Grungy HP supercells and a missed tornado opp – April 13, 2012
There are some days when you do everything you could possibly do right, but everything still seems to work against you. That day was today. I can’t believe we basically saw 6 or so supercells, and the only real tornado producing cell in the state we were on from almost it’s beginning stages and we still didn’t come away with a tornado.
Almost immediately as the chase began we were on a rapidly organizing supercell just to the SW of the OKC metro area. While this storm did go on to produce a tornado through the middle of Norman, we opted to let the storm go because there were more supercells to our SW and honestly, we knew better. Never chase in metros.
All of the cells had a rather grungy look to them. Our next cell we intercepted as it came off of the Quartz Mountains north of Altus and it honestly didn’t look like it ever quite had it all together — as if the storm was ‘cold’. I think that was probably the case. So we moved one more SW. This storm went tornado warned quickly and looked amazing as we intercepted it initially near Blair, but it was an HP beast.
Instead of trying to intercept the storm (for fear of hail and ruining the outbreak chase the next day) we decided to play it conservative and have a last stand in Cooperton with the Wichita Mountains to our east (which is an impenetrable wall when it comes to chasing). This was a painful experience as the storm produced a funnel about 1/2 of the way to the ground (it was later confirmed to be a multi-vortex rain wrapped tornado/wedge). You can hear me say, “This sucks” in the video…because it well…did suck.
After that horrific experience we dropped south and waited on something else to take shape but nothing seemed willing to give it a go like the cell we just left did. We grabbed dinner in Lawton and headed up I-44. As a bit of a consolation prize (seems to be the theme of 2012) we got a nice light show on our way home. Here’s a compilation from Josh Ward’s camera:
All in all a wasted opportunity for us today. Played it too safe perhaps, but that’s something we’ll be second guessing for awhile.
Owner/Producer/Director of Tornado Titans. I chase tornadoes and am the General Editor of this website. I hail from the small town of Velma, Oklahoma but I currently live in Norman, OK. I love Jesus first and foremost, but I also love my friends and family. My passion for the sky is definitely God-given, and I love sharing it with the world.