High Risk Bust in Arkansas

posted in: Storm Chasing | 0
Storm Chase Details

Chase Date: May 1, 2010
Chase Partners:
Mike Holcomb

Chasers Encountered:
Jesse Risley, Mike Brady, Andy Gabrielson, Tim Purington, L.B. LaForce

Miles Logged: 1257
States Chased: AR. MO
Severe Risks: SPC Outlooks

Chase Recap:

After spending the night in Sikeston, MO from yesterdays bust, I decided to hit I-55 south. I passed Shane Adams and Bridget Geaughan on the way down before stopping for a bit in Blytheville, AR to get some Rain X and gas.

I continued south, stopping off at the Turrell/Arkansas 42 exit for me to snap a picture of the exact location I saw my first tornado, 1 day short of 2 years later. I was able to stand there and remember it and visualize it happening. A persons first tornado is not a memory they will forget.

Once I got that out of the way, I dropped south to I-40 then west towards Little Rock. I ended up deciding to sit in Stuttgart, AR as that seemed like the best place to be in terms of road networks. I gassed up and grabbed some Subway then headed and sat on the east of town. Jesse Risley and Mike Brady and L.B. LaForce all showed up. Many locals saw us sitting out there, and came by to chat. We probably had 5 or 6 cars of people come up to us and talk to us, a few of them taking pictures. Everyone had a story of the Stuttgart, AR tornado from May 10, 2008.

Eventually storms started firing in Northern Louisiana, and we decided to drop south and intercept the eastern most cell which would put us at an intercept point near Monticello, AR. After navigating us a crazy way, I got us all onto AR35 right in a perfect intercept position.

The couplet on radar was tightening and we setup cameras in a clearing area, although still pretty covered with trees. We were able to record video of the bowl shaped lowering as it passed almost directly over our head. For the rest of the evening I would try to catch back up to the cell, but never really would.

Tornado warnings were issued for the cell, and I stayed on it until we crossed the Mississippi river at Helena before giving up on the chase.

We went to Memphis and tornado sirens were still going off, but the cell was a good 15 miles in front of us at that point. We tried to stop and eat in West Memphis, but that didn’t work out so well. We ended up finding a Huddle House along I-55 in Osceola, AR.

We spend the night in Blytheville, AR and spent Sunday driving home.