Monday, June 16, 2008
Success and Failure
Wow. AN incredible day! And scary too. This is just a short summary. I will try to add photos later. Intercepted three supercells in OK and TX. The first was LPish and we left it as a tornado warned storm was just a few miles to its east. Still a nice look to it.
We got on the storm south of 40 near Lone Wolf OK. In the Washita Mountains, the storm looked scary. It was tough to get ahead of it but managed to on RT 283. Matt was saying there was a big visual vault. I couldn't see it until we turned south. The storm was one of my top ten supercells I have ever witnessed and clearly it had the most CG lightning I had seen. I have a number of daytime lightning photos. Continuous lightning and very stacatto and scary positive bolts.
We followed it past Snyder where it lost its strength and lined out a bit. It had some low-level attempts at circulation but never appeared to want to tornado.
Then to our southwest was the next monster supercell. We headed for Vernon TX where we tried to get south of it on 70. WE were slowed by near zero visibilities in the inflow dust. A very strong appearance visually. Our level three data didn't seem to show very much until we lost it. I am not sure why it looked so garbled. Either way, we headed south of town...we were about three minutes short of a south turn when the storm cored us. Large and very solid hail dented the van and knocked out one side window. Sizes were mostly golfballs but a few tennis balls. Kelley, my student, was cut and bled some with the glass that shattered into the van. Another student was subsequently hit with another hailstone in the open window. We ended up taking her to Quanah Hospital where she was treated and released with a few minor abrasions and a hematoma on the nose. We need to get the van window replaced. It was scary. SPC..storm log take note. Winds were also estimated to be over 60 mph.
Three minutes earlier and we would have made it. I feel bad for getting us there and wish we had been able to turn south quicker. The radar we had showed that we were very close to the south side of the echo core. But not far enough given the strong upper northerly winds. Must have been a beast of a storm.