When it is Prime Time on the Plains, the instability cranks up and the atmosphere’s potential is maxed out. For today’s storm chase case, that was absolutely the case.

Today we’re going to Northern Oklahoma on May 25, 2016 — the same day as the Chapman EF4 tornado in Northern Kansas. This secondary target, where unfortunate but fortunate souls like me had to settle for due to obligations, had a lot of positives to it. But there were negatives. A stronger cap was in place much of the day, meaning the sun would need to work its magic on a extremely unstable airmass to break that stubborn old cap for storms.

The wind shear was just good enough for tornadoes, and more than adequate for supercells. Really, it was a classic boom or bust day on the dryline.

On days like this, focusing on observational data like satellite will lead to really good decisions being made. My main go to on chase day are observational data. Models are helpful for sure, but they rarely tell the whole story.

And on this day, a look at obs led you to a pretty obvious target in Northern Oklahoma. Now getting a storm in time to enjoy the fruits of that target in the daylight? That was another story entirely.