Chase Date: May 16, 2016
Jari Ylioja, Zac Flamig, Hannah Masterson
Miles Logged: 692
States Chased: TX, OK
Largest Hail Encountered: 2.5"
Highest Wind Encountered: 70MPH
Severe Risks: SPC Outlooks
Left Norman in the early afternoon, letting Jari do the targeting and what not. He wasn’t very excited about doing it, but he had ultimately written down a target of Cheyenne, OK on his piece of paper, my target was actually Norman because I figured the setup would ultimately bust pretty bad.
We headed down I-40 to Shamrock where we stopped for gas and DQ (read: FAT ice cream) before continuing west. A storm was ongoing in Cimarron County OK near Boise City, and it had apparently some tornadoes, but we remained south near Amarillo in case the OFB/Dryline blew up south of AMA. Plenty of cumulus clouds kept bubbling but seemingly would evaporate. I’m not sure if it was capping or lack of lift, but we sat in north Amarillo while storms up north became tornado warned and decided to head that way.
Up 287 to Dumas, we had to make a decision. Head west and north to Dalhart and jump on that storm which had just produced a tornado or head north to Stratford. North won, and we continued on 287. It was obvious quickly that a large shelf cloud had developed, but it sure was photogenic! We spent the next hour or so driving east and getting ahead of it and taking photos. Some of them quite spectacular.
We ended up in Spearman, TX where we let the core hit us – over 70dbz returns on the AMA radar. Lots of golf ball sized hail fell as we hid in a carwash and I took some video. Even standing on the far side of the car wash, we were bombarded by hail stones, rain and wind. The heater was cranking full blast when I jumped back into the car.
A quick stop for Allsups and to upload video and we were heading back east towards home via Canadian, TX. We managed to get into a tornado warning there and then again in western Oklahoma nw of Sayre. Great storms and a solid chase day.