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6/16/05 REPORTS: Plains

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Shane Adams

Worked today so I couldn't quite make the preferred target of SW KS. I started off on I-35 and OK51, then after some nowcasting by Mickey Ptak, decided to head northwest towards the distant development there. I finally ended up in Fairview as an Independence Day caliber mothership meso/gustfront beasty came roaring into town from the north and northwest. I found a spot in town behind a building and rolled video as the gusfront rolled through....not really much to speak of. As usual, I parked myself in the path of a severe-warned storm (advertised as 80mph wind/baseball hail-producing) and got no severe weather at all. So then I sat and waited about half an hour, deciding if I should try and start home (having no back glass at all) with my vidcam in the car. I finally got tired of Fairview, said screw it, and left for home. Listened to Gary England and a host of his StormTrackers doing live play-by-play of the event as I rolled in from the west. I got my best winds between Fairview and Watonga heading home, was pretty disappointed in the event overall.
Had I been smart, I would have left a whole lot earlier than I did and picked up the storms in the Alva area. As it wwas, I left home about 7:00 and arrived in the Cherokee, OK area in the 8:00ish area. Watching the storm while driving up to it, was pretty unremarkable except that the dark grey extended across my view. I didn't really see much of the storm until I got just a few miles outside Cherokee. What I did see was a massive rain shield west. There was some upward motion to the clouds ahead of the main storm, but again nothing of note.

I did manage to pass Shane. He was heading toward the Lambert area as I was heading into Cherokee for gas. I think I had the same intention that he did though. After fueling, I moved off to the area just west of Dacoma. This was a mistake. It got real dark, real fast. Even with the amount of lightning, it was as black as the ace of spades! This was the first warning sign I was in the wrong place. The second was the wind starting to pick up rapidly. I pulled into a field cutoff and hunkered down for the ride. Rain starting to come down fast and hard and the winds are gusting to about 45 with sustained of 30. Wham! Winds jump to sustained of 60 and gusts at 74 mph!Can't see 100 yards for the rain and junk mixed in. Pieces of straw (Wheat stubble?) are now part of my windshield wipers. It's time to move! I head back down the way I came going much more carefully than before. Decide just east of Dacoma I don't want to go north as that looks pretty well laden with hail, so south is the only option. About 4 miles down the road (still paved thank goodness) I'm still getting 50 mph winds and it's still dark, but I can see the edges of the storm. What's that? Power flashes! Just to my south and west are a series of tranformer/power line flashes. Well, there goes the south option. With the conditions as they are, I'm not running blind into whatever is causing those. Turn around back to the north to deal with the known issues of hail and wind rather than continue south into what could be a tornado (no reports btw, but why chance it?). Finally get back to US 60 and hightail it for Jet and Nash.

After the "E" ride, I did cut south to Enid on US 81, the get in behind the storm front and found lots of rain, local streets flooding, and some 45 mph gusts. A tremendous amount of CG lightning, most of it fairly close. Continued to follow the storm through Stillwater and Cleveland before calling it a night.
I got up yesterday to a MDT risk, and Kurt was gonna go anyways, so instead of staying home at Shane's place, I decided to take off with him along with J.R. Hehnly and Chad Lawson. We got to Woodward, OK by around 4:00 PM very healthy TCU began to form along the boundary in NW OK, and quickly became supercells. We took after the closest one, and sat and watched a wall cloud (weakly rotating at first, then it REALLY started to pick up rotation) in the distance. A few funnels were produced by the WC, but no tornadoes that I could see. We continued along with the now LINE of storms, and watched another weakly rotating wall cloud pick up some dust. Kurt called that one a tornado, but I dunno what to call it, I still think it was RFD. Anyways, decent day with some decent photo ops....




Got some more, but didn't have time to get them up. I still haven't even gotten my 12-June TX page up on my site as of yet. Hopefully will have time to upload some stuff soon, now that I have found a WI-FI connection here in a STEAMING Laundary Room at Shane's apartment complex, lol.
I headed West out of Wichita around 1 for DDC. Stopped in Pratt for gas and data and bumped into Jim Reed and Jon Davies. I had read several of Davies papers and had never met him before so I was pretty pumped about that. After that I started driving West towards DDC. I was watching towers go up just across the Oklahoma border the whole way there. I thought about just dropping South to storms I watched go up, but I wanted to go into DDC to top off the gas tank and take one last look at data first. Once I got out of DDC I headed South and got on the farthest SE storm. From that point on I kept leap frogging storms back to the West in hope of something better. I never saw much other than gust fronts followed by blinding rain. I did get into some golfball size hail at one point. Not a very exciting chase, but it was still nice to get out.
Well my experience with this particular system was a little more action packed for me compared to some of the other's posting here. Started to actually get on this storm in Cherokee, (hello to my family there and in Ingersol). (did anyone else notice the wheatfiled on fire to the west?) Me and my chase partner were heading west towards Alva following a KOCO chaser for a bit. I had him pull off on the side of the road for a bit so I could try to get some shots of lightning when we noticed and area of interest to the northwest. Watching some little fingers dipping in out for a bit I made one bad mistake that I kick my self for. I forgot to pay attention to what was going on around me! I had Jason "chase partner" start driving on in towards Alva were Mistake number one begins. Hit by a very non freindly straight out of the north wind with the whole blinding rain and small hail bit. Making our way through the big metropolis of Alva, I had Jason turn south onto highway 281 to try to out run the monsoon and wind to get back infront of everything. Having my laptop open and watching radar would have come in handy about now! "DING" Begin mistake number two! As we are hauling tail south and back out of the wind and rain and hail, we are second in a little convoy of cars heading south. Jason took the lead and punched it to get further south. (remember the laptop statement!) As we are hauling it south I am noticing an area of rising air were the clouds just form were there was nothing. And this appears to be rotating! Not sure if a wall cloud at this point or just the indication of a meso I last remember seeing on radar. Can't go north, don't wanna go south, no east road, and west is not an option, so south it is! Upon heading further south (right after the dot on the map of Hopeton)we got hit with winds out of the west which might I add is were I never thought I start hollering DEBRIS! Dirt, tumble weeds, rocks and even some peices of tree's which we plowed over, came flying out of the west. The people that were behind us I hope were ok. Dirt in the air made sight of them a memory! We hit 45 east and headed away from the area of rotation. As we pass Helena ( i think it is) and then Carmen, tornado warning for southern Woods county! Would explain some lowerings I seen courtesy the lightning. Fast foward to our little trip to and through Enid heading south out of Enid towards Hennessey were we run into ANOTHER event of blinding rain and wind!
Jason not knowing the road south started to get a little tense. (mainly cause the road kept vanishing in the rain.) Pulling over at a Sinclair station (under new managment?!) we took refuge along the east wall of the station along with a car with a family in it and several trucks. This is were we got to play witness to 85 mile an hour winds and Lighting striking the transformer on the pole by the station which I might add had my utmost attention! After the 10 to 15 minute wind event it let up were we made our way back to OKC. Needless to say, I hope this wasn't the last of severe weather season but if it was I am glad it went out with a bang for me! For anyone thinking I am the dreaded YAHOO chaser. I am not. I did make some mistakes but it just makes me more determined to read up on some material I have found off of this website and others to better educate myself. I do pay attention to the law and yield to any emergency vehicals that may need to get by! On that note I hope we do have some more chase events this year and hope to meet some more chasers wether it be here or out on the road. Be safe everyone!
Jay Antle and I ended our 2005 chase vacation on a good note. We intercepted 3 supercell thunderstorms near the Southwest KS-Eastern OK Panhandle border on Thursday 16th. We left GLD and decided to head down to DDC for a mid-afternoon data stop. Midday short-fuse composite (weather.gov/ddc/short.html) was pointing at far NW OK area south of DDC right along the state border for several hours... and it was based of this information that we pretty much committed to heading south of Dodge. Hard towers went up to our SSW through WSW by the time we got to Dodge. We stopped by my place for data real quick, only to find my damn cable was out. So much for that idea... we had to get back on the road.

We targetted the storm with a developing overshoot southwest of Englewood. We had to punch through some marginally severe hail, but after emerging on the south side we had a great view of the supercell updraft base along with a western supercell updraft over Meade County. We watched these two storms from a high spot on US283 right along the state line (maybe a mile south into OK) for a good while. Our eastern storm was becoming increasingly stretched out/linear and outflow dominant, yet producing Softballs near Ashland to our northeast.

<img src=http://www.underthemeso.com/albums/2005jun16/DSC46671.sized.jpg>

We had northeast outflow winds at our location, but what was interesting was the fact that the winds were actually fairly warm. These winds became more easterly and ESE as the southeastern Meade Co. storm to our northwest began to really crank. A very organized wall cloud developed... classic blocky one at that... with relatively modest rotation... nothing violent, however. We let this action approach our location from the northwest...and the wall cloud itself began to take on a liberty bell appearance on the downshear side with great upward motion. Transparent rotating rain curtains were developing signifiying the presence of a "radar hook" and a classic clear slot developed.

<img src=http://www.underthemeso.com/albums/2005jun16/DSC47051.sized.jpg>

Stacatto CGs then began bolting near us (deja vu of June 12th in Kent Co. TX) and we had to get back in the car. Rotation increased further and we did get a persistent pencil-shaped funnel looking almost due west... probably a couple miles south of the state border north of Knowles. This funnel was in the right spot in the occluded wall cloud with wrapping rain curtains. In my book, based on recent events in Trego County 6/9 captured by Jim Leonard on I-70 (rotating rain curtain invisible multi-vortex tornado) this was probably a weak tornado... I'll leave it to Jay to review the video.

<img src=http://www.underthemeso.com/albums/2005jun16/DSC47251.sized.jpg>

It didn't take long for the storm to gust out with small dust foots and the like. We also heard of the tornado reports near Knowles that Rob Satkus mentioned after the storm had "gusted out" and believe these were only gustnadoes/dust foots and nothing more.

<img src=http://www.underthemeso.com/albums/2005jun16/DSC47291.sized.jpg>

Based on the evolution to outflow dominance, we decided to head west on 64 to catch the Sublette-Tice tornadic supercell. It also gusted out somewhat, however, it developed excellent supercell updraft structure once again as it approached our location near Forgan, OK.

<img src=http://www.underthemeso.com/albums/2005jun16/DSC47531.sized.jpg>
<img src=http://www.underthemeso.com/albums/2005jun16/DSC47781.sized.jpg>

This would be the last supercell intercept of the chase, and a close to one awesome chase vacation that included tornado intercepts from Montana south to Texas.

Mike U
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