05.24.11

Chase #8 Review

Posted in Storm Chasing at 10:21 am by Rebekah

Yesterday I went chasing with Jeff and Mark, Dean’s uncle who is in the US for a few weeks to primarily gather info for a film he is writing about Dean and his time in the States. We first headed to Clinton, where we sat for a little while as we waited for one of the cumulus clouds to take root and really grow. We got on one of the first supercells of the day just north of Clinton and saw two solid rope funnels come out of the side of the updraft base. They were rotating, and we started to get our hopes up.

We waffled a bit between staying on this storm and going for a storm just to our south. Our storm started to weaken a bit, and at some point around then we noticed a nice-looking supercell on radar to our north, up around Fairview. We decided to immediately make our way up there, especially as the storm was closer to the warm front and would probably have a better chance of sustaining itself and producing a tornado. Not long before we got to the slow-moving supercell, we heard reports of at least one tornado on the storm. As we drew near, however, the storm suddenly got absorbed by a small storm cluster to its northeast.

Disappointed and not sure what to do, we ultimately decided to go back south and aim for a supercell going southeast towards the Oklahoma City metro. As we got close to that storm, part of the storm cluster to the north broke off, became supercellular, and also headed southward. We thought we could stop in Edmond and wait for the storms to pass, perhaps giving us some large hail. However, the storms were moving extremely slow and started to dissipate and turn eastward before they got to the metro.

We made it back to Norman before sunset for once, after 325 miles and 7 hours. A lot of the storms really did have difficulty keeping their identities.

Today’s setup should be different, though, as the shortwave trough will be moving across the risk area and the shear will be higher.

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