Chase Date: February 27, 2011
Miles Logged: 382
States Chased: OK, KS
Largest Hail Encountered: 1.25"
Severe Risks: SPC Outlooks
Not much was expected of this chase, but it was the first good ‘chase’ day of the season. Temps warmed into the mid 70’s in Central Oklahoma, and it really felt like “spring” had returned. Being a Sunday, I didn’t have to work.
I spent most of the morning dealing with Verizon to get my aircards activated. It turned out that the one was just broken and the other was reported lost or stolen, so I had no air card. I did manage to get one to work on my drive from about Edmond to Enid before it crapped out for the day.
I got on the main storm of the day to the north and west of Enid on some back dirt road. The storm was very disorganized at this time. I ended up following it east towards Jefferson and Medford, staying mostly on back dirt roads.
I managed to get “Microsofted” again with Streets and Trips, and ended up taking a road that ended into a field. This time I didn’t have a tornado bearing down on me, so I was able to back track a few miles and continue on.
The storm really started to show some organization between Medford and I-35, and I stuck around watching and filming until it almost over took me.
I then crossed I-35 through Blackwell, and never managed to get in front of the storm again. It looked VERY outflowish, almost like it was ready to downburst at any second. I ended up pretty much giving up on the storm just to the northeast of the town of Blackwell. It was about that time that OUN slapped a Tornado Warning on the storm, so I tried to play catch up by staying on dirt roads again.
Great idea, but a lot of other chasers had the same idea. Unfortunately, they didn’t have vehicles to handle the conditions, and going 25 MPH on dirt roads is not going to allow you to keep up with storm motions of 55-70 MPH.
I gave up at the KS/OK border, but should have really given up sooner.
Tornado reports came in to my east, but I didn’t really even care too much. It was a good successful first chase and my best in February so far.