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19 May

May 19, 2010 – Oklahoma

stratosigma / Blog, Storm Chasing / / Comments

Well, this is one of those chase days you don’t want to talk about, but “reliving” it might allow you to at least learn something. After chasing the Dumas, TX supercell the day before and driving back to Lubbock that night I was pretty tired, admittedly and didn’t plan too well for the 19th. The SPC outlook for the day painted a moderate risk across most of Central Oklahoma, I took a look at the models rather hastily in the morning and decided Lawton, OK would be a good place to start.
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18 May

May 18, 2010 – Dumas, Texas

stratosigma / Blog, Storm Chasing / / Comments

With everyone’s eyes on the event predicted for the 19th, overlooked was the “day before” event that was setting up along the TX/NM border.   Target of the day, for me, was Dalhart, Texas in the northwestern Panhandle of Texas.  Forecasts were showing a low centered in southeast Colorado with a warm front extending southeast from there to Louisiana.  With the dryline expected to slosh eastward through the day, a bulge was expected for form in the panhandle.  This spelled out a great location for backed surface winds, warm air and moisture advection and with the dryline pushing east, the catalyst needed to kick off some storms.
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14 May

May 14, 2010 – Southwest Texas

stratosigma / Blog, Storm Chasing / / Comments

After a long day of travel from Wichita, KS to Midland, TX and mostly sunny skies, I was ready to do some storm chasing again.  SPC has Southwest Texas tagged as a slight risk for severe weather this day.  A stationary front was positioned across southern New Mexico and Central Texas and an outflow boundary was positioned from south central Texas back to the northwest where it intersected the stationary front near San Angelo.   Elevated storms were already firing in New Mexico, and more were expected to develop in an even more unstable air mass over southwestern Texas that was punctuated by CAPE values approaching 3,000 J/kg.
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12 May

May 12, 2010 – Northern Oklahoma

stratosigma / Blog, Storm Chasing / / Comments

I wasn’t sure what to think of this day.  It appeared that storm motion was going to be nearly parallel to the boundary that was supposed to trigger the storms in the evening.  That meant there wouldn’t be much of a window for isolated supercells to plod along.  Anyway, I decided to drop down from Wichita into Northern Oklahoma.  Left Wichita at around 12pm.  I was temporarily distracted by the minor storms that popped up southwest of Wichita shortly after I left town.  They popped up rather quickly, but died just as fast.  After I finished being distracted by shiny objects, I continued south into Oklahoma.
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11 May

May 11, 2010 – Western Oklahoma

stratosigma / Blog, Storm Chasing / / Comments

Figured the day before was as good as this trip was going to get.  They say the average chase success happens once every seven chases.  Today the initial chase target was Lawton, OK.  The forecast for the day had moist air advecting in quickly from the south bringing CAPE values in the area up to 4,000 J/Kg.  The big worry was the lack of lift from the dryline, but also a pretty stout capping inversion that might prevent storms from firing at all.  In hindsight, the warm front that was across the area was going to play further north than Lawton, providing the directional shear to fire up some nice supercells in the northwest part of the state.  Had I realized that earlier, I might have been in position for the Woodward storm later that day before it turned dark.

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