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Day 10: The Supposed Down Day That Turned into a "Coring"

Currently I'm in Norman, Oklahoma.  We came here this morning from Lawton expecting this to be a down day.  The plan was we were going to drive to the damage path of the EF-4 (American F scale for tornadoes) and do some filming there.  Well, once we got to the damage path, we noticed a cell north-west of Oklahoma City that was tornado warned... so naturally... we decided to chase it.  The storm tried to hook over and over (hook on the radar is indicative of a tornado) but it just wasn't happening.  However, the hail core on this thing was looking nasty.

We drove around looking for two things:
1) a good spot to watch/video tape/photograph the storm
2) shelter in case we got cored (hit with the largest hail in the storm)

We successfully found both things.  The shelter we found was a chapel which had an over-hang that cars can park under.  We drove to our lookout spot and were just about to get out to film when we realized the core was coming in faster than we thought.  We raced back to our shelter just as the hail started.  It started off as pea-size hail then progressed to golf ball size hail.  We were perfectly safe and had a great view of the hail storm both forward, back and to the one side.  The hail storm lasted almost 10 minutes so we were able to get incredible video.  Meghan and Heather had both brought hard hats as a joke... well Mark put one on and ran out into the hail.  Needless to say he has a few bruises.  After the hail storm was done it looked like it snowed.  If you check out my photo gallery, there's a lot of pictures comparing the size of the hail stones to a quarter.

Unfortunately, we noticed after that while the trees were getting shredded by hail, there were birds in the trees.  There was nothing we could do to help and unfortunately most of them died.  That was hard to see but shows you how helpless we are against nature.

After the hail storm, that looked like a snow storm, we traveled to just south of Moore, Oklahoma to see the damage caused by the EF-4 tornado that touched down on Monday, May 10 this week.  This isn't the tornado we saw, ours has not yet been rated (probably because it happened in a field which makes it hard to rate and it was multi-vortexed).  Here is a link to information about the outbreak:

Here are the track maps of the various tornadoes that day (the purple dashed line "not yet surveyed" was the tornado we saw):

Check out my photo gallery for images of the hail as well as the tornado damage.  Tomorrow looks like another down day so we'll be sleeping in.  Up until this point, the models were not looking good storm-wise for the next week.  Looked like there wouldn't be too many storms.  Well... that's changed.  Tuesday and Wednesday look good for storms in the Texas panhandle and then Friday, Saturday and Sunday look really good for storms.  That's still a little far out but it looks good.  I miss home but I'm having a great time and learning so much.

Today is Meghan's birthday (happy birthday!) so she got an amazing hail storm on her birthday.  We then went out for dinner with Jim Leonard and Jack Beven. Jim Leonard has been storm chasing since 1969 and pretty much any hurricane documentary you watch has his footage in it. Jack Beven is one of the top hurricane forecasters in the world. He directly briefs all the high-ups in the U.S. government. We had the privilege of having dinner with these two men and it was amazing to hear what they had to say.

Now we're in the hotel, goofing around, watching some of our video, doing laundry and relaxing. We'll see what tomorrow has in store and if will actually be a "down day".

Reader Comments (1)

I love your postings. Great work by all. I follow you daily. thank you.

May 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWayne
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