Thursday, June 14, 2007

Pleasant Surprise!

MD issued as we were leaving

Yesterday at lunch I jokingly told the REU group that they better bring their chase gear to work today because it may be our last chase. When Dave Imy and I were working on the Day 2 outlook for today we did not think storms would have the potential to become tornadic due to the lack of mid level support and icky wind shear. Needless to say, today told a different tale. Around lunch time we decided that we would chase for sure as many of the BufKit soundings indicated shear increasing my mid afternoon as well as plenty of instability to feed the storms as they form. We decided to head out around 1:30 P.M. to our target, Watonga, OK, and by the time we got to Watonga we immediately decided that we did not want to go any further west and instead wanted to stick with the outflow boundary from the early morning convection that was moving Southwest with time. A small cell fired along the boundary, but it looked as if it was having trouble becoming rooted in the boundary layer and not accessing all of the available energy that was at the surface. We got on the storm anyway and continued to follow it while we were all yawning due to the crappy outflow that was dominating the HP blob. All of a sudden, and I do mean sudden, the storm decides to get its act together and we see a clear slot come diving in from the west on the storm and great mid level rotation starting to wrap up nicely. This is actually the second time this has happened to me this year and has been quite mysterious. Anyway, a wall cloud quickly formed and spawned a tornado that touched down for about 15 seconds, then lifted. This particular tornado did this routine 2 different times before becoming rain wrapped and out of our visibility. It looked as if it was still on the ground the last we saw, so who knows how long the tornado was actually on the ground...Pictures didn't come out that great due to the very poor lighting, but with a little bit of contrast I was still able to pull off this picture. I took a lot of video from start to end to hopefully I can edit that sometime this week. That's all for now...

1 comment:

Alan said...

Come on definition a tornado is on the ground! I know Dr. Bentley ranted about that when I had 320, its a major pet peeve of his.

Anyway, hope the summer is going well.