I (Simon) forecasted supercells to develop in Southwestern Kansas
and the Western OklahomaPanhandle. We left Norman and drove Northwest
to Woodward, OK and then west on 412 into the OK Panhandle. While
in the Eastern OK Panhandle we watched a cumulonimbus cloud develop
to our northwest. We decided to drive to that area of development.
We drove north on 83 toward Liberal, KS and
through and north of Liberal and then turned west onto 51. We pulled
onto a southward facing side road off of 51. From there we watched
an anticyclonically rotating high-based updraft. The storm was LP
and very small. We found nickel and dime-sized hail scattered on the
ground around us, which meant this
another updraft form to the WNW, so we got back on 51 and drove west.
We then turned south on 20RD and hit a rain/hail core, which was the
FFD of the storm to our NW. We turned west on D RD and hit a large
and intense hail core 3 miles west of Route 25. We decided to sit
in the hail core and see what this supercell could produce. We ended
up sitting in the hail core between 30 and 45 minutes!
Things didn't look very good at first, but things changed for the better...
After experiencing the hail core for a while, we drove west and then south on 24 RD. At the OK/KS border we witnessed a beautiful rainbow along the back side of the rain/hail core. While watching the rainbow we could see large plums of dirt to the southwest being kicked up by the RFD of our supercell. We continued south on N0770RD in Oklahoma and then on CR 40. Just north of Goodwell, OK the updraft showed more rapid rotation, but no tornadoes were ever produced. We gassed up in Goodwell and continued south. Our cell began to die, so we drove west on CR 25 watching a LP cell develop to our NNW.
Nice Updraft Base, along with a Gorgeous Rainbow
That storm then died, so we drove south on 1290 and then west on Route 15 toward a new supercell near Stratford, TX. This storm had a nice flanking line and a large rain free base. We encountered some nickel and quarter-sized hail in Stratford. From Stratford we drove south on 287 watching partial rainbows form periodically. We witnessed our cell pulsate multiple times, but our supercell really tensified and looked its best while we drove thru the town of Dumas, TX. We watched a great sunset and some nice lightening from as the supercell moved southeast over roadless territory.
Dirt forced up by the RFD of another storm rises into the updraft of this storm.
This was a great chase. When we arrived back at my house in Norman we opened the cooler bag to discover a huge ball of hail. All of the hail, which had not melted, had stuck together into a large ball of hail.
Simon's Pictures will be up soon!
A great chase is a great chase.
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