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May 8 - Travel Day & Storms in Oklahoma

Hello from Clinton, Oklahoma!

We started the day very, very early in Warrenton, Missouri. After a quick breakfast, we headed west on the I-70 into Kansas. Once there, we jogged south on the I-35 toward Wichita, KS. As we approached Wichita, we re-assessed the forecast and decided we needed to head a bit farther south; the environment in southern Kansas was just too worked over from morning convection.

Sunset mammatus from El Reno, Oklahoma.

We continued south into Oklahoma and headed toward the Guthrie area... Breaking our rule about never getting close to the Oklahoma City metro again to chase. We ended up in the Piedmont area and were on a storm but quickly things were becoming messy, rainy, and disorganized. We tried to race east then south to get ahead of the cluster of storms but we just couldn't make it. Not to mention Oklahoma City was flooding again... Oklahoma City in just four days went from about 0.5" inches below their normal year-to-date average to the wettest on record since the late 1940's.

We decided to make our way west to our hotel but stopped to do some photography once we got to El Reno, OK. It was eerie being in the exact same spot we were on May 31, 2013 watching the monster barrel toward us. This was a much more serene experience as a setting sun cast the perfect lighting on the storms in Oklahoma City, rainbows and mammatus. Photos have been uploaded here but I haven't edited any video because I just haven't had much compelling video to add (hopefully that changes tomorrow!).

Speaking of tomorrow... MODERATE risk still holds from the Storm Prediction Center. We're refining our target right now. Our hotel spot for the night is strategic as it puts us within reach of multiple targets. It being a Saturday, in May, with a MODERATE risk... There are going to be a LOT of chasers out (including us of course). We'll be sure to play it safe. All risks are on the table including large hail and the potential for tornadoes. We will refine our target in the morning once we've had a chance to look at soundings, observations, satellite and radar.

Storm Prediction Center's Day 2 (Saturday) risk outlook.

Oh, note to all chasers: Clinton, Oklahoma has nothing to eat late at night except McDonald's...