Yesterday was a day to chase severe weather here in Oklahoma. I’ve been chasing storms for several years now and it’s just something I do each spring.
Yesterday was a good day. I left Rose Rock after lunch and headed to southwest Oklahoma – the target area. I arrived in Chickisha and right into the path of a storm approaching from the southwest, with another storm right behind that one.
To get out of the tornado warned storm, I drove (quickly) south, ending up just north of Duncan. There I was able to see most of the storm structure and had the opportunity to feel the power of a rear flank downdraft. That’s the warm air being sucked up into the main storm, adding fuel to the tornado.
After the storm passed, I drove back to Chickisha and found the main streets were flooded. Challenging, but not impossible to get through. It was after sunset at this point and I decided to head back to Tulsa.
The drive back was also challenging. Driving rains, flooded roadways and (amazingly) lots of traffic. A few vehicles had ended up in roadside ditches from hydroplaning on the standing water.
About 30 minutes from home, a tornado warned storm crossed the highway behind me. Timing is everything in storm chasing.
After 10 hours and 410 miles, I was home. I could relax now. No?
I was about half-way done unloading gear and the tornado sirens sounded. Rotation had been seen only a few blocks from my house. Those storms chased ME all day and then followed me home.
I finally got to bed around 2am.
Yep. I’m ready to go again!
You can view the photograpahs and read more about the chase on my weather site at http://www.tulsawxchaser.com/blog/2013/04/21/april-17-2013-chase-near-duncan-ok/.