11:21: It’s only a few days until I chase in the physical realm, but the conditions are amazing today (and better tomorrow).
Based on a preliminary look at the SPC outlook, I’m focusing on my target area of a 25 mile radius around Altus, Oklahoma (the orange dot located in southwestern Oklahoma.
I’ll update this as the day rolls on. If I were there in the flesh, I’d likely be starting my day from someplace in southwestern Kansas (like Liberal, KS) rolling down US83 south to Altus.
Here’s a look at yesterday’s action:
(See also: http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/reports/150507_rpts.html)
1603CDT: My forecast has verified! check these radar shots (composite reflectivity):
Near Childress: TOR warning on storm rotation (not observed yet):
Over Altus: BULLSEYE!Strategy: watch the both storms. Stay with the Altus storm. Let the southern storm move toward me.
1630: Sheriff-nado at 16:23! (But plenty of chasers (Jim LaDue, Tony Mesias, David Drummond, others) are sitting on this storm attentively. (Local emergency management has another sighting at Oklaunion around 17:21.)
1640: TOR warnings dropped on the southern storm. Wait a bit longer, then slide east (to Anadarko, about an hour’s drive). Stay on the Altus storm.
1648: Course correction: Will go south at Lawton,OK (or north, if the Altus storm gets much stronger). Checking the tornado climatology rating on the Vernon (southern) storm: STP of 3+ !
Ok. Given that i was not watching the radar constantly, I’ve missed the better storm. Do I abandon the Altus storm or go for the larger storm (perhaps missing both)?
[Real world note: 2.75-inch fell at 16:11 in Caddo. Odds are that if I’d been there in the flesh, I’d have move east earlier instead of getting hammered by near-baseball size hail.]
17:14: The storm that was over Altus is fizzling. “Head south!”
17:38: Ok. Heading south on I-44 from Lawton to Randlett (36 minute drive), hoping to reach the Vernon storm in time.
GRlevel2 shows this to be a monster (looking from east toward the I-44 crossing of the Red River and beyond, to the west)
17:48: Pulled off at Walters, OK exit. Have to let the storm slide on by. I arrived too late!
Oh, well, tomorrow is another day. (Will circle back to Lawton for dinner, hotel, etc.)
END RESULT: A strong storm at my target, but the storm of the day is further south.