chasing NOT so HOT spots

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well about a month ago i started the chasing hot spots thread, now lets turn it around and talk about where a storm always seems to go nuts in the worst possible area or where the best conditions are and your like no way!!!! I think my number one choice would the Mc Alester Oklahoma area especially chasing east into Northern Arkansas
 
I agree about Northern Arkansas. Too many hills, lush vegetation and trees, humid too.

I would have to say my least favorite place to chase in the Plains is the southern Permian Basin of Texas. Those towns like Pecos, Fort Stockton, there is just not much out there. It has a real isolated no-man's land feeling. There's no rhyme or reason for my choice weather-wise, just the feel of the place.

In the desert, my choice of not-so-hot spots is easy...anything in the borderlands. I have my run of millions of square miles of good chase land throughout AZ and New Mex...there is no reason to run after lightning in the borderlands. Until things cool off down there (smuggling, drugs, illegal entry), the entire length of the US/Mexico border is off my list. I'd hate to get in the way of anybody doing their job down there either, after all, they don't know what my little SUV is doing running around the desert at night. I'll have to look through my photo album of past trips to the borderlands and call it good for the time being, maybe someday I'll be able to feel free about chasing storms there again. There are so many other incredibly beautiful places to chase here though, staying away from the borderlands is not really a problem.
 
well about a month ago i started the chasing hot spots thread, now lets turn it around and talk about where a storm always seems to go nuts in the worst possible area or where the best conditions are and your like no way!!!! I think my number one choice would the Mc Alester Oklahoma area especially chasing east into Northern Arkansas
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One mans trash is another mans treasure, I guess...my most favorite chase ever was May 11, 1992...Terry Kern and I saw a couple of large tornadoes near McAlester, including an F4 that passed just north of Kiowa, south of McAlester. Also had good luck on May 20, 2001 near Enterprise and May 26, 1997 near Okmulgee, another not so favorable eastern area filled with trees and hills.
One of my "worst" areas is Wichita Falls...for as many times as I have been down there, hardly have much to show for it after 20+ years other than a distant small rope in 1994...not really even any good structure comes to mind down there, other than that day in 1994 (May 29th).

Rob
 
One mans trash is another mans treasure, I guess...my most favorite chase ever was May 11, 1992...Terry Kern and I saw a couple of large tornadoes near McAlester, including an F4 that passed just north of Kiowa, south of McAlester. Also had good luck on May 20, 2001 near Enterprise and May 26, 1997 near Okmulgee, another not so favorable eastern area filled with trees and hills.
One of my "worst" areas is Wichita Falls...for as many times as I have been down there, hardly have much to show for it after 20+ years other than a distant small rope in 1994...not really even any good structure comes to mind down there, other than that day in 1994 (May 29th).

Rob
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ive chased down there once, it was april 22nd 2000 im not sure the exact date, it was the day shreveport LA got hit by tornadoes, but we chased supercells into the mountains just past wilburton and lost visibility, the roads became flooded the red oak fire dept was screaming about a tornado goin thru town just as we entered it it was a hairy situation and i have absolutely no aspirations in going back to that area
 
Any large metroplex. I recall chasing a storm from initation-> tornado warning... directly into rush hour OKC traffic. Not cool! Luckily, the storm did not produce.

Aaron
 
I've missed tornadoes near Throckmorton, TX by minutes three different times. I hate that town.
 
Strangely enough - Wellington, Kansas.

Busted there in 2005 on upwards of five occasions. There's not much to do around there when you're not on a storm - believe me. And then there's the small matter of the drive back. Ugh.

KL
 
Anywhere near me :D .

I can't seem to EVER get into the correct position, or manage to get to the storm. Perhaps more forecasting and judgement errors than an actual cold spot. Either way, I can't ever seem to catch anything.
 
Kentucky, though I love the state and its scenery, by far has not been too kind to me weather wise, compared to every other state I've chased in. Due to blue-sky busts and dying storms, I have yet to get any decent storm photo or video during chases in Bluegrass country. Kentucky gets its fair share of good stuff, true, but I just haven't been able to see any of it yet.
 
I've had nothing but horrible luck in Northeast Kansas. Not "blue sky bust" sort of bad luck... more "missed the tornado by a few minutes" bad luck. The closer I am to Kansas City, the worse it gets.
 
Not much luck for me chasing in Mississippi...I like the looks of the Delta area for chasing ops but have yet to strike a Mississippi tornado on the board yet. Close but no cigars !!
 
One of my "worst" areas is Wichita Falls...for as many times as I have been down there, hardly have much to show for it after 20+ years[/b]

I second Witchita Falls. In all the trips through this small Texas town, I have one unimpressive outflow feature to show for it. And it seems that I get turned around at least once every visit I make. Of course none of those visits came after my GPS usage, but you'd think a small town would be pretty easy to navigate. I know...I know...it really says more about the navigator :unsure: , but I just always seem to miss the appropriate signs in Witchita Falls.
 
Regarding

I've had nothing but horrible luck in Northeast Kansas. Not "blue sky bust" sort of bad luck... more "missed the tornado by a few minutes" bad luck. The closer I am to Kansas City, the worse it gets.
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I hear you loud and clear Jeff and I live in the KC area!

During the day of the F4 Wyandotte tornado (4:26p.m.-2003), I got out earlier that day and was everywhere before and after all the tornadoes. I missed the F4 Wyanodotte , Parkville and Liberty etc etc
I did catch a tiny tornado up near the airport off of I-29 and missed the F4 (arggghhh). I did not see on the NOAA reports of this tornado however which was listed in the KC Star newspaper
http://www.tornadoproject.com/past/pastts03.htm
http://www.crh.noaa.gov/eax/events/may042003/tor-reports.php

Many times I have a difficult time whether to go I-35 or I-435 when and where to intercept. Every coin toss I usually lose.

Then the Lawrence tornado , I saw in Eudora, KS outside Lawrence instead of going in and missed it altogether while my son saw it on the KU campus. (I should have called him earlier and let him know I was coming to Lawrence and he might have telephoned me .......)

Still the roads are accessible and easy to navigate here and I have been somewhat successful here. It is just frustrating sometime which happens to most of us.
 
One word: IOWA. My best chase there was in 1999, and it was a clear-sky bust.

My most unlucky spot used to be the Medicine Lodge, KS area...but 2004 changed all that.

JB
 
One word: IOWA. My best chase there was in 1999, and it was a clear-sky bust.

My most unlucky spot used to be the Medicine Lodge, KS area...but 2004 changed all that.

JB
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i second the iowa one, i will never ever chase in iowa again, ive chased there 4 times i am 0-4 without as much as a rain cloud, i think the worst was taking 3 days off of school to go out there for 3 consecutive severe weather days and coming back without a cloud in the sky and no car since some old guy thought it would be a good idea to pull out in front of my car at 45 mph on a highway!!!! :angry: grrrr theres something about iowa that HATES me haha ;)
 
My favorite state to chase in is Nebraska, but once those supes get deep into those sandhills....it's an exercise in futility. Too bad too, because that area gets tornadoed bigtime...with huge naders not uncommon. I remember at the Tornado Symposium in Norman, Okla. in '91....I was standing next to Dr. Doswell (not with him) and overheard him saying something to the effect that the largest tornado that "they" ever saw on satellite was in the Nebraska sandhills. Yes...I mean satellite! Remember, this was 15 yrs. ago...so this may be outdated info.
Even in this bleakest of chase seasons, I managed to bag naders on June 10th near Gordon, Nebraska. It's in the sandhills, but being a little town, there were a few road networks. I don't think even one other chaser was near me. That's uncommon anymore.
I swore off eastern Oklahoma about that same time too. I've kept my word on that too..and haven't been back, either. But geez.......sometimes it sooo tempting.


I agree about Northern Arkansas. Too many hills, lush vegetation and trees, humid too.

I would have to say my least favorite place to chase in the Plains is the southern Permian Basin of Texas. Those towns like Pecos, Fort Stockton, there is just not much out there. It has a real isolated no-man's land feeling. There's no rhyme or reason for my choice weather-wise, just the feel of the place.

In the desert, my choice of not-so-hot spots is easy...anything in the borderlands. I have my run of millions of square miles of good chase land throughout AZ and New Mex...there is no reason to run after lightning in the borderlands. Until things cool off down there (smuggling, drugs, illegal entry), the entire length of the US/Mexico border is off my list. I'd hate to get in the way of anybody doing their job down there either, after all, they don't know what my little SUV is doing running around the desert at night. I'll have to look through my photo album of past trips to the borderlands and call it good for the time being, maybe someday I'll be able to feel free about chasing storms there again. There are so many other incredibly beautiful places to chase here though, staying away from the borderlands is not really a problem.
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BTW Susan, did you notice that SPC had a tornado report out of Az. from last nite's action? It was in Yavapai county....11 miles south of Cordes Junction. Evidently, it crossed I-17. I believe it to be realistic. I'm in extreme northwest Tucson...out in the desert near the little hills called the "Tortolita Mountains" and as I looked west last nite...the lightning show was in-freaking-credible. Incessant staccato-stokes.....non stop. It was sick. With any luck, we'll get one more nite out of it due to that disturbance just south of the border moving westward. Three nites ago, I was rocked out of a sound sleep at 11am by a bizarre rogue storm that passed over my home. I just know that it was potentially tornadic. There were intense pressure changes inside the home and the hail began mercilessly pounding us first from one side...then another...then another. We were sure that our windows were going to blow..but they held tight. I could barely open my door to the outside to get a look at the hail..(pea to nickel). I've been in this home for 21 yrs. Had some incredible storms...some tornadic...but this took the cake. I called my Tucson NWS office spotter hotline number, and the radar guy said that there indeed was some rotation in that storm. We got .85 inch in about 20 mins. Yes......we want more!!
 
How about TENNESSEE? I have busted so many times here, I can not count. The mountain kill inflow, and rotation (what little there is, even if there is some), and never strengthens them. I have heard of storms capable of using elevated topography to there benefit, by enhancing inflow or rotation.
 
Andrew, I've never been to Tennessee, but over the last several years I've formed the distinct opinion that Tennessee gets "hammered" with tornadic activity. Principally the central and western portion of the states. I guess I've arrived at that opinion from the early season linear squall-line storms that just seem to ignite tornado warnings and reports like crazy. What about those?? And it seems like this type of thing happens every season...often two or three times early in the year. Am I wrong or totally misguided?
 
Andrew, I've never been to Tennessee, but over the last several years I've formed the distinct opinion that Tennessee gets "hammered" with tornadic activity. Principally the central and western portion of the states. I guess I've arrived at that opinion from the early season linear squall-line storms that just seem to ignite tornado warnings and reports like crazy. What about those?? And it seems like this type of thing happens every season...often two or three times early in the year. Am I wrong or totally misguided?
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I really should I have said east TN, but you are on a generally correct path. However, terrain in Tennessee, is very hilly, tree abundant, and haze infested (high dewpoints..humidity)...environments, which are not chaser friendly, but the further WEST you go, the better the chasing terrain it gets. Even in Nashville, TN it's pretty bad still, chasing wise....

But TN does not get tornadoes every year, don't think just because of that outbreak, that we get a lot...I mean, we can but more than likely we get less than most states.
 
The action usually starts in west TN, where the majority of the tornadoes probably occur. As systems move east, they usually do go linear, and by the time they get to east TN, they've weakened considerably. What little is left usually does not survive the trip over the Cumberlands. The storms that usually provide east TN with tornadoes form either just barely east of the Cumberlands or move up the valley from the south.
East TN is pretty horrible chase territory because of too many hills and trees, the ever-present haze from the humidity and an incredibly useless road network. I've had storms literally sneak up behind me (Feb 21, 1993 F-3 in my back yard), and I've seen awesome storms that I had absolutely no way to get to because of the roads (or lack thereof). East TN chasing is anticipating where the storm might go and get there first.
Really makes you appreciate the Plains!!!!!!!!
Edit:
Alright, since 1950 (through April of this year), TN has seen a total of 860 tornadoes (per NCDC). Of those, 378 were in west TN (44%), 346 in middle TN (40%), and a whopping 136 (16%) were in east TN. And yes, I am totally bored today!!
 
East TN chasing is anticipating where the storm might go and get there first. Really makes you appreciate the Plains!!!!!!!![/b]

If it weren't for the many interstates and 4-lane highways around Appalachia, chasing would be a lost cause from Tennessee to New York. The cleared-out 4-lane right-of-ways (fortunately many have been built in the past few decades, with more to come) are usually the only spots where you have a nice visual on the sky that isn't surrounded by a canopy of trees and/or towering mountains. Everywhere else, if you survive the curvy roads and actually catch a storm, you just have to watch it through that little hole in the tree canopy or the 5 degrees of sky you can actually see between mountain ridges.

Around here, if a storm isn't going to cross one of the interstates or 4-lane corridors, I just have to let it go - even if it's only 10 miles away.

Despite all this, I can't place WV into the not-so-hot-spot category, as our storms have generally been cooperative and chaseworthy, against the odds and horrible terrain.
 
Yes, I have had to let numerous storms go in TN....just due to the fact, that I would have never caught them...

Let's just say this.

By the time they ge to Fall Branch, TN (Extreme East TN...Google It...)...you generally get a few rumbles of thunder and lightning bolts sometimes a few good displays as well, however - they usually have rained themselves out completely, and so much rain is there, you can not photograph lightning. On RARE occasions you will get hail..just pea size....nothing more...and on RARE once in 20 years a time, you'll get a wall cloud.
 
Yes, I have had to let numerous storms go in TN....just due to the fact, that I would have never caught them...

Let's just say this.

By the time they ge to Fall Branch, TN (Extreme East TN...Google It...)...you generally get a few rumbles of thunder and lightning bolts sometimes a few good displays as well, however - they usually have rained themselves out completely, and so much rain is there, you can not photograph lightning. On RARE occasions you will get hail..just pea size....nothing more...and on RARE once in 20 years a time, you'll get a wall cloud.
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I don't think it's just that one place. I think you're problem is the fact you're chasing in Tennessee. ;)
 
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