May 14, 2018: The Missed Opportunity (But Some Lightning!)

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May 14, 2018 on the surface looked like a storm day which was…very marginal in the region. While the instability was present, 4000 surface cape, the shear was lacking. We were barely managing 30 knots of 0-6km bulk shear. For supercells and tornado supercells, we typically are looking for 35 or 40 kts and over.

Basically the ingredients were almost there for a supercell and even tornado event but they weren’t quite. What you look for on days like this during the peak of the season are outflow boundaries. For chasers, there was a super obvious target with that in mind along the OK/KS border region.

Storms tried to go up in a region NW of Arkansas City before finally a supercell emerged and produced a tornado in the afternoon. I’d show you the Titans chat from this day and how we all agreed that this was the best area — but you’d see how we tend to prioritize other things other than storm chasing and you’d lose the carefully guarded secret that we aren’t the most hardcore chase everything folks out there. Oh wait.

Further west into Colorado where the shear was better, Eugene was able to capture a long lived supercell which dropped mega amounts of hail from the central part of the state down into southwest Kansas. This was a pretty impressive meteorological event.

As for me. I was down here covering severe storms for the OKC metro. Not the most exciting but I did get to see some cool lightning.

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