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David Drummond and I departed Norman at approximately 1pm and headed down I-44 towards Lawton. Storms started firing shortly before we arrived in the Lawton area and we decided to head west on US62 to Snyder for some gas.
This gave us a couple minutes to choose whether we wanted to go to the north storm or the south storm. We decided for the south storm and headed to southwest of Frederick where the storm obviously struggled and underwent a few cycles before really ramping up and producing a nice wall cloud.
After driving home from Nebraska the 28th, I ran around most of the morning on the 29th trying to get my truck fixed. I got the caliper bolts and expected them to take 15 minutes to replace, but had trouble getting a lug nut off.
JR Hehnly tried to help me and we ended up breaking a breaker bar. Discount Tire ended up breaking 2 sockets and had no luck. I ended up having luck at Ron's automotive in Norman and they were able to break the lug nut and get the caliper bolts on. I replaced the lug nut and was in business.
By this time, it was lunch time so Ashley and I got lunch before I took her to the airport to go home. After dropping her off at the airport I headed up to Watonga as the atmosphere was definitely becoming very unstable.
After a bust in North Central Nebraska the previous day, we held out some hope the 27th would be a decent day. Unfortunately that wouldn't ever really come to fruition as the day was extremely frustrating and I found myself stranded for the first time chasing.
I wasn't very much sold on this day for quite a few days leading up to it, but we were already in Nebraska and it was Ashley's last day to chase. It looked like a linear event as the cold front crashed south and east.
The low in Kansas seemed to be the place to be if we wanted to find anything remotely super cellular, so we decided to head down to Phillipsburg before settling down near Gaylord, KS and waiting on initiation.
I had been watching the 25th on models almost all week and knew it had quite a bit of potential, but capping concerns lead me to almost blow the day off as a non chase. Thank goodness I changed my mind at the last second and scored multiple tornadoes on a cyclic supercell near LaCrosse, KS.
As I said, I had mostly blown the chase off, but woke up Friday morning looking at the models and decided that it would be a chase day. I needed some help from Ashley to get our things together and the ducks in a line while I was at work. I left around lunch time and ran home to pick up Ashley and all of the stuff we'd need to chase and we were on the road by 1 pm.
After driving all night the previous night, I arrived home in Norman about 3 am Monday April 30th and had to work later on in the morning. I caught about 5 hours sleep before getting up and going to work and working until 5:05pm.
Once I got to work, a little storm popped up nearby, which made me start to look at things. The previous nights storms had pushed an outflow boundary south of Norman which had slowly begun to travel north. I watched this boundary all day, and it caught my eye. Moisture (70+ degree dewpoints) had begun to pool right along it, especially right along I-35.
I knew from the get-go that it would be a late night drive back to Norman, so I slept in pretty late finally getting out of bed around 11am. The forecast for the day was pretty local, and the SPC had removed almost all probabilities of storms in the area.
David Drummond and I headed southwest towards Seminole, TX where we ate at the Dairy Queen and then sat around most of the afternoon waiting for storms to fire. Towering CU were very prevalant, but nothing seemed to want to take the punch and get going.
I was originally not looking at Friday the 27th as a chase day, but suddenly on Wednesday evening the NAM started showing a possible significant tornado outbreak in central and southeast Kansas. I got the OK to leave work early, but Cory Watkins was not able to go. I ended up making plans to chase with Stephen Jones.
I left work around 11 to head out to Kansas. Stephen was unable to make it, so I ended up heading up solo. Halfway to Wichita, Sarah Glenn posted on Facebook that she was thinking of chasing, and since I would be going by there anyway, I decided we could team up for the chase.