Tuesday 29 May 2018

Day 3 - NW Oklahoma

TUE 29 MAY 2018

Long drive this morning from our hotel in Goodland (KS) - where we had been woken a couple of times during the night as several thunderstorms passed over the area - to our lunch target of Dodge City (KS). Up until this point an old outflow boundary had been sitting close to the Kansas / Oklahoma border, and a couple of thunderstorms had tried to develop along this boundary, lifting to the northeast.
SPC Forecast
SPC Tornado Probability Forecast
Phone pic of a thunderstorm developing near Buffalo (OK)
We continued to head south into Oklahoma, and parked up just outside Buffalo (OK) watching a thunderstorm slowly developing to our north. It was hot: 91F.
Having looked at various observations, we noted how things had improved at Dodge City - in fact the local weather office also pointed out that it appeared the OFB may have passed through Dodge City since their winds had swung back round to the SE. A couple of supercells began to form north and west of Dodge City, and had a nice hook on radar too - I started getting twitchy, contemplating heading back north where conditions were likely just as favourable for tornadoes. (In hindsight, we should've stayed in Dodge City as there were tornadoes from several supercells near there)

But, we'd committed (as had a lot of other chasers) to this storm near Buffalo and watched it gradually evolve into a high precipitation beast. We met up with Dave Ewoldt and chased in convoy for the following 4 hours or so, working southeastwards through Freedom (OK) to Waynoka (OK). Several times this storm had a low, rotating base, there was a report of a brief rope tornado east of Waynoka, but we couldn't see it amongst the wall of rain/hail. Tennis ball sized hail was reported with this storm at times. Some damage occurred in Waynoka, but more likely strong winds on the back side of the mesocyclone than from the brief tornado itself.
Looking north near Buffalo (OK)
Looking north near Waynoka (OK), around the time a brief rope tornado was reported
Tornado warning (red polygon) issued for Waynoka (OK). Our GPS position blue marker
The storm started to weaken so we left it to head back west to Woodward (OK) where we'd booked a hotel for the night. A new thunderstorm developed over Mooreland (OK) and became severe-warned as we approached. We core punched, a lot of rain and hail (reports of 1 inch hail) and a lot of surface water in the town, but it dried up as the sun was setting on approach to Woodward.
Core punching a hail core over Mooreland (OK). Our GPS position blue marker, as we drove E to W through it
GPS route tracker

No comments:

Post a Comment