Western OK Supercell

posted in: Storm Chasing | 0
Storm Chase Details

Chase Date: April 8, 2015
Chase Partners:
Solo

Chasers Encountered:
JR Hehnly, Steve Miller, James Menzies, Zac Flamig

Miles Logged: 404
States Chased: OK
Largest Hail Encountered: 1.5"
Severe Risks: SPC Outlooks

Chase Recap:

This seemed to be the main event of this system, with the possibility of many supercells firing off the dryline and some convection along the warm front producing tornadoes. The SPC had outlooked most of southern and southeast Kansas with a 15% hatched tornado. The plan, for me anyway, was to skip the warm front and hope for something good off the dryline.

Unfortunately the dryline was oriented more SW to NE and so was the instability axis – Something I’ve really hated in previous setups. It was something Eric Treece taught me years ago, and to this day I have to have seen a good storm when the instability axis is oriented that way. The other kicker was the 850mb winds – they were dry, hot and from the southwest. This was a concern of mine for 4-5 days out and were further amplified more when looking at the morning mesoanalysis and soundings from AMA and OUN. Our storms would be blown-dry literally, and that’s pretty much what happened.

Nonetheless, I went up to Tonkawa and waited for a bit before heading west towards the dryline, and even the WF/DL intersection. SPC Issued a tornado watch for that area while I was driving through Grant County as storms were starting to fire. There was a nice storm down in Roger Mills County that I had my eye on, but the stuff at the DL/WF intersection had my attention, and I drove over to Cherokee before deciding to bail on it. The storm south of the boundary seemed to be struggling and was not turning right and the rest of the garbage north of the front seemed linear and elevated.

As the hordes were bailing west, I went south towards the storm coming out of Roger Mills county, arriving in Seiling as the storm was Tornado warned. Unfortunately it seemed elevated, but I got into some 1″ hail and got to test a new camera out a bit. The storm did eventually cycle and produced a nice wall cloud for about 5 minutes before completely dissipating into thin air. Meanwhile, there were tornadoes going on up north.

Giving up, I headed back to Seiling where most chasers had mobbed the Shell/Subway station on 270. I headed back towards OKC eventually, with JR Hehnly and I stopping to take some lightning photos of the storm that ultimately became tornado warned shortly after we stopped shooting lightning. Whether or not there was a tornado, I’m not sure.