untll 2pm. got on a storm just east of SJT and it took on a rather impressive supercellular structure. Turned out real good in timelapse. eventually it went outflow dominant at teh surface and looked like it was falling a part.

As we were heading down the road to position back ahead of it some, we had a total loss of power, as in engine wouldnt run. After sitting there letting the storm overtake us, I hopped out only to see a rainbow. Not the kind in the sky but the kind when gasoline floats over water. I had derek turn the key to the run position and fuel shot out from underneath the vehicle. THE FUEL LINE FELL OFF THE TRUCK!!!! Like came disconnected at the filter. i hopped under the rig and snapped it back on as it was just one of those snap on connectors with the locking tabs. my theory is a rock from the gravel road we were on flew up and hit the tab, releasing the line.

So on the road again we encounter about quarter sized hail and punch back out ahead of the storm in the forward flank. At this time a cell merger had taken place and our storm, now in Mason county TX, was a big fat honking HP beast. By this time we were all up in the hill country and visibility was poor along with the crap road networks. We stopped in Fredericksburg and let the storm over take us again and then headed home.

all in all a Great structure day with some interesting turns of events. Also saw one really nice, persistient wall cloud early on.
May 8th - Mother's Day - Well I didn't really intend to chase this day as it is Mother's Day.
Fortunately since I headed to Childress the night before that put me hanging out with Mom that night
and early lunch with the folks in Stamford the next day. After that I planned on heading back to
Austin until the next round. Second thought maybe I should have stayed up there. Anyway I got as
far south as Brownwood and was getting tired so I grabbed some java from the Starbucks and found me
a nice broadband wifi connect. Low and behold there was a torn watch for south Tx as I fiddled; and
checking SPC's MesoAnalysis I saw that a lot of parameters were getting high along the developing
dryline mostly N/S through Abilene, etc. This explained the beginnings of towering cu I had seen as
I left Abilene to the west. Also there was already a storm a couple of counties southwest of
Brownwood...."hmm a diversion". But since I hadn't any luck the day before I felt I wanted to at
least see a storm. I might note that it appeared that while some supercell parameters were ok along
the dryline, the tornado parameters weren't too impressed. As I recall the 850 winds were the wrong
direction, and I believe the surface also (but I forget). Regardless the lower level SRH was not too
good in this area to generate torns. However, then again I started thinking boundaries and I
thought 'What the heck'. Actually I now recall the storm sw of Brownwood for awhile was showing a
connection to the westward boundary on doppler as it pulled to the east. This seemed to be causing
intensification and Threatnet was showing an area of rotation with I believe 92 mph winds. It did
appear however the storm was almost pulled free of the boundary so I was concerned I missed the best
opportunity on this storm.

I went southwest of Brownwood and took a farm road due west for a direct intercept with the area of
circulation. Soon I began seeing the base and I switched on the dashcam. Contrast was kind of poor
from the angle of sun and moisture in the air; however as I approached I soon found there was a very
large wallcloud and it appeared to extend all the way to the ground! I'm not really sure what this
was all about since I was still far away. By the time I got near the wallcloud - it still looked
nice but had lifted at least several hundred feet above the ground. It also had the nearby
downdraft pulling precip over in the direction of the inflow making a bit of a rain foot as far as I
could tell. This was a text book example. I shot some pics also. Anyway long story short, as I
feared, it appeared in fact that it had broken off from the boundary and that was weakening the
wallcloud inflow area. It continued to rise and diminish. I got out and took a number of stills on
tripod though shooting due west.

At one point I looked due north under the dark anvil I was under and in the distant blue I could see
another supercellular structure storm growing crisp bright white. I shot some pictures of it was
well. Then I started heading back east and for home. I got about 5 miles and Threatnet lit up the
county a couple counties north with a Tornado warning! Apparently that storm was really getting
after it. I pondered this as it was the wrong day and technically I wasn't even going to chase. Oh
well, I didn't ponder it long and set an intercept plot for Tuscola and Taylor county south of
Abilene where the tornado was supposed to approach. I made good time, and then going through
Coleman I was pulled over by the local cop as I exited town. I was apparently going 5 or so over.
I was perplexed because I know how Coleman is and the whole way through town I was very careful to
maintain proper speed. I think what happened was I thought the last sign I saw was the last one and
I was about to hit the 70mph sign and started speeding up in anticipation of it. I really didn't
intend to violate. Anyway, I explained all this and he asked where I was going, etc. I told him I
was a spotter headed for the tornado warning in Taylor county. I'm a chaser but technically a
spotter also as I do call in threats to the public if I see them. He let me go with a warning and -
I really appreciated that. Along the way to Tuscola / Lawn I shot some pics of the supercell out the
window as I drove. It was a really large supercell now, and sported some classic features.

Anyway that 5 minutes is 5 I could have used. I arrived at Lawn the same time the new warning said
the tornado was supposed to be at Lawn. I began seeing an area over the road initially 2 to 4 miles
distant that looked like a high base lowering but it had a yellowish / white extension from the
inflow area all the way to ground. Near ground it looked more intense with possibly some dust mixed
in. It looked pretty intense and not something you'd want to drive into. I didn't really
understand it though as it didn't look like a tornado to me and precip isn't really supposed to fall
from an inflow area typically. However it was in fact precip falling / wrapping the inflow area.
As I got closer I could see a lowered funnel / nipple shape extending above inside the "curtainy"
cloud of yellowish white precip. I couldn't make out a central funnel though extending all the way
to ground to classify any tornado. That is why I wish I had the extra 5 minutes because I
apparently ended up catching it right while it was weakening. Maybe there was a torn earlier - not
sure. If anyone was on this storm let me know. Anyway, there certainly wasn't while I was on it.
The yellowish white color was from the sunlight shining through the precip wrapped around the

I shot some good pictures of this area, many came out pretty cool looking with blue above, white
cloud below, and the entire inflow area with circular banding tapering to the bottom. This was also
the storm they were showing video of last night on TWC with baseball size hail dropped. Not sure
who sent the video of the pea hail in - it wasn't me. Then there was video of someone holding the
baseball size stones in hand. After that I shot back south to Austin, and took some more photogenic
shots along the way.

I'd like to post some of the pics, but not sure if I will have the time with more stuff to chase. It
may have to wait for a dead week.
I decided to chase central Kansas on Sunday and was on the McPherson storm pretty much from the begining. I wasn't expecting to see much, I really just wanted to get out and practice taking pictures with my camera. The storm never was very strong. It had an elevated base with no rotation and very little vertical motion. After farting around for a little bit and trying to get pictures of storm structure the weather radio went off and I assumed it was another severe warning for one of the three cells that were running NE to SW with the McPherson storm (the one I was on) being the middle one. The new warning was a tornado warning for the storm I was on. I thought that surely the warning had to be for the storm to the NE which had been showing a little rotation on XM. After checking the map though I realized it was for my storm. I was sittiing in the core right next to the updraft base checking out the hail size the storm had. I quickly drove East out of the core to get a better look at the updraft base. Here is the view of the base shortly after the tornado warning was issued.


There was no rotation and very little vertical motion. I called the station to see what was going on and apparently the storm was showing some sort of appendage and rotation for a short time on radar. I told them the storm didn't look like it had any tornado potential. I know they have to go off of what the radar is telling them when they issue tornado warnings, but one check with a chaser in the field would have cleared things up. The storm had shown no indications of being anywhere close to putting down a tornado. I stayed on the storm till a little after 6 and then I started heading back towards Wichita hoping to get some sunset pictures of the storms from a distance. Here are a few other pictures I took of the storm.



Not much to add that the other folks from Norman haven't already said.
I left Norman about 5:15 headed out on Hwy 9 with a target of Chickasaw in mind to try to intercept the cell coming out of Comanche Co. I decided to take the scenic route down Hwy 9/62 through Blanchard to stay off the turnpike. Got some good vid and stills of the shelf cloud coming through and saw a couple possible very quick gustnadoes just south of Blanchard. Turned east on 19 and went through Alex but the storms were way too far east, so I decided to come on back to Norman. The best part of the evening was that great mammatus show at sundown.
And now, back to math and geology. Good luck to all on finals!!!
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