Chase Date: April 16, 2015
Miles Logged: 550
States Chased: TX, OK
Tornadoes Witnessed: 1
Severe Risks: SPC Outlooks
A frustrating day from the get go. I knew that storms would fire early based upon the NAM and left as soon as I could, which happened to be around noon from Norman.
Got to about Elk City and already Tornado warnings were going up for north of Pampa, and storms looked to be lining out. We continued along I-40 instead of taking the northern route direct to Pampa, which happened to help us out.
We got off at Highway 70 towards Pampa to head north, but ended up going west on FR293 when it was obvious the wall cloud to the west was better than the dying one to the north. We got almost as far west as Panhandle and there was a huge dust plume under the wall cloud, which was later confirmed to be a tornado.
We headed south to I-40 and saw some more gustnado/tornado/whatever they were before heading back north into the core to be hailed on. Some pretty awesome hail fog set the scene in the wind farm.
We then got back south and saw some landspout or something near Groom before continuing east to 273.
We headed up north on Highway 273 and it took me awhile to realize the storm had gone into an HP supercell mode more than the more linear looking storm it was previously. I got right up into the inflow as 273 conveniently went north and then curved around to the west.
Whether or not it produced a tornado will likely never be known, but it definitely tried a few times including a nice clear slot next to the wall cloud at one point.
We followed the storm east. The road options were not existent and a lot of people had caught up to the storm now, so it was littered with chasers including a lot of rolling discos. Who needs to run lightbars/flashers/etc in an area of the storm while driving down the road where it’s not raining? You don’t.
At one point we stopped and saw Zac Flamig and James Menzies. The wall cloud we were looking at almost seemed to be rotating the wrong way, which later was picked up on by the radar.
We continued further east of Kellerville, and went north to get back into the notch. Inflow picked up markedly and I thought for a minute it may produce and may have possibly produced, although I have no evidence of such.
We continued in the cage/notch for quite a while, heading east into Wheeler where we finally got into some hail in the core. We stopped and took some video of the flooding and the hail, finding almost baseball size falling. All in all, a good chase so far.
We finally decided to call it a night and head east to Sayre when they issued a tornado warning and the tornado reports came in. We got to that storm about the time it was dying out, and ate at Denny’s in Sayre for the second time in a week.