Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Final chase day - May 29th

Today went out with a bang - lots of them!

We started the day in Lawton and headed to El Reno for lunch. We then headed to near Watonga and saw a storm develop to the north. After a while we headed towards it and basically stuck with it as it became a supercell and then moved slowly south-east towards Oklahoma City. It showed some pretty nice structure at times, but was packing 3-5 inch diameter hail, so we remained out of the core.

We got down to Piedmont and decided, as another cell was moving up from the south-west, with golf ball sized hail, that we'd take shelter underneath a petrol station awning.

The storm from the south-west passed just to our south-east, throwing a powerful gust front across us with some pretty nasty winds. As this bashed into the northern cell the updraught area took on an even more interesting looking appearance. I wondered whether this interaction might briefly strengthen the low-level rotation - it did. Tornado sirens suddenly wailed, and a narrow funnel could be seen to the west, only a couple of miles away. These few minutes were pretty intense!

Some hail started falling but nothing more than marble size. I have always entertained dreams of being under shelter as giant hail came down but it wasn't to be - probably for the best for other people nearby!

However, parts of northern Oklahoma City got pounded and we heard reports on TV of numerous cars with most windows being bashed out.

I had remarked to Helen earlier that with a NW-SE storm motion perhaps echoes of a very nasty hailstorm a couple of years ago, which moved into OKC, would be realised - how prophetic!

Anyway, we let the storms pass over and finally headed to our hotel in western Oklahoma City for our final night - flight home is tomorrow.

Supercell near Loyal, Oklahoma


Dave Lewison and Scott McPartland

East of Loyal - dust mainly kicked up by other cars. Wall cloud viewed from west.

Ian 'Windy' Miller

Supercell low-level mesocyclone just south of Okarche, Oklahoma


Supercell mesocyclone just after outflow from another storm to south slammed in, at Surrey Hills, near Piedmont, Oklahoma


Same - brief tornado developed within this circulation although very tricky to see from our location. No pics but funnel can just be seen on video.

1 comment:

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