Sunday, 28 May 2017

May 27th report - cracking chase day

Hello there.

Well, this morning I was up with the lark and analysing surface charts, model output, etc, and came to the conclusion there were 3 potential targets:

  1. S Central Oklahoma later in the afternoon, ahead of the dry line
  2. NE Oklahoma/SE Kansas, NE of a surface low, and close to an old outflow boundary
  3. SE Colorado and adjacent portions of the Oklahoma and Texas Panhandles, where post cold-frontal upslope flow was expected.
It was very hard to make a reasonable choice - part of me was screaming for the higher tornado potential of the Oklahoma targets, but another part was thinking about the wide open High Plains, and the potential for spectacular structure. In the end we tried several methods, e.g. picking out of a 'hat', asking people on Facebook - all of these came up with S Central Oklahoma! As we left the hotel room I reached into the bin to pick out a bit of paper again for a final clue: SE Colorado, it said.

By that stage, in essence, it was too late to have a realistic chance of making it to S Cent Oklahoma. I wasn't so keen on the way the drier air was quickly mixing in from the west, and also, the 'shape' of the dry line and its orientation to the upper flow just bugged me a bit. However, as we'd got burned a bit yesterday in SE Colorado, it was with some trepidation, and something of a headache, that we headed SW and then W to Springfield, Colorado, for lunch. 

Storms started to form along the Raton Ridge to our SW, and so we decided to wander down to Boise City, Oklahoma. We then headed west from town and then a little south, and then west again, to take up a vantage point some 30 miles ahead of the storm. We watched it slowly approach and evolve, with some great structure, and CG lightning.

To cut a long story short we then kept ahead of the cell as we dog-legged south and east, seeing even better structure to this cell, before it basically caught up with us a Stratford, Texas.

As we headed SE from town, we drove pretty much under the mesocyclone, and the storm decided that this was enough, and dropped some golfball to hen egg sized hail, perhaps a bit larger. This wasn't such good news!

We then headed to Amarillo for the night, and ate at Applebee's.

Cracking day, somewhat literally!

The supercell hoves into view west of Boise City, Oklahoma.

Same, but looking eastwards, at some spectacular anvil mammatus.

A bit later, north of Felt, Oklahoma.


Somewhere to the west of Stratford, Texas.

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