Green Sky Chaser

30 March 2008 Chase Log

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Target Area: Weatherford/Clinton/Hobart, Oklahoma (Click on city names for Yahoo! maps links)

Chase Area: Weatherford/Cordell/Carnegie, Oklahoma

Observations: two wall clouds and two supercells

Distance: 390 miles

Time: 8.5 hours

Chase Team: Andrew Barrett, Matt Lewis, Stuart Nock, and myself

SPC Convective Outlook: Slight Risk (Click to see SPC products, data, and storm reports)

Chase Setup: Supercells expected to fire along a dryline near the Oklahoma/Texas Panhandle border, downstream of a large trough set up over the southwest US. Moderate instability (CAPE of 2000 J kg-1) in place in western Oklahoma with dewpoints in the 60s.


Chase Log: This was a mediocre day, and the strength of the cap seemed to be a problem early on. We did get some discrete supercells forming along the dryline, but deep-layer directional shear was problematic, especially early on in the evening.

We saw two supercells south of Clinton and Weatherford. We picked the southernmost storm to chase and saw two wall clouds as the storm cycled. As we stopped just southeast of Cordell to watch the storm for a while, we saw some strong rotation and a few suspicious lowerings, but no good funnel clouds. We were in the perfect position to see a potential tornado, though, as the supercell and wall cloud were coming right towards us, and we let the storm get very close to us before backing off.

After dark we started to chase another supercell, but sadly Matt hit a dog (in the middle of nowhere; couldn't see it in the dark until it ran right in front of us). We stopped so Matt could examine possible damage to the Brits' van while Stuart and I walked to a nearby house to deliver some bad news.

Our storm became tornado-warned, but by the time we were on our way again, the storm was far enough away to where we didn't think it was worth it to try to catch up to it after dark. Later that night, an EF1 tornado hit Oklahoma City, causing some minor damage.


PHOTOS

VIDEO (opens to YouTube)