Green Sky Chaser

13 June 2010 Chase Log


Target Area: Shamrock/Pampa/Clarendon, Texas

Chase Area: Canadian/Lipscomb, Texas to Shattuck, Oklahoma

Observations: two wall clouds, two supercells, hail, lightning, a green sky, a dozen or so turkeys, and a windmill museum

Distance: 560 miles

Time: 12 hours, 40 minutes

Chase Team: Jeff Makowski and myself

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

Chase Setup: A deep, positively-tilted trough was centered over the central Rockies. A surface low was in the north Texas Panhandle, while a dryline stretched south from the low through the eastern Texas Panhandle and a stationary front ran through the Oklahoma Panhandle into central Kansas and farther east. Ahead of the dryline, surface winds were from the south-southeast and dewpoints in the 60s. MLCAPE of 1500 to 3000 J kg-1 in the east Texas and east Oklahoma panhandles. Effective SRH in the far eastern Texas Panhandle was 150 to 200 m2 s-2; 0 to 6 km bulk shear was between 40 and 50 knots in the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles.

Blog Entries:

Chase #14 (before)

Chase #15 (after)

Chase Log: Not much to say about this day. Expected some storms from the Texas Panhandle up into Kansas, but the primary focus for severe storms was around the triple point.

We left for Shamrock, wanting to keep both north and south options open. Based on model forecasts of precipitation, I thought it was possible that storms could form as far south as Clarendon. However, in the end, the storms were all well north of this decision was likely what cost us seeing the tornadoes.

We drove out to Pampa and eventually up through Canadian, where we intercepted the storms that were forming along the dryline. There were three main storms that we could have targeted. We decided to go for the middle storm, as it looked better than the southern storm but was closer than the northern storm.

As we drove north up on Highway 23, we heard there was a tornado report on the storm we were looking at, but the storm was too rain-wrapped for us to see anything in it. Eventually we found a nice east-west road where we were able to look at both the middle and southern storms, near Lipscomb (we saw about a dozen turkeys in Lipscomb as well!). Here we saw a deep green sky, some cloud-to-ground lightning, and a wall cloud on each storm.

It started raining, so we drove east but never did get back onto a good storm. About this time we heard that the northern storm was producing tornadoes up in the Oklahoma Panhandle.

Disappointed, we gave up on the chase in Shattuck, Oklahoma, where we saw a windmill museum and decided to stop and get some photos. We also saw some tiny hail fall in Shattuck.