Target Area: Clinton, Oklahoma (Click on city names for Yahoo! maps links)
Chase Area: Clinton, Oklahoma
Observations: two funnel clouds and three supercells
Distance: 325 miles
Time: 7 hours
Chase Team: Jeff Makowski, Mark Narramore, and myself
SPC Convective Outlook: Moderate Risk (Click to see SPC products, data, and storm reports)
Chase Setup: A surface low was moving into far northwest Oklahoma, with a warm front stretching eastward near the Oklahoma/Kansas border and a dryline tightening near the Oklahoma/Texas Panhandle border. Dewpoints were in the 60s. There was a trough out west, but not much upper-level support in the Plains. The shear was not that great (especially low-level shear), but appeared to be sufficient for supercells.
Chasing Later Today (before)
Chase #8 Review (after)
Chase Log: Dean's uncle Mark from Australia was out in the US for a few weeks this spring, and Dean got him in touch with me so I could take him storm chasing. 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.
It was kind of a weird day on which the storms seemed to have trouble keeping their identities, but at least we were happy we saw some decent storms and a couple nice funnel clouds.