Surprise along the Red River

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Storm Chase Details

Chase Date: April 20, 2014
Chase Partners:
Scott Peake

Chasers Encountered:
David Drummond, Matt Phelps, Mike Scantlin

Miles Logged: 669
States Chased: OK, TX
Largest Hail Encountered: 2"
Severe Risks: SPC Outlooks

Chase Recap:

This was a surprise day for me where I encountered some of the best structure I have ever seen. Scott Peake and I chased and both of us had very little confidence in the day. I kept thinking the whole way out “Why are you chasing today?”

Nonetheless, Scott and I headed down I-44 to US-62 and went through Altus and Hollis.

We approached our first storm of the day near Memphis, TX and watched as it pulsed. We ended up driving through the core near Estelline and found some pea sized hail.

We gave up on the storm as it appeared to have significantly weakened and headed west towards the storms coming out of Silverton. We got about halfway to Turkey before we turned back around as the Silverton storms had significantly died.

Because of the river and road network, we didn’t find our way back to the storm for a bit just north of Childress. The storm had taken an obvious right turn and one updraft had become dominant. It dropped a lot of hail, some up to 2 inches north of Childress. While we were playing with the hail, a tornado was reported on it. Unfortunately we were on the back side of the storm so we didn’t see it.

We headed east and were pretty screwed by a poor road network, finally getting on the storm south of Hollis in Texas. We ended up driving on dirt roads and staying ahead of it to highway 6 and crossed the river into Oklahoma where we witnessed some amazing structure – some of the best in my life – just southwest of El Dorado, OK.

The storm was luckily moving very slow (15 MPH) and we were able to keep in front of it and get back for some great structure shots. Eventually we made it to US 283 and decided to drop south and west to the storms coming up behind it. We needed to get gas so we stopped in Vernon then zig-zagged to approach the storm from the south of Quanah.

We got into some more hail just south of Quanah before giving up and having dinner at Subway in Quanah.

An amazing chase from a day that didn’t look very promising.