Tuesday, May 11, 2010

2010 Chase Season Starts with a Bang


The 2010 chase season started with a bang for me on Monday. After starting the day in Springfield, MO, it was quite evident that all of the ingredients necessary for tornadic thunderstorms were coming together along the dryline in western OK. After stopping near Wellington for a quick sandwich and data crunching, a storm began to fire just east of the dryline near Chester. The storm quickly induced tornado warning and we were able to intercept it near Lambert. Its appearance was 'elevated' at best during a time when the inflow region of the storm sat nearly stationary for ~15 min. on a day when storm motions were over 40 kts. to the northeast! Due to poor road options, we were forced back east on highway 11 which presented a major chaser convergence issue. By this time, the RFD had kicked and a very strong low-level circulation was present on radar. Since we were chasing the storm east as it was crossing Highway 11 from the southwest, we inevitably crossed the damage path. While some of the damage appeared tornadic in nature, very strong (I can verify :]) RFD winds were likely the culprit to many shredded trees and downed power lines. We were able to witness a rare anti-cyclonic tornado just east of Cherokee. While it was only a brief spin-up on what turned out to be a very big day for tornadoes further to the South, it was a good way to dive right back into chasing after a very long winter.

Walnut size hail. Some was as large as tennis balls!

Briefly tornadic anticyclonic rotation on Highway 11 near Cherokee

Golfballs covering the ground

2 1/2" hail with the culprit supercell in the background
As for today...

I honestly think that today's setup is much more chaser-friendly. The environment down along the Red-River near 00Z is progged to be pretty favorable for supercells with at least an outside shot of bagging a tube before the storms turn to HP bombs. Also, storm motions will be much more manageable. If there is just enough lift along the retreating boundary, this could turn out to be a sleeper day that many have written off...

I will be adding some videos later today/tomorrow...

No comments: