Stepwise through Stephenville – 30 April 2004

April 30, 2004 by · Comments Off on Stepwise through Stephenville – 30 April 2004
Filed under: Summary 

SHORT: Killed a series of supercells from Ryan OK to near Brownwood. Saw a funnel not associated with any of them. Fun chase anyway.

LONG: We roared out of AbNorman as soon as Elke got off work (2 p.m.), and after my NOW post noting development near SPS. We went from 50s and overcast (post-frontal) in abNorman to mid 70s and sunny between Pauls Valley and Davis. The anvil from the tornadic Ryan/Waurika storm was coming into view by the time we approached the Arbuckles, with some fat mammatus bags dangling beneath.

We heard the tornado reports (the one seen by OF Marshall) while approaching ADM. I didn’t have much hope that it would stay a discrete, cyclic *and* non-HP storm by the time we could get there, based on early initiation, weak CINH and a sharp frontal boundary to its SW, but we tried anyway, rolling past Cornish and Orr to near Grady, as a dark pall loomed across the western sky. Along OK32 near Grady (Jefferson County), we were passed at stunning speed (91 mph, to be specific) by a red truck with the label UK STORM CHASER, as if that was license for this self-absorbed jackass to drive *that* fast on a shoulderless, hilly, and probably unfamiliar 2-lane roadway. By the time the yahoo roared out of view, it was apparent that the storm into which he was hastily plunging was at least backbuilding across the river, perhaps lining out altogether. We turned around and went to Nocona, then SSW toward Bowie in valiant attempt to get S of this outflow-vomiting heap and on to other storms. This was out last view of it, looking N from between Bowie and Nocona.

A small updraft embedded in the line, near Bowie, produced a skinny shear funnel, about 1/4 to 1/5 of the way to the ground, that didn’t last long enough for me to stop and take a picture. The next storm was a supercell embedded in the line near Jacksboro, but still with distinct structure. Here it is evolving into outflow dominance:

…so we bailed yet farther SSW. We tried to intercept the next storm at MWL, apparently an HP storm as viewed from the distance. But as we entered MWL, it evolved fast into a small bow and surged ENE. Because of the town delays and its acceleration; we couldn’t beat it across US 281 and got smacked by the crosswinds and some small hail instead. My driver’s side windshield wiper busted into fragments, including some loosely dangling metal rods. As long as the windshield was wet, though, it wouldn’t scratch the glass up. There was nothing I would call severe while we were in this storm; though the WFO did warn for this feature as it roared up I-20 toward the S side of FTW. We bid the mess adieu. This view is looking N from just N of SEP:

It was a very low light situation out there, as you probably can tell from the high-ISO grain the digital camera imparts to the image when shot at roughly f3. So we hit SEP, about ready to call it an evening, when Constable Bobby called to advise us of a tornadic storm near BWD. We were close, it wasn’t dark yet, and already we had killed three supercells; so why not ruin one more? And so we did. Man, that was a dark storm a MUN (mean/ugly/nasty) HP beast! Actual light, looking WNW from between Energy and Indian Gap (westernmost Hamilton County):

…and a deliberate overexposure to bring out the structure better:

Told you it was dark in there. Just in case it tried any funny business from within the precip-wrapped NE flank (as intense HPs sometimes do), we maneuvered ourselves around to the ENE of the meso; but by then, both it and our last daylight were fading.

We had Texas mesquite BBQ (*real* barbecue, not this oversweetened, under-smoked, second-rate stuff from KC or North Carolina!) and a Texas style chicken fried steak at Woody’s Grill just NE of Dublin, along the SE side of US377. I strongly recommend this place for a hearty, filling after-chase meal should you ever end up anywhere in the SEP-BWD area. The next day was spent repairing the windshield wiper, eating good meals, touring the world’s oldest Dr Pepper bottler in Dublin, stocking up on heaven-in-a-bottle (original style Dublin DP with pure cane sugar), and breathing in the fresh spring scenery of greenery between Comanche, Possum Kingdom and Wichita Falls. Also recommended: Miguel’s Mexican Restaurant in Comanche.


Okfuskee County supercell – 22 April 04

April 23, 2004 by · Comments Off on Okfuskee County supercell – 22 April 04
Filed under: Summary 

SHORT: Pretty, nontornadic supercell across Okfuskee County. Tail-end storm near Ada died fast. Friendly horses.

LONG: We left abNorman around 3, thanks to prior commitments here and the kids not getting out of school til 2:45. I was hoping on this day to show them their first chase tornado (saw a landspout a few years ago in NM while on vacation)…but the atmosphere wasn’t going to allow that. We just could not leave in time to get to the Haskell or Broken Arrow storms. Still, the intercept was fun and adventuresome, and well worthwhile. We got ahead of the dryline just as towers were starting to erupt thereon, between Lake T-Bird and Tecumseh on OK9. One particularly thick tower caught our attention to the NNE; and over the succeeding hour we deftly maneuvered into its proximity inflow sector. The storm quickly became a supercell and beginning its series of wall clouds and occlusions, with occasional scuddy lowerings. This view is looking NNW from about 4 N of Bearden. We knew the storm would turn E and move essentially parallel to, and within viewing distance of, I-40; so we had the luxury of letting it drift past us to the N. It was strongly tilted. …but would stand up better within about half an hour, around Okemah, with a well developed wall cloud dangling beneath… Then from a longtime vantage near Clearview… Meanwhile, a bogus tornado report came over NWR. We had been watching the storm from a great vantage (especially for eastern OK) for 10-15 minutes or more, and never saw any tight cloud base rotation or other symptoms of incipient or ongoing tornadogenesis. Fortunately, TUL must not have believed the report either; for it never appeared in their LSRs. I thought this ominous but non-rotating lowering would trigger another bogus report… …but it didn’t. This storm reminded me of many I witnessed in 1989: everything but the tornado. A wet line of storms formed to its SW and soon rammed our supercell in the backside, just as it was getting better organized…dropping copious cascades of precip into and through the original updraft area and turning the whole thing into linear looking mush with a residual circulation embedded *somewhere* within. [It would rejuvenate as a deeply wrapped HP right after we left it.] We made a long drive SW from near Henryetta to Ada in search of Tail-end Charlie and found it… Just W of Center, as we got closer, the storm crapped out; and we never could see the fog-cloaked base… We were in the heart of Oklahoma’s horse country, so naturally the kids (who had gotten a few earlier opportunities to get out and play) made friends with a couple of affectionate young paint horses, including this playful fellow… …before we headed into Ada for a big dinner, then the short drive home. The kids got to get out and play several times instead of being cooped up in the car all afternoon and evening, behaved well most of the time, and watched a supercell *almost* produce. It was a fun family chase. RE


April 13, 2004 by · Comments Off on Welcome!
Filed under: Journal Entry 

This weblog is our first and something totally new for us at It’s also part of an ongoing redesign of the whole stormeyes site. We wanted something that would make it easier for us to share the fun and update friends of adventures from the road, in libraries or using our rather ancient little laptop. We’ll see how it goes. Mostly this blog will be used during the main storm season and perhaps the second season in fall — if we get a second season this year. We might add storm related posts at other times, too, but look for most of the activity to occur between March and July. Time permitting, I hope to initiate a personal weblog for other exercises in writing soon. We were blessed to make it out to Western Oklahoma and look at a couple of supercells back in March, on the 27th. This was such a good time! We managed to avoid the large hail and see a small brief tornado. Al Pietrycha gave us some nowcasting via the cell phone from northern climes – thanks, Alnado! We also ran into Rich Thompson and Corey Mead on the roadside, with whom we enjoyed a fine sunset, watching the last storm of the day trim painted sails and drift off to the east. We topped the day off in the best way possible – a steak dinner with Chuck & Vickie Doswell, together with Al Moller and others. It was a such a pleasure to see you all again! Our account is listed in the archive for March (more images to follow). It’s also here with lots more images and links. This weblog is made possible by a neat bit of freeware (for personal sites) called MoveableType. I’m still on a learning curve here with regards to content management systems, but excited to have the opportunity to dabble. Thanks for checking in with Roger and I. Hope we see you again real soon. Elke Edwards, KB0YWO Norman, OK ~~~

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