Lowering on the left, underneath the developing supercell near Blanchard, OK.
Rising, twisting tail cloud into the developing wall cloud on the storm near Blanchard, OK.
Another shot of the rising scud into the developing wall cloud. Storm starting to get cylindrical base to it.
This got really interesting at this point of the storm. Lots of rotation noted as the storm pulled in moisture-rich low level air.
Still an interesting lowering on the storm and well defined inflow bands as we approached Dibble, OK.
Nice look to the storm near Dibble, OK. At one point, it looked like a little funnel-looking thing underneath, but could not confirm.
Near Lindsay, tornado warned supercell was nearing full maturity.
Storm taking on a liberty bell shape, but looks to be starting to gust out at this time.
Tight, little, but intense updraft near the Red River in southern OK.
Massive beast of a storm approaching sunset near Pauls' Valley, OK.
Looking underneath the shelf of the outflow dominant HP supercell near Paul's Valley, OK.
MAY 30, 2013 CHASE LOG: OKLAHOMA
Written by Rich Hamel (http://www.bostonstormchaser.com/)
This was the last day of Silver Lining’s Prime Time Tour. Another moderate risk day and, since it was Day 10 and we were already at the host hotel, we were able to leave our stuff at the hotel and just bring our chase gear with us. Being in our target area already, were able to loiter around Oklahoma City for a lot of the morning and early afternoon as we knew the storms would initiate relatively close to the city, starting to the north near Enid and then building south roughly along I-44 towards Lawton along the dryline. After lunch and more waiting, the first storms fired and we headed southwest on I-44 as Tornado Watch was issued at 12:55 PM CDT. We were immediately posed with a choice between a more northern storm up near El Reno that looked better on radar, and a younger storm to the south coming up towards Chickasha that was in what appeared to be in the area with the better shear profile. The issue with the northern storms, we feared, was that they would become linear pretty early, merging with an MCS that was already active in Kansas. This did turn out to be true, though the tail end storm hung together longer than we expected, and much later that evening produced a tornado far to the east in Broken Arrow near Tulsa. We stopped at the rest area near Chickasha for a while trying to decide, and then, with the Chickasha storm clearly visible with a broad base and long inflow band to our south, we decided to go after that one, quickly getting through Chickasha and towards Anadarko on Rt. 62. Almost immediately the storm generated a solid wall cloud with rotation as we watched it move by to our northwest, but it never seemed to generate enough focus at the lower-levels, a common theme for the day.
We followed the storm northwest on Rt. 277 towards Blanchard, and it looked like it was ready to tornado at one more point as we stopped for a while east of Dibble (while the locals got ready to head into their storm shelters), but it again never quite got the focused rotation needed to tornado, and we were soon drawn south on Rt. 59 through Lindsay towards the next storm, as there were now a number of isolated supercells to our southwest in a line all the way down to the Red River. After dropping south on Rt. 76, we were soon retracing our route from the Moore tornado day and heading west through Bray to just east of Marlow, where we intercepted another storm with huge hail and rapid rotation that was turning hard right and coming right towards us! We stopped several times, staying just ahead of the core, and eventually ran south on the exact same road we’d seen the brief tornado on east of Bray on the Moore day. We stayed out in front of this storm, which had morphed into a high-precipitation hail storm with baseball-sized hail reported, all the way down to Tatums, where we again stopped and watched the big, teal glowing core pass us to the north, all the while looking to two more supercells, that were alternately being tornado warned, down towards the Red River to the south. Another theme of the day was constantly being torn between storms: From one radar scan to the next we’d be drawn towards a different storm, and every time we left one, it would seem to briefly cycle back up and tempt us to turn right back around.
Again the pattern repeated and after heading south through Fox then east on Rt. 53, we jumped on I-35 and headed south towards Marietta near the Texas border to intercept the last two storms in the line that were right along the Red River. Heading west out of Marietta, we stopped near Falconhead, OK and watched a textbook LP supercell just to our north, with almost perfect LP storm structure. It was clearly shriveling up not long after we arrived though, and we decided to head back north towards the hotel to intercept another big storm up there along I-35 on the way. First, however, as we headed east, the last supercell in line came across the river, and even though it looked to be dying, it was still tornado warned so we turned around and headed through the core just west of Falconhead, getting heavy rain and wind but only the smallest amount of hail. We turned around and headed back to I-35 to a pretty funny sight: what was left of that storm by the time we got on the highway was just the littlest poof of an updraft attached to what could be barely described as a tiny little anvil on top.
Heading back north, we were faced with a huge HP supercell coming across the highway. The structure as we neared the storm at dusk was amazing, mostly because it was just so incredibly big! The base of the storm seemed to stretch on for miles, with a giant rear flank inflow band to the left and a huge cow-killer shelf cloud in front. With structure that good, we had to stop briefly south of Davis, then were able to split between two big cores as we crossed under the storm near Paul’s Valley. Finally, after a dinner stop in Purcell (Braum’s!) we headed back to the hotel, completing the tour.
Lots of storms on this day, but the low-level shear just didn’t get it done. I don’t think I’ve ever chased so many tornado warned storms on the same day without any of them even managing so much as a decent funnel cloud! There were virtually no tornadoes in the moderate threat area for the day, while far to the north where nobody would have expected and nobody was chasing there were a number of them up in Nebraska.