Chris McBee and Damon Bearden headed south on I-35 to Marietta, Oklahoma, where we met up with Joshua Artman and William Towns of Northwest Arkansas Storm Chasing. We progressed south to a farm road in southern Cooke County, Texas, where we witnessed a low-hanging wall cloud with an inflow tail (seen in the first photo below). This feature gusted out quickly, however. The storm mode was very linear, so after another short drive south to Sanger, Texas we left for home. Snapped one picture (second photo) of the ominous sky north of Sanger. Good chase to shake the dust off some of our equipment.
Chris McBee and Damon Bearden traveled to Woodward, Oklahoma in anticipation of a historically large blizzard that was forecast to affect the area. We experienced the changeover from rain to snow very quickly in Watonga, and continued on to Woodward County, not fully knowing what to expect. We experienced very heavy blowing and drifting snow, with visibility near zero much of the time. As can be seen in the video clip below, we got stuck on very snowy Highway 3 trying to leave town, and had to be dug out with a front-end loader. We reluctantly stayed the night at the Hampton Inn in Woodward, dealing with sporadic power outages. The drive home on February 26 was fairly clear, but even so, we convoyed with several other chasers in case one of us got stuck. Safety in numbers! The second picture below is of KFOR-TV storm chaser Marc Dillard, who we kept in contact with throughout the blizzard. Chris McBee also did three telephone interviews with the Associated Press, and was mentioned in an article that was picked up by the Huffington Post, ABC News, and many newspapers throughout the country. Our footage of the blizzard, much of which can be seen in the YouTube video below, was used with permission by officials in Woodward County in their attempt to get FEMA disaster funding for those affected by this storm.
Chris McBee headed solo to southwest Kansas, eventually meeting up with storm chasers Russ Contreras and Matt Phelps in Medicine Lodge. The three of us traveled to Greensburg and eventually south to Coldwater, where we observed a storm near town at an abandoned gas station. The storm was high-based but did exhibit quarter-sized hail and frequent lightning. The second picture below shows this small storm.
Central Oklahoma SPC Risk: SLIGHT 155 miles traveled 0 tornadoes observed
Chris McBee, Damon Bearden, and Shane Carmack drove around central Oklahoma, on a day complete with a slight risk for severe thunderstorms. We traveled to Grady and Caddo Counties, coming across a severe-warned cell. The first picture below is an ominous sky over Anadarko, Oklahoma. The second is a short-lived wall cloud that we encountered in northwestern Grady County. We eventually got under this wall cloud, and did observe very heavy rain and strong winds, even to the point of causing some tree damage.
Eastern New Mexico/Texas Panhandle SPC Risk: SLIGHT 835 miles traveled 0 tornadoes observed
Chris McBee and Damon Bearden headed west to Clovis, New Mexico to meet with a crew from NewsChannel 10 Amarillo. We have chased with this news station on several occasions. Storms were pretty hard to come by until late in the day, when a supercell went up between Plainview and Lubbock, Texas. This storm produced a brief tornado, but we got stuck on the northern side of the supercell in the heavy rain, in effect cutting us off from the circulation.
Central Oklahoma SPC Risk: SLIGHT 83 miles traveled 0 tornadoes observed
Chris McBee headed out solo, just hoping for some pictures. Storms were not expected to be anything more than marginally severe. Below is a shot of a weak thunderstorm over northern Caddo County, Oklahoma. Some very small hail and brief heavy rain were noted in this storm.
Chris McBee and Shane Carmack headed northwest from the Oklahoma City metro area toward an area of northwest Oklahoma where conditions were marginally favorable for tornadoes. Storms proved to be weaker than anticipated, however. Below is a shot of a picturesque supercell that briefly dropped some hail in the eastern Oklahoma Panhandle.
Chris McBee, Shane Carmack, and Damon Bearden traveled west on I-40 to Weatherford and Clinton. On the trip, it became apparent that the only tornado-producing storms of the day would be confined to northwest Texas, where there were two monster supercells with very strong low-level rotation. Those storms were well out of range, however, so we headed east, back to the Oklahoma City area. Experienced some heavy rain on the interstate.
Central Oklahoma SPC Risk: SLIGHT 116 miles traveled 2 tornadoes observed
Storms today were only slated as hail producers, but this day proved that you just never know. Chris McBee, Shane Carmack, and Amanda Carmack started westbound on I-40 towards El Reno and points north. We followed a severe cell from central Kingfisher County down into Canadian County along Highway 81 and then Highway 3. The storm really got its act together just before sunset, exhibiting some of the most rapid low-level rotation we had ever seen, along with some dust whirls under the rotation, indicative of weak tornadogenesis. After several adjustments to our position, we found ourselves just west of Piedmont Road when the larger tornado occurred. It was absolutely wrapped in rain and hail, and very hard to see, as the video clip below illustrates. The still pictures below show the rotating wall cloud, the large precipitation core in which the tornado was embedded, and tree damage near my home in Norman later in the evening, as the storms continued on a southeastward trajectory and affected much of the Oklahoma City metro area.
Central Oklahoma SPC Risk: SLIGHT 34 miles traveled (after the drive back from Nebraska) 0 tornadoes observed
Chris McBee and Damon Bearden decided to chase a few severe thunderstorms that developed in Oklahoma upon arriving back in Norman after the previous day’s chase in Nebraska. These cells were not tornado producers, although they were exhibiting some rotation and were producing large hail. After taking the pic below in McClain County, We traveled east to I-35 in Purcell and headed north. The storm caught us in the Goldsby area. We sought refuge under a gas station overhang, as we were hearing reports of tennis ball-size hail in the area. We experienced very heavy rain and hail, although it didn’t get much bigger than quarters.