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« Seventh Chase Day - High Risk, Damage and Devastation | Main | Fifth Chase Day - Sweltering, Baseball Hail and Devastation »

Sixth Chase Day - Tiny Tornado, RFD and Kingfisher

Today was an interesting chase day. We spent the night in Norman, Oklahoma. It looked like storms would be northwest of Oklahoma City so we headed off towards Seiling, Oklahoma. We re-evaluated and managed to travel in circles. We got on one cell east of Fairview, Oklahoma. We were pulled off on the side of the road watching. WE couldn't get out of our vehicles because the lightning danger was fairly large with cloud-to-ground lightning almost constant. Then we saw it: a thin, rope tornado whose condensation funnel didn't reach the ground but we could see the debris on the ground. It was in the field for a few minutes besides dissipating. We continued on this cell for a bit but it began to die to we headed for another storm which was starting to look fantastic. We followed it for a bit and it looked like it was starting to collapse but then the low level jet kicked in and it started ramping up again. We had to head east in a hurry to make it to the town of Kingfisher so we could book it south to get out of the way of the circulation. In the mean time the RFD (rear-flank downdraft) was so strong it blew our antenna off the roof. The whole sell had become an HP (high-precipitation) mess so we could not see if it had a tornado in it or not. The velocity radar returns indicated rotation so we weren't taking any chances. 

We managed to get to the town of Kingfisher and head south out of the path of the storm. We headed a little south, pulled off and waited for the storm to pass. After it passed we headed back into the town which for the most part was fine, just some minor street flooding. After heading through the town we were treated to a beautiful lightning storm. After taking pictures and video of the lightning we headed for some dinner and turned in for the night.

Tomorrow looks like it has incredible potential for tornadoes. NWS SPC has issued a High Risk for severe storms and 30% hatched for strong tornadoes in the area we're currently in. Here is the strong wording about May 24th from the NWS SPC:

   ..CENTRAL AND SRN PLAINS...
   A REGIONAL OUTBREAK OF SEVERE STORMS -- INCLUDING THE POTENTIAL FOR
   VERY LARGE HAIL...DAMAGING WINDS...AND SEVERAL LARGE/STRONG
   TORNADOES IS EXPECTED THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING AS THE POWERFUL
   UPPER JET EMERGES INTO THE PLAINS DRIVING SURFACE CYCLOGENESIS.
Convective Weather Outlook risk map for May 24th.Tornado Potential Outlook for May 24th. 

Needless to say, tomorrow will be interesting. I think we're all a little tired as well. This is our sixth straight day of chasing with no down day. However, we're grateful that we've had the chance to chase these many days. We've been keeping updated on the situation in Joplin, MO which is awful. The death toll is rising as well. So unfortunate.

Ok, time to go to sleep. We've been going non-stop all day so time to tuck in.

Reader Comments (1)

Good luck tomorrow!! That's the highest prob I've seen in a while.

May 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarolyn
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