Tipton, OK Tornado

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Storm Chase Details

Chase Date: January 1, 1970
Chase Partners:
Lindsey Farias, Jari Ylioja

Chasers Encountered:
Jeff Duda

Miles Logged: 695
States Chased: TX, OK
Tornadoes Witnessed: 1
Severe Risks: SPC Outlooks

Chase Recap:

A frustrating day all around due to the transportation situation. We were in my girlfriends car and had to avoid hail, which was the worst day of the season to have to avoid the hail.

We stayed in Garden City after chasing in Nebraska the day before and headed due south out of Garden City on 83. My target was in SW OK from Altus to Childress, but figured 83 was the best road to put us in a good position for a chase later that afternoon.

As we got to Shamrock, storms were firing in the TX PH along the caprock, and we were in perfect position to get in front of the first tornado warned storm west of Wellington, TX.

Unfortunately the first storm was HP as can be and we were avoiding hail so we had to bail on it and head south to the next storms going up SW of Childress.

We hung out in Childress and watched a storm try to mature and eventually die while another strengthened to the south. This would end up being the storm of the day, but I was about to give up on it after an hour of following it through Quanah and over towards Chillicothe.

We made the fatal mistake of not sticking with the storm and heading to Vernon to fill up with gas and ended up out of position. I was contemplating going south towards the storms near Seymour when the storm I was on pulsed up. Unfortunately, we were not able to take 283 NW towards the storm and had to take the longer way around, taking 183 across the river and heading up to Tipton. Lack of roads and river crossings as well as the transportation situation really screwed us.

Frustrated and angry, we headed north towards Tipton, and then to the west side of town. The town was a zoo with many people observing the rain of the wrap around south of Tipton and then many others coming down OK-5 after a successful intercept.

We observed a nice stovepipe tornado west of Tipton before heading east on 5c. The contrast was quite low, but we did get power flashes as it crossed a high tension power line NW of Tipton.

We headed east on 5c and then north on 183 to get back into the hook, but the tornado had then lifted and the storm was cycling. Between traffic, police and storm mode we decided it would be best to get to the storms to the south. Unfortunately we had to head east on 62 and south on I44 through Lawton.

We thought the storm near Grandfield would be the one to chase, but it seemed like the storm further south to the west of Wichita Falls would be the better one so we passed an eventual tornado producing storm near Walters and headed south to Texas.

The structure on the storm was quite incredible and photogenic, and even produced a nice funnel for a bit, but never produced a tornado.

We would follow this storm through the north part of Wichita Falls and along the river to Byers and towards Waurika before heading home as it was quite dark at this point.