Chase Date: May 19, 2013
Bill Oosterbaan, Tom Oosterbaan, Jari Ylioja
Miles Logged: 546
States Chased: OK, KS
Worst career bust
Severe Risks: SPC Outlooks
One of the harder chase days to swallow from 2013. After missing the Rozel tornado on the 18th, we drove back to Norman feeling down and out. We had made bad decisions on the 18th and stayed south while many chasers witnessed a beautiful tornado near Rozel.
I was determined not to screw up the 19th, but it would turn out to be the worst bust of 2013 for me. On our way home from Woodward on the 18th I had made a joke about how we could porch chase and how Shawnee looked real good around 00Z. I wish I had listened to myself.
We made initial targets around Enid, and I thought we’d go possibly as far as the OK/KS border when we left Norman. We were late for the sucker storm that went up in Grant County and produced tornadoes southwest of Wichita. Bill had his heart set on getting on that storm, and northward on I-35 we raced.
We finally caught up with the storm near Wichita, and it had a shelf cloud. For some reason we continued to chase it all the way to El Dorado knowing full well it was outflow dominant. I guess the tornado reports just southwest of Wichita were enough to keep us on it. If we had looked at the Lamont, OK sounding we would have known to bail.
The rest of the day was spent trying to bail south and east at storms from El Dorado, KS. I watched in horror as the storm I pointed out to Bill earlier in the day that went up by El Reno was producing tornadoes in Edmond and continued to produce tornadoes northeast of OKC. Then the storm blew up near Norman and became tornado warned and dropped another big tornado as we continued our journey south.
Tensions were high. I bet Bill $20 we wouldn’t see a tornado, and unfortunately I was $20 richer.
We ended the night at BJ’s in Norman where all I wanted to do was drink my sorrows away and go to bed.