Sorry for the lack of nowcasting information yesterday, but I was driving and there wasn’t ever much idle time for me to post. Even when I have friends chasing with me I drive a lot more now. Ever since the close call we’ve had in El Reno I put a higher premium on driving myself to make sure I have control in a situation like that. On the lower profile days I’ll have somebody else drive, but any more if it’s a more dangerous chase day I feel better being behind the wheel even thought I makes it much more difficult for me to stay on top of forecasting, navigating and filming. I’ll try to make updating on the road a little higher priority going forward though because I know a lot of people have been checking for updates once I’m in the field and it’s always nice to see other opinions when you’re trying to sort out of the uncertainty of where to target on tricky days like yesterday.
I have got to get better at following my own forecast. I knew damn well the best chance for a strong tornado was in SW Oklahoma yesterday (hence the purple box on my forecast map saying most sure thing for a strong tornado). We decided to bail on the Kansas option yesterday early in the morning as it was apparent the back building of morning convection in the Texas panhandle was going to botch the threat farther north (cutting off moisture return and sacking any decent instability). We started heading south and got to I40/Elk City by early afternoon. It was already pretty apparent the storms were fairly clustered coming into west central Oklahoma and in hindsight the smart move would have been to bail south and take more of a tail end storm that would track through the SW Oklahoma area, but one of the lead storms coming down I40 went tornado warned and sucked us in. We saw one weak tornado near Elk City before the storms to it’s south began interfering with the inflow to that storm. After that we bailed south and got on the storm that produced a beast of a wedge tornado along the Red River (where we should have gone in the first place). There was one tornado reported out of it after we got on the storm, but I’m going to need to see proof of that or I’m calling bullshit. The storm had little to no rotation when that tornado was reported and I had a gopro on the roof of my car filming the mesoscyclone and there little to no rotation wrapping in towards where the occlusion would be. Anyway, we stayed with that storm until Chickasha (probably spelled wrong) and then bailed to head home. Covered about 600 miles and 13 hours in the car for one stat padder tornado. Not a great day, but I had fun joking around with Matt and Jason in the car all afternoon. Got a good reminder of how serious Oklahoma takes there weather coverage seeing channel 9 trucks all over the god damn place, coining the phrase “what would Bobby Payne do” in the process (answer is he’d core punch that bitch lol). Also saw the OKC chase helicopter several times.
Time to look ahead to the next setup as a fairly active pattern continues in the plains. Like a weather version of groundhog day we are looking at yet another negative tilt trough this coming Saturday where morning storms look to fuck everything up once again lol. These god damn hard negative tilt troughs are wearing me thin. The GFS does have mid/upper level winds a little less backed with this one and the kinetics aren’t quite as good, but it’s once again a very similar setup to what we’ve had the last two Saturdays in a row. Earlier this work week there may be some lower end setups in the western portion of the plains, but nothing major. I’ll get into all that later tonight in the extended forecast so check back if you’re interested.