Green Sky Chaser

8 September 2010 Chase Log

Target Area: Ardmore, Oklahoma to Gainesville, Texas

Chase Area: Gainesville/Dallas, Texas

Observations: Thunderstorms and lightning

Distance: 430 miles

Time: 9 hours, 20 minutes

Chase Team: Jeff Makowski and myself

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

Chase Setup: The remnants of Tropical Storm Hermine were moving north through central and northern Texas. Low-level winds were from the east-southeast in far southern Oklahoma and northern Texas. Surface temperatures and dewpoints were in the mid-70s. CAPE exceeded 2000 J kg-1 in parts of north Texas with strong low-level shear.

Blog Entries:

TD Hermine: Rain, Flooding, and...Tornadoes? (before)

September Chasing (after)

Chase Log: This was my first attempt at a tropical-related chase; I had never before chased storms associated with a tropical cyclone. Hermine was classified a tropical depression or a tropical low at the time, and Jeff and I decided to first head down to the Red River area, with low expectations.

By the time we got to the Texas border, we had heard that there was a tornado near Colbert in southern Oklahoma. The storm that produced that tornado did not look like a tornado-producing storm, so we would not have known to go after it.

We got on a disorganized storm east of Denton, but it was difficult to tell what was going on as everything looked so messy. We soon saw there was a tornado-warned storm southeast of Dallas, and dove south. By the time we got there, the storm had produced a couple of tornadoes and there was another tornado-warned storm in downtown Dallas. This latter storm went on to produce at least one tornado, which was rated EF2.

The Dallas storms actually had hook echoes and looked more like supercells. As we approached the downtown Dallas storm, we heard the tornado sirens go off...but by the time we got close enough, the storm had started to disintegrate.

On our way back north, we heard that there was a tornado spotted near Gainesville. Again, the storm that produced this tornado did not look very well-organized.

I could not be very disappointed, as it was a difficult day due to the storms not being classic Plains supercells and to not being quite sure how to target storms associated with a tropical cyclone. I did learn a bit from it, though, and it was nice to just get out on the road again.