Target Area: Blackwell, Oklahoma (Click on city names for Yahoo! maps links)
Chase Area: Pond Creek/Blackwell, Oklahoma
Observations: two or three wall clouds, one supercell, and lightning
Distance: 355 miles
Time: 6 hours, 20 minutes
Chase Team: Jeff Makowski and myself
SPC Convective Outlook: Moderate Risk (only Slight Risk in target area) (Click to see SPC products, data, and storm reports)
Chase Setup: A large trough stretched from western Nebraska to western New Mexico and a lee surface low was located in southeastern Colorado. A warm front stretched east of the low through southern Kansas, while a dryline formed through west central Oklahoma into north Texas. Dewpoints ahead of the dryline were in the low 60s and MLCAPE in northwest Oklahoma was around 1500 J kg-1. Wind shear was pretty good, with bulk shear values of about 70 knots in north central Oklahoma. Convective inhibition was considered a problem, especially earlier in the day with low stratus clouds in the area.
Another Moderate Risk (before)
First Chase Of The Year (during)
Sunday's Chase (after)
Chase Log: Everything looked pretty good for this chase around the central Kansas/Oklahoma border except for forcing. There were some low stratus clouds earlier in the day that were anticipated to suppress heating and not allow storms to break the cap until close to dark. However, as is often the case early in the year, I was tempted enough by the setup to go shake off the dust and see what we could get.
We headed up I-35 in the early afternoon, aiming for Blackwell. We hoped to see a supercell or two around the triple point near the border.
Once we got up there, we saw some nice-looking convection forming southwest of us, so got on a cell and followed it eastward. We saw a few decent wall clouds and some nice rotation on the supercell, but it began to pick up speed and become more outflow dominant, so we gave up on it shortly after crossing east of I-35. I try not to chase east of I-35 too much due to the terrain and trees.
Unfortunately for us, the storm produced a couple tornadoes not long after we left.