Target Area: Enid, Oklahoma (Click on city names for Yahoo! maps links)
Chase Area: Watonga/Enid, Oklahoma
Observations: a cloud
Distance: ~ 200 miles
Time: ~ 4 hours
Chase Team: Jeff Makowski, Brian Holland, Todd Kluber, Becky Belobraydich, and myself
SPC Convective Outlook: Slight Risk (upgraded to Moderate) (Click to see SPC products, data, and storm reports)
Chase Setup: Large trough over the Central Plains and moderate to strong CAPE (greater than 3000 J kg-1) over south central Kansas and north central Oklahoma. Dewpoints in the upper 60s over much of Oklahoma. Strong wind shear, with helicity values over 300 m2 s-2 through central and eastern Oklahoma into southeast Kansas and a maximum of nearly 500 m2 s-2 over north central Oklahoma. Soundings were very unstable and hodographs looked favorable for tornadic supercells; the problem was the greatest instability and the greatest wind shear and the greatest lift didn't all occur in exactly the same place, so it was more of an educated guess on this one until storms actually started firing. A lee trough also contributed to the setup, situated out in the east Texas Panhandle. In this case the outflow boundaries from the overnight convection (one just north of I-40) had more of a deciding factor as to where storms initiated and whether or not they moved into favorable environments for rotation.
Chase Log: On this, my first ever summer chase, I was prepared to be happy to see anything. I saw a single cell cloud. I was pretty happy. Good convection is nice to see in the late summer.
There really isn't a whole lot to say about this day. We had a pretty short chase, as there wasn't much to see and we didn't want to stay out too long. There were a few hail and high wind reports, but all the tornadoes were in the Midwest.
The most exciting part of the chase was actually going on a storm chase in August. At least we saw one puffy cloud that showed some promise for a little while, but got sheared apart too quickly.