Autumnal Storm Intercept Encore

November 4, 2007 by
Filed under: Summary 

Edmond to Cushing OK, 17 Oct 7

SHORT: Intercepted intermittently supercellular and quasilinear storms from Edmond area NE to near Cushing, remained out of hail. Stongly tilted future Tulsa storm observed to our SE-E upon return.


I had been working the last of a set of night shifts before traveling with the family to Colorado for an extended weekend. Typically, I rotate my sleep schedule forward during a set of such shifts, such that I’m awake most or all of the day after the last one. This day was no exception, so I was able to remain plugged into the severe storm threat from home during morning through early afternoon, in between a few errands.

As noted in various FCST discussions, some of the big concerns for afternoon were whether storms would form along the dryline after the strongest large scale ascent already had passed the area, and also, what mode such development would assume. By midafternoon, I was getting encouraged for the possibility of at least somewhat discrete development, despite the presence of a westerly wind component E of the dryline. A broken string of towers — a few of which glaciated — developed E of the border between OK and the Texas Panhandle (the same as observed from afield by Chuck R). I sat tight and waited for closer initiation that would move into richer low level moisture, and perhaps, some of the slightly more backed winds farther E (E if I-35).

Towers finally went up in an arc between Kingfisher, CHK and FSI, a few of which developed into small Cb’s. A subtle boundary from the earlier convection that moved SW-N of OKC had left a maximized corridor of low level vorticity aligned across the OKC area and NEward from there. The vort field was laid out quite tantalizingly perpendicular to, and just ahead of, a pronounced dryline bulge…and better still, slightly to the right of the mean wind vector! The towers forming near CHK would move quickly NE toward, then along or nearly along, the vorticity axis, which for those reasons became a screamingly obvious target to me. It was time to swing into intercept mode!

I picked up Ashton Robinson at NWC and Corey Mead at his house, and off we went up I-35, seeing a vehicle that contained Jeff Snyder and Howie along the way. By then a full-fledged, discrete storm with some visual signs of rotation aloft was moving NE across the OKC area, and we could see a rather long, flat base with intermittent and broad lowerings.

We rounded the corner at I-35 and I-44, barely beating the storm to that intersection while hearing reports of quarter size hail over Edmond. The core began to look somewhat elongated, and the real-time radar readout on Ashton’s Black-Berry device confirmed this. We zigzagged ahead of the storm from Wellston to Agra to Cushing, growing more than a little dismayed by its outflow dominant appearance (looking N from near Carney).

By the time we reached out final observation post, 1 NNW Cushing, the storm was hopelessly strung out with multiple cores behind an elongated gust front (looking W down that rocky red road and then looking NNE toward a slight bowing of the line segment). Some updraft action moving up from the SW provided brief intrigue until we got hit with cold outflow as it moved overhead.

We took in the final sights, sounds and smells of a storm in the Oklahoma countryside for this year, understanding that the impending winter likely would render this our final first-hand indulgence at the atmospheric sm


Comments are closed.