Beautiful Structure & A Brief Tornado in the Panhandles – May 28, 2018

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2018 seems to have had brief moments of brilliance when it comes to pretty storm structure in the Southern Plains.

On this day we targeted the area from East of Hardesty, OK down to Spearman, Texas for what we planned on being initially high based supercells with a low tornado threat by evening if storm interactions could work out to lower our cloud bases to the point tornadoes were possible.

To get a tornado on this day would require LCLs to lower due to storm interactions but updrafts to remain quite strong to enable a storm to actually spin enough to produce a tornado. No easy feat!

Our initial two storms were very high based and ahead of the main line of convection to the west in much worse moisture. We targeted east to stay in the better moisture and were rewarded with a beautiful/striated LP Supercell which dropped Tennis ball size hail.

After our initial storms weakened, the storms to the west were approaching and their LCLs were lowering as expected, so we watched them approach and targeted a cell that appeared to have some tornado potential near Hardesty, OK. As the complex of storms began to gust out, the RFD surged around the updraft, bringing a brief tornado to our cameras before the show was over and darkness fell.

Not a bad chase day, though this is the type of day you’d actually expect to happen somewhat regularly most Mays!