Recent blog posts
- For Sale: Storm Snob DVD
- World Traveler
- Ode to 2012
- Latest installment of the Bag of Crap from Woot
- Incredible end to April!
- Weekend Success: 9 tornadoes between April 13 and 14!
- Tornado Outbreak Likely Friday and Saturday!
- Incredible November Tornado Outbreak
- Chase Forecast November 7, 2011
- Review of Adam Lucio's "The Noob"
Non Severe Wind
We spent the 13th at the Carlsbad Caverns in Carlsbad, NM and had reservations for the Hampton Inn in Lubbock. Unfortunately, they were overbooked and we were out of luck when we got to Lubbock. Even further annoying was the fact that no hotels in town seemed to have any rooms and we were forced to go to Amarillo.
We had a long grueling drive to Amarillo, arriving after 3 am completely exhausted. The least the Hampton Inn did was cover the cost of the rooms in Amarillo, and off to sleep we went until late in the morning. Our intention was to head back to Norman and wind down for the rest of the chase cation before everyone left on Sunday, but a SPC slight risk and some favorable morning model runs had us turning our attention to southwest Kansas.
After the previous days bust in North Dakota, we stayed the night in Fargo. We didn't get up particularly early and stopped at Smashburger before saying goodbye to Adam. The better target was in Minnesota, but we wanted to get back to Norman on Sunday night to try and play New Mexico on Tuesday.
As we were southbound on I-29 storms fired pretty much from canada into Kansas, slowly but surely further south as the afternoon wore on.
We continued south on I-29 to Nebraska City, NE where we intercepted our first storms. Jari tried to get some lightning photos but was largely unsuccessful.
Jari and I didn't chase in Colorado on the 6th and 7th due to the truck problems and having to drop Jena off at the airport on the morning of the 7th and pick up Sarah that evening.
We hit the road early in the morning on the 8th for Fargo, ND. Unfortunately I woke up with an aching ear and it got nothing but worse as the day progressed. I was in very heavy pain for the whole 14 hour drive, taking pain killers every few hours on the drive up.
Fortunately, I was able to get into an urgent care center first thing Saturday AM and get some antibiotics for my outer and middle ear infection. While I didn't get immediate relief, I started feeling much better a couple days later when things healed up.
After spending the morning replacing the thermostat in my truck, Jari and I decided to try our luck at the storms in southern Oklahoma, and to see if my overheating problems were solved.
Thankfully, no overheating for us on the whole journey which took us south on I-35 to just south of the Pauls Valley area where we stopped at the scenic turnout to take pictures of an incredible shelf cloud which was moving from the southeast to northeast.
After this passed, we tried to catch back up to the storms to the east, but never was able to and gave up east of Ardmore.
Jari and I got dinner in Ardmore and headed home.
We didn't really plan on chasing, but we did go out in search of some photography ops including the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial and into Grady County looking for a tree and just exploring since Jari and Jena both weren't familiar with the area.
Storms fired, and while we knew they wouldn't be very severe or tornadic, we decided to head down and see what we could see.
We ended up down by Saddle Mountain just north of the Wichita Mountains which provided a nice backdrop. I believe Jari got some decent lightning photos. Without a lightning trigger, I had a harder time.
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.
The outlook for even thunderstorms was pretty bleak on the 17th. My employer, WDT, was holding a company storm chase for our customers and we only had a 3 day window to show them something this year. May 17th was the last day, and the only day of the 3 that had a chance for storms.
Models were showing a shortwave ejecting over SE CO and SW KS consistently for a few days leading up to the 17th and even started showing it a little stronger with each model run. Thunderstorms appeared possible, mostly in southeast Colorado as the timing of the shortwave was in the middle to late afternoon time frame.
We managed to be on the road by 830 or so and heading westbound on I-40 out of Oklahoma City with a target of Pampa for lunch and Boise City after.
Upper level support was very marginal, but extreme instability and towering cumulus clouds got me to take a trip down towards Wichita Falls in the evening of the 6th to see what could be seen.
The first storms went up southeast of Wichita Falls and fell apart in the warm sector. Strong capping and weak upper levels seemed to suppress larger development.
Another storm went up near Seymour where dewpoints were in the 40's and surface temps over 100F. I ended up going towards it and observed what seemed like a 2 mile high base on the storm which eventually died as well.
What better way to spend a Friday evening then observing some storms? After a successful previous weekend, it seemed like a threat existed for more severe weather the weekend of the 4-6.
By late afternoon the atmosphere in southern Oklahoma had become extremely unstable, and storms had fired north of Wichita Falls along the Red River. I decided to head south to intercept, first getting on the storms south of Lone Grove and following them for the next 2 hours east past sunset almost to Madill, OK where I gave up and decided to head home.
Some nice structure and lightning shots for a casual friday after work chase