Friday, April 11, 2008

April 9, Moderate risk. again. NC TX. again.

Well. What can I say. I was suckered into NC TX again by a good looking setup that ended up being marginal, at most. I believe this is the 4th MOD in this area in 2 weeks that hasn't verified. Not to mention the next day in AR where a MOD contained almost ZERO severe reports, including ZERO tornadoes in the hatched area. Fantastic.

Anywho, Randy Rhea and I left Edmond around 9, and made good time. We were in Mineral Wells when the only storm of the day went up near Abilene. We busted our asses W to catch it near the town of Moran. It looked like a cold rainy HP waste of time. But we were there, so we chased it. Stair stepped NE on County roads, and never got a decent look at her. We almost punched it into Breckenridge, and I'm glad we didn't. Those who did either got a great view of the tube(guess who) or got thrown off of the road by the beast. We tried to take a dirt road E, there was a locked gate that a guy didnt tell us about, and when we came back, he called me a dumbass. Like he couldn't have told me it was locked when I drove past him on the way in? I'm the dumbass? Some uneducated local is sitting on the hood of his truck watching a tornadic storm and is calling me a dumbass? whatever dude! anyways, we ended up missing the Breckenridge tornado because of this. So we got East of it, and intercepted it again NE of Palo Pinto, SW of Graford. There were a few chasers that punched N into the rainy monster, we stayed S to ride it out. I'm pretty sure we were caught in the edge of a weak tornado. I was filming a Texas flag just about 25yds S of us to show the winds we were getting blasted by. they were pretty strong, about 50-60 out of the W then out of nowhere they switched and we got about 50mph out of the East, For about 15 seconds, then the winds switched back and we got blasted with 70mph winds and some small debris. This was all rain-wrapped BS so we never could make-out any condensation, but our video right after that shows major rotation in the rainy crap-fest. We have multiple sources that a tornado was sighted in our area and there was confirmed EF1 damage just NE of us. So I'm counting it. We had to drop South to get to a good option to follow it, but it was too late. It was hauling ass towards Decatur, so we stayed behind it thinking we might be filming damage in Decatur. The most impressive thing we saw was the street flooding. The roads were big flowing rivers. It was fun. So we went to my moms (in Decatur), smoked our victory cigars, and called it a night.

The next day we were planning on getting up early, and heading to AR for a possible HIGH risk. luckily, I looked at the radar and decided that nothing good would come from that mess of crap. So we slept in, and drove back to Joke-la-homa. The end.

778 miles.

April 7, Moderate Risk, NC TX supercells

Well I started the day in Edmond, met Randy Hicks for some lunch, then headed down 44 towards my target of Lawton. A monster supercell popped but I held my ground. After about 30 minutes, I decided to drop S into Wichita Falls to intercept. I got to it about 15 minutes before it died. I filmed this timelapse near Iowa Park. Notice how the RFD cut actually cuts the meso in 1/2.

Then I decided to go back into OK but Dick McGEEZY texted me a nowcast and I flipped a U-ey and flew S to catch the cell developing in Baylor CO. I met it just SW of Holliday, TX and she was gorgeous. I set the camera up and filmed the best structure I have ever seen.

Tyler Costantini, Chris Wilburn, and Bart Comstock showed up out of nowhere. We watched it for 25 minutes then dropped S to catch the 3rd and final storm of the day. It had a nice saucer-shaped updraft and it was a nice way to end the day. We filmed and shot lightning out of the updraft for about 45 minutes. The updraft ran out of moisture(a HUGE problem this day) and took on a scrawny stack of plates structure. We ate at Dennys in Wichita Falls and called it a day.

487 miles. Not a good day tornado-wise. Moisture was shallow and just as the storms would get crankin', they would just dry up, become un-rooted, and go LP until they finally just died. But I did witness and timelapse some of the best structure I have seen to date.

Friday, April 4, 2008

April 3, Moderate Risk NC TX/SC OK

Well, the night before I drove from Tulsa to OKC pick up Ryan Warford, Randy Rhea, and Matt Hagy. We decided to drive to my mom's house in Decatur, TX to be in better position. Had a fun night, woke up, had a fun morning, and got the Tahoe ready for some bumpy-ass TX county roads. Headed W towards Wichita Falls. As we were on our way, a storm went up and we intercepted near Archer City. It looked very nice. Good wall cloud with decent motion. Unfortunately the day was downhill from here. Followed it E, Drove into someones driveway (THANKS DELORME!) and then it took off and left us in the dirt. Literally. hahah we actually accidentally met up with a chaser caravan through some dirt county roads. It was a parade of 6 chasers, with Amos Magliocco right in front of us. The storm looked terrible and we took 35N back into OK to catch anything that would go up on the triple-point, but that never happened. Some storms went up on an OFB but the ColdFront swooped in. We intercepted a nice cell NE of Pauls Valley, With a very nice outflow dominant structure. Best Shelf I have seen in a long time. Then we headed back to OKC to drop everyone off, and I went back to Tulsa.

857 miles. It's never a good feeling to chase a moderate risk and not see any tornadoes. Which has been the case twice in 4 days. The good news is with us 4 guys, theres always a good time to be had. Even bust chases are fun with these kids. They're the best chase partners I could ask for and I appreciate them.

March 31st Moderate risk

Started the day once again in Edmond, with convection across most of OK. With a Tornado watch already in place, I decided to head S to catch a developing supercell near Newcastle. Decent structure, but she was elevated. So I headed E out of Chickasha to catchup with the next one near Lindsey. Looked pretty good on radar, but not too good in person. Dropped S for number 3 in Garvin County. Came up behind it and found hail covering the ground, some up to almost baseball sized. Decided to jump on 35 and head S into TX. Met up with Michael Ratliff and one of his buddies. Gassed up and went back into Oklahoma to catch a Tornado Warned cell just NE of Durant. Man I love my new 4x4 tahoe. Amazing. Followed it E all the way to 70, then we decided to jump N to antlers to intercept another TorWarned "cell." I dropped back S of town as the cell was turning right a little. I took some county roads SW of town, and got very close to the wall cloud. It was only organized for a few minutes. I ran into some very muddy roads, but White Lightning handled it with no problem at all. Got up close and personal with the "wall cloud" which was looking less and less organized and eventually shelfed out. Sat about 7 miles S of Antlers waiting for Randy Rhea to meet up with me. Shot some lightning in the whalesmouth for KTUL. Hung out with fellow STer and talked storms for about 20 minutes. It was cool to meet a fellow chaser. He left and I went back into town to steal WIFI from a motel and send my video in.

528 miles. got on 5 SUPs this day, no naders. None of them looked very healthy, esp. for a moderate risk. But I'll chase anything.

March 30th Slow Supercells

well, I started this day off in Edmond, with Randy Rhea and Matt Hagy. Our target was Watonga, but we moved S as the sfc winds were beginning to back. Sure enough, 2 cells went up and we shot S and intercepted the first, at close range, with the base of the 2nd Cell in view. The first cell could get it's act together, so we ran W to get the 2nd cell. She was a beauty. Nice broad Mothership. Amazing. Best structure all year. It was nice to have an isolated cell with no BS cloud matter blocking view of the whole storm. We set up a ways out to get some structure shots, but we got bored and went in for the kill. Everyone and their mom was under the updraft. Played with it until dark. Broke waaaay east to Anadarko to get more miniDV tapes, then broke N to intercept again. The storm was going through Binger when we was a few power flashes, wrapped in rain. Followed it to Tuttle, shot some lightning, and drove home. There was a weird 3-cell cluster where the front of the cluster would rotate for a minute, then move to the N, the next Cell in the cluster would rotate, then move N and so on. Like a carousel. it was neat. On our way home, a cell to the W had isolated and started showing rotation. So we went for it, as we were close to home. We intercepted at 178th and Western, NW of Edmond, 1 mile from where the first EF1 damage occurred. Saw a lowering in precip that looked suspicious, then we saw powerflashes. Headed E through town, where the power was out due to a damaged substation. Got harassed by a dumb edmond cop. Got on 35N to get another look. Apparently we were looking at a tornado without even knowing it. It didn't look like it was on the ground but it was producing damage. Tried to follow it NE but ran into some washed-out county roads.

418 Miles.

Such a great chase. I LOOOOOOVE slow moving SUPs. very nice.