Tri-County Chase

July 8, 2012 by
Filed under: Summary 

Elmore City to Dibble OK
28 May 12

SHORT: Intercepted three marginal supercells in central OK–two small, short-lived right-movers and a big left-mover.

LONG: The younger and larger of the Two Chumps managed to convince the older and slimmer one that today was worth at least a casual look, since the potential was nearby. As we pored over data at my place, towers started going up from central OK into NW TX, in an environment characterized by a deeply mixed boundary layer, little CINH, strongly curved but small low-level hodographs, and lift near and ahead of the surface cold front and dryline.

Proximity led us to the nearest sustained cell, erupting W of Lindsay. Along the way, we loaded Bryan Smith into the vehicle so that he could enjoy fond memories of the adventure forevermore. We could see the (high) base of the cell even from the Goldsby exit of I-35; and it filled in with progressively more core as we approached, exhibiting modest visual structures suggesting some storm-scale rotation. What the hell…might as well…say it’s a supercell.

By the time we reached the Antioch area, looking W, the storm had a dense core but small updraft base–a factor that seems to have led to its eventual shriveling demise N of Elmore City. Thickening anvil shadow from the growing multicellular cluster to the SW (near DUC) also seemed to have cooled the boundary layer and reduced CAPE for an already struggling updraft.

Once the last shreds of that storm disintegrated (as shown with the approaching DUC left-mover in the background), we headed back toward home, with an eye to the W for organizing cells back near Dibble. One of them caught our attention, briefly assuming weakly apparent supercell character (with wall cloud). The problem was, as shown in this much wider-angle shot, the far-larger left-mover loomed menacingly to its S, gobbling up air as if Pac Man at the all-you-can-eat dot buffet. Little fish of a right-mover at right, bloated whale of a left-mover at left…how promising is this situation for the former?

The entire regime indeed turned into a labyrinthine convective mess, which followed us the short distance home, giving us eastern Norman denizens some much-welcomed rain, small hail, and ultimately, a pleasingly kaleidoscopic sunset.


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