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9/14/05 REPORTS: S Plains

Shane Adams

Jo and I convoyed with Chad Lawson, who took one of our co-workers, along with his girlfriend and sister. We left OUN around noon headed to Altus. It didn't take long to clear the canopy of clouds, as the entire SW OK area was clearing nicely. After a brief gas stop in Altus, we decided to head to our original target town of Quanah. We went through town, and took up a position alongside TX6, about ten miles south of town. We waited and waited, noting the obvious cap in place well north of us while the boundary south and southeast of us was producing a long line of turkey towers. Eventually we notcied what seemed to be development west of us, and a call from Mickey Ptak confirmed this. We were hot and getting tired of standing around, so we decided to go after the storms to our southwest. We went south to Crowell, then blasted west on US70 towards Paducah. We eventually came upon three cells which were in various stages of development, and at one time it looked as if one of the original two storms had split to make the third. In any case, we targeted the middle storm, which had the closest thing we could discern to supercell structure. We made it to Paducah, then moved south out of town on US83. As we drove south, rotation was clearly evident in the lowering/wallcloud, although the storm overall was a big hailer and outflow-dominant. Still, broadscale rotation persisted, so we continued our pusuit south. Finally I couldn't stand it any longer, and pulled over to shoot still video. The rotating wallcloud/storm was appx five miles south of Paducah, maybe 1-2 miles west of US83. The rotation was rapid, and very apparent....moreso than I expected upon first seeing the storm's overall structure. I opened the car door and stood on the railings to shoot video (CGs crashing everywhere), while this intense rotation continued. The speed of the rotation was fast enough that I expected a dust whirl at any time to form, but the lowering had that look to it. It was that kind of "look" where you have a ring of cloud rotating rapidly, but the center is hollowed out, kinda like a doughnut, kinda like a storm that spins like crazy but doesn't want to make a tornado. I hoped against hope that we'd get a brief spin-up, but it just wasn't to be; the storm quickly gusted out, and we quickly fled south, thinking we'd given ourselves enough time to beat the core. We were just about to clear the original core when a second one developed quickly southwest of us and buried us. Nothing severe, but spectacular rainbands twirling and whirling across the road all around us as the storm burped out. Kinda gave us butterlies, very cool.

Anyway, we then hit Guthrie and took US82 east, and spent the next hour flying back east through benjamin and Seymour and then Mabelle, shooting NNW on US283. By the time we'd made this move, it was clear the show was over, everywhere. We drove to Vernon, then Altus, where we stopped for a final gas-up. Mick called and wanted to rendevouz near Snyder (he'd been held up at work and was out late today), and we picked him up along US62. Our three car convoy slowly trudged home up I-44 through heavy rain.

Not a bad chase and reward today, and it was all done the old-fashioned way. No nowcasting, no scanner traffic, no NOAA. It was hard as hell and frustrating often, but felt great to get right in front of the day's possible-best rotation with nothing but eyes and guts.

Aside: Jo saw a classic "past meets future" scene today. She laughed suddenly while we were heading west early in the chase, and I asked her what was the deal. She had seen a classic-looking farmer (plaid shirt, worn jeans, John-Deere green hat) standing in a field next to his tractor....talking on his cell phone.
 
Brief chase report and pics are online at
http://www.texhomastormchasers.com/91405.html

Chased with Robert Sternadel with a total chase of 149 miles. Storms were too many and too outflowish but had some amazing structure and some rotation and a couple gustnadoes one of which was decent sized. We hung out in and around the Lake Kemp & Mabelle areas msot of the chase before retreating South of Mankins to take some lightning pics. Still thundering here as of 11:10pm with a tstorm warning for Baylor which may move this way. If I get anymore lightning pics ill add them tomorrow.[/url]
 
Gabe Garfield, Dan Dawson, and I chased the western north TX / southwestern OK storms today. From a parameter / index standpoint, I was optimistic about the chance of tornadoes, and even the possibility of a significant tornado given the very strong low-level shear along and immediately north/west of the front (300-500 0-3km SRH), combined with the very strong deep-layer shear (50-90kts) and moderate instability (3000-4000 sbCAPE). We sat down in Altus for a while, while storms developed west of Paducah (Shane's storms). Seeing no real signs of agitated Cu north of the Red River, we opted to head south to Quanah. Surface obs showed higher T-Tds and higher LCLs to the south of the Red River, so we knew we didn't want to get too far into TX. Seeing no other storms nearby, and given the northeast motion of the storm cluster, we opted to head south to Crowell. By this time, the storms that were originally near Dickens/Guthrie/Paducah had congealed into an MCS-like convective mess. So, we checked radar in Crowell, and noticed a couple of more discrete storms near and north of Childress. Decision time... Head north to get into the awesome shear environment along and north of the Red River, or head east / south to try for a 'tail-end charlie' with the convective mess to our west and southwest. Given the bow echo shape of the convection to our southwest, and the seemingly favorable environment to the north, we headed back north out of Crowell to Quanah. There was a pretty nice supercell with decent mesocyclone near CDS, moving east-northeast. Unfortunately, convection was pressing northeastward to the east of this storm, which we knew would result in the demise of the CDS storm.

We ended up meandering to Vernon and north ot Frederick, all while hoping the quasi-linear storm mode would give in and give us at least one discrete supercell. Alas, this was not to be. We ate at a Chili's in Lawton before heading back to OUN.

Despite the favorable conditions along and immediately north of the Red River, I think the weak/absent cap and the fact that storm motion was nearly parallel to the front resulted in a quasi-linear mess. This was made more disheartening when I looked at 0z data and model initializations, and noticed that 850mb was a good 10kts stronger than forecast. Earlier today, I thought the weak 850mb flow would be one of the more important negatives to the event, though this turns out not to have been the case (given the 20-25kts instead of forecast 10-15kts). Several storms clustered up right away and moved nearly parallel to the front. This resulted in convective seeding, which was made worse by the relative lack of a cap. A high-shear, moderate instability set-up put to waste...
 
North Texas, SW Okla. chase

Hey!!! Been awhile since I posted last...Had a great chase today with Hank Baker. We left his workplace around 1330cdt and decided to head south on Hwy 81 thru Chickasha. We broke thru the boundary south of Chickasha around 1400, temps quickly rose from 73F to 87F with only a light and variable wind. I was enthused that visually you could see the lower 1km of the atmosphere had a moderate flow from aprox. 180-200deg. at around 25kts...evidence that the LLJ was on the increase, but the surface wind was next to nil. A mid level scattered deck was moving from close to 240deg so shear was definitely there.

Hank and I targeted the area from west of Lawton to Waurika as earler it seemed the best moisture convergence and greatest 1km shear was in this area, but then everything pointed toward Altus based on the SPC mesoanalysis site. We began proceeding west on Hwy 70 and heard of the Tornado Watch issued. Hank had the Barron's threat net up and running and we were becoming more interested in the cells developing below the Red River...despite swearing we would stay north in Oklahoma...we decided to head south into Texas and investigate. As we passed thru Quanah we headed south on Hwy 6 to intercept the now severe warned cell which was quickly becoming HP in nature...halfway to Crowell, we got a visual on a very menacing shelf cloud...the storm was very dark, and the leading edge had lots of turbulence with small localized areas of moderate rotation, we got out a couple of times to take video and stills...this storm looked very much like the May 13th storms east of Plainview TX...we did see a couple of gustnadoes..but no legit funnel clouds...one interesting note, inflow picked up (about 12-15kts) about 15mi. south of Quanah just before the low, ragged shelf cloud moved in. The temperature actually increased to 92F when this happened..time was aprox. 1800cdt but I'm not sure.

We stayed barely ahead of the encroaching gust front..with fresh memories of how close I came to trashing my truck on May 13th..Hank and I baled out with great haste to stay infront of the impending wind and hail. We ended up on Hwy 82 near Vera..once again we let the outflow boundary catch up...another interesting observation, the outflow, which reached about 40-50kts was initially very warm, almost hot, then after a couple of minutes, it cooled down. I thought that was unusual in itself..
Any ideas on what could have caused that? Maybe a heat burst?

I wanted to hunker down in Seymour and get some wind/hail video but according to Threat Net, the storm was rapidly becoming OFD then promptly turned into a POS. So we pretty much called it a chase. One funny note, On hwy 82 halfway back to Wichita Falls..we stumbled across a camel farm...that proved to be an interesting backdrop to the spectacular lightning that was forking across the sky with some very cool anvil crawlers.

All in all, a very nice chase...I just returned from Fla. the night before...flew into OKC with a great lightning show then, although the bumpy ride had me almost wearing my testicles as a bowtie a few times.
But anyway...not a shred of convection the entire week I was down there.
Tampa as of yesterday was off to the driest start to ANY September on record..a miesely .02 so far...so today was a real treat...the lightning was some of the best I've seen all year. No hail was encountered at all. Talked with Dave Ewoldt and he saw some OU chasers with a back window busted out somewhere close to the OK/TX border. Could that of been Shane&company?...Also, admittedly, sort of a pleasant change with so few chasers I saw on the road today... none the less glad that a few made it out anyhow....

I'm ready for a few chases this fall before getting geared up for winter.

As Always.
 
9/14

Not a bad chase for September. Weak cap meant everything went up at the same time when the upper level support emerged in the late afternoon. Justin Walker, Jana Lesak, and I watched some great rotation and an awesome RFD wrap around and eventually cut off the middle storm south of Paducah. Unfortunately there wasn't another opportunity for a RFD cycle because of the major storm interaction. RFD punched through quickly which could have been due to the weak low level flow. We went south to Guthrie and headed east to Benjamin after noticing everything gust out. The colors were magnificent blues, greens, and aquas. We went north, parallel to the gust front, out of Benjamin and watched red dust get blown out ahead of the storms. Saw a really cool gustnado and then a possible brief tornado/large gustnado approximately 1/4-1/2 mile away. We have looked over two camcorder videos and concluded it was in fact a tornado as the condensation stretched from the cloud to the ground. I don't have any video posted but some video grabs.

http://weather.ou.edu/~aatkins/chasing.html
 
Theme of the day: water, water, water, water, water, water, water, water.......... I honeslty cannot remember a day in my life that i have seen so much water at one time from weather. I chased with my good friend Dave Wagener. Thanks Billy for the nowcasting today, you came through when i needed you most. So basically hauled *** down to Altus. BTW, might i also add that this days chase resembled for me at least a carbon copy of the June 12 right down to the roads and weather. That was one thing that boggled my mind the entire chase was how exactly the chase was to June 12'ths. As w/ June 12, everything gusted out to crap. Basically just intercepted the cell around 5ish in Quannah. Nice huge anvil coming into it ala June 12th. Dark skies and heavy rain as I made my way through Quannah. I was chasing w/o radar had to rely on my nowcaster for whether or not the white wall directly in front of me was hail or not. Shane, as you know the most, I cannot take hail on my car. Anywho there was a break in the action as I continued south of Quannah on highway 6. With cells directly to my west and SW ganging up on me, it became a race to see who could get to Cowell first, the only real place in the middle of nowhere that i knew would have shelter. Might I add here that during the "break" in the precip btwn Quannah and Cowell, I see the only thing I saw today that had any semblence of being rotation or worth pulling over for. Unfotunately I couldnt pull over b/c I was stuck btwn a rock and hard place with a core of I dont know what to my SW approaching. What it was that I saw was a lowering base that had some signutures characteristics associated w/ wall clouds. It got me excited. But as mentioned time was not on my side at that moment. I ended up meeting a large storm in Crowell that was definately severe. Immediately I sought protection under a drive in dinner type place. For those of you that have gone through Crowell before you know where im talking about. It was good that we sought protection at this dinner, not from hail b/c there really wasnt any but from the extreme straight line winds that bombarded the town for 10-15 minutes straight without let up accompanied the entire time by massive downpour that never was vertical. It was all I could do to get out of town w/out floating away with the town square flooded out. At that point I discussed the situation w/ my nowcaster and came to the decision that only choice was to head back home b/c everything was just messy. Of course that ment going back through what i just went through. I made it to Altus when things just decided to go completely nuts. Basically I went from a really nice sunset to nightime in very short distance and never saw light of day again. Insanely massive raincore on 62 the 35 miles btwn Altus and Lawton. One would think that after driving about 10-15 miles you would get out of the core of the rain, there would be a let up. Well, NO, wrong. The ENTIRE stretch of road from Altus to Lawton resembled a Cat 1 hurricane. I never once saw the large hills and mtns that lie right on that stretch of highway. I wasnt able to see more than 2 white road strips in front of me. Driving became a joke. There were two or three moments on the drive to Lawton that I dont think I was in contact w/ the Earth if you know what I mean. I think one of those moments occured just as I was passing Channel 5. As we got closer to Lawton somebody decided there wasnt enough fun and added the deadly CG. Filling up in Lawton was small adventure. No sooner did I get in my car then a CG strike hit within a footballs kick of the filling station and almost instantaneously all seconday power in Lawton was lost. Back on the road, finding I-44 was a chore. Driving on it was no better. As I got on the Bailey Turnpike my car decided it was time to skip like a heartbeat or a breath. It would lurch kinda. My friend told me my car wasnt getting enough air intake, TOO MUCH WATER. About 20miles to Chickasha we came out the front side, thankfully. I might add I had hand held wx radio on the entire way back and was very surprised no Flash Flood warning was issued for cells in SW Oklahoma. What I experienced bordered close to "two of the same animal" or "women and children first" type stuff.

Well this being a slight to average risk day of tornadoes on top of being September, I really wasnt disappointed. I didnt leave town really expecting to see a tornado. I was, however, expecting things to develop in a better way than they did today. I didnt expect the "mesoscale mess", as it was put in an SPC MD, right away. I expected at least one or two discrete cells and prob 1 or 2 tornadoes to occur. But like i said, w/ the light surface winds, the year it has been thus, and it being September, my expectations for the day were low. But overall I had fun. Didnt expect to have to make immediate preparations to pontoon my way back to Lawton when I left on this chase, so that was a surprise.
Well Fall has only just slightly begun, who knows what lies ahead.
Will be at the SPC tomorrow, so will have plenty of stories to tell.
 
Left at 4pm from OKC due to an audit here at work and made the target of Fredrick, OK because of the building cu fields and convergence I saw on the sat imagery before leaving work. I reached Lawton around 5:30 and found some wifi at a hotel while noticing the anvils of the storms down in TX. Pulled up radar and realize that this was going to be a bust unless a cell could form ahead of the semi MCS look a like. I was not going to get my hopes up high for it though considering the convective temp was at 90 and the temps in Lawton, Fredrick, and Altus were dancing around 80-85 deg due to the overcast anvils of the storms in TX. I called Chad, Shane, and group to tell them about a cell that had a TVS on radar that was located on the north end of the “blobâ€￾ with the somewhat of a hook echo (if you can call it that) a few miles SW of Qannah, TX. Kept them up to date until I was approached by the manager of the hotel and was told to leave. Ooops… After that I decided head towards Snyder and film some of the awesome anvil crawlers and CG.

All in all was not what I was expecting but I take what I can get and make the best of what I have in front of me. As Shane mentioned I met up with their convoy and convoyed with them until my bladder suddenly decided it was full and I then left them in the dust on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike.

Mick
 
I went out yesterday and took along my friend Chris who is a sophomore at OU. Due to class, and the fact that I had to take the bus (which can be a bit slow), I kind of got a late start. I wanted to make it all the way down to the Childress area since the triple point was in that vicinity, but that would have been a bit difficult since I got somewhat of a late start.

So I drove to Lawton, and headed towards Altus on 62. From there, I cut south on 183 and headed down past Frederick to Vernon, TX. Saw some mammatus, some decent structure, and some really nice lightning (including some spectacular anvil crawlers). However, by the time we reached Vernon, everything was starting to go linear and turn into an MCS, so we decided to head back to Oklahoma. The lightning show on the way back was incredible!! Stopped in Lawton and had dinner with Jeff, Gabe, and Dan. Many thanks to them for providing me with some information (such as radar updates), as I didn't have any means of obtaining data or anything like that myself while I was on the road.

While there were no tornados in this chase, I was still very excited to be out there because this was actually my first US chase of the year. Hopefuly this fall will provide a few days with really good tornado potential. It's great to be around so much convection again!
 
I left Atchison, KS at 7:15 am with the initial target of Altus, OK. Around 2:30 pm, I received a call from Eric Nguyen and Amos Magliocco. They were targeting the triple point at Childress. At 4:00 pm, I stopped at a rest stop outside of Quanah and used the free WiFi to check data. Convective initiation was occurring along the dryline between Crosbyton and Dickens. I targeted this convection and intercepted a classic supercell at Dumont. This cell quickly transitioned into an HP and weakened. As the HP weakened, a new supercell formed over Guthrie. It was moving NE into a void in the road network so I decided to flank it. I went north to Paducah, east to Crowell, and south on HW 6 toward Truscott. NE of Foard City I drove through the heaviest part of the core. As I passed just east of Foard City the winds shifted form NW to N and then to NE. I knew the meso was close but I was still in heavy precip and wasn't sure if it was completely rapped in rain. The winds increased to 30-40mph out of th e NE. Just as I made the decision to flee to the north, the wallcloud became visible through the rain. It was to my SW and moved just south of my location. The low hanging wallcloud then moved to the east of my location and developed strong rotation within several funnels. At 6:08 pm a loud waterfall/jet engine sound was coming from the now bowl shaped lowering with periodic funnels on its NW side. Moments later, 60-80mph wet RFD started rocking my Chevy S-10 while obscuring the tornadic circulation from view.

During the event, I was about 80% confident a tornadic circulation was on the ground. After reviewing the video, I am now convinced that it was in fact a tornado. The video shows funnels repeatedly forming on the NW side of the meso then wrapping into the middle of the meso. Although none of them were clearly visible on the ground, I think the half way to the ground/conservation of angular momentum rule applies.

video captures: http://community.webshots.com/album/452866638fXyQWZ

Scott C.
 
It was a toss-up between Ophelia and TX for me... Ophelia being closer and more reliable of a target, but probly pretty boring... ::yawn:: So yeah, I utilized 82 westward until I got just about to Guthrie. Eh, it wasn't anything more than some nice greenage, a little hail, and a nice shelf but it beats subsidence-of-death here in VA. SDS sucks, :[edit]:
 
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