Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Oklahoma - May 28th - skinny supercell

Today started sunny in Salina, Kansas. We knew we had to blast south to get storms but the last few days of chasing and driving, and not getting to bed until at least 1.30am most nights meant it was tough to get up. However, we left before 11am and hit the road southbound.

We stopped for lunch in northern Oklahoma, at a Subway we'd stopped at back in 2008 - back then we we heading north at the start of the trip, 2 days before a tornadofest started up.

Anyway, back to today - we continued south, through Oklahoma City and onto I-44 towards Lawton. We'd picked Wichita Falls as a place to head towards as various models had suggested a complex of storms would move towards there later on in the day - we knew we wouldn't get the early discrete stuff in Texas.

However, we caught up with the cold front not far from Chickasha, Oklahoma, and a cell exploded into life, west of Lindsay. We decided that as this was close-by and exhibiting very strong upward motion in the tower, we'd take a look. As we got around to the south side of it, just south of Lindsay, we were greeted by the sight of a developing supercell updraught, beginning to rotate strongly, with a powerful core developing. A hail roar could be heard aloft, and it wasn't long before a few stray stones started pinging down. We had to get east, which involved a short jaunt back north to Lindsay, and then east towards Maysville. A few 1 to 1.25 inch stones came down amongst the marbles. We dropped south of Maysville and caught sight of the updraught again. We watched an it continued to rotate strongly, but started to take on more of a low precipitation supercell look about it. It then went about decaying in the textbook LP fashion, revealing more and more of the skinny updraught - it was stunning to see a rotating column about 8-10 miles high, but only a couple of miles wide.

Eventually it went completely and some new cells were moving up from the SW. As these reportedly contained hail to tennis ball size we decided not to get into them. The main storm was a left mover from a previous storm split - the updraught was on the northern side of the storm with the precip core to its south.

This then moved away and we headed just north of Maysville to see another supercell in the distance to the WNW - a decent wall cloud was under it for a short time but it started to fall apart. Some intense CGs were coming down, and I managed to capture one on still camera, purely because it had multiple return strokes.

We've stopped in Lawton, Oklahoma, for the night - one more chase day to go.


Supercell getting going near Lindsay, OK. Me explaining to camera what's going on - no response from camera.


South of Maysville - nice core.


Storm starts to loose it.


Updraught starts to fly apart, but still rotating strongly.


Same.


Giant, rotating cylinder with decreasing precip.


Same.


Almost gone.


Mammatus under anvil of next storms.


Lucky capture CG lightning splitting Sun.


Sunset in Maysville.



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