5/8/15 – This was the first day of a short “chasecation” weekend with my buddy Michael Gavan. We were talking about heading down to the plains a few days prior, noting the chances for severe weather to come for Fri/Sat/Sun. The setup looked promising, so we decided to partner up and head out for some good days of storm chasing. Loaded up his Toyota RAV4 and hit the road. We took turns driving all night/day from Allegan County, Michigan all the way to north Texas. We slept in shifts, and for a brief time, stopped at a Walmart parking lot among some semi truck drivers for a 30 minute or so nap. A long grueling, tiresome drive, but well worth it to see some storm action. The drive was about 16 hours long, not including stops for gas, bathroom breaks, or to stretch.
Storms began firing and most of which were really junky, and you couldn’t see much. Some of which also had trouble sustaining themselves. The storms we saw were all HP (high precipitation) and with LCLs so low, most of the storms were ground scrapers. Had to drive further south to get into slightly higher LCLs, and higher SBCAPE as well. We sampled a couple of the northern cells, but decided based on what we were seeing that venturing further south would be the better option.
Once we found a good storm, we stuck with it. This would be the very large ground scraping HP supercell that affected areas around Vernon, TX, through Electra, TX. That’s when we were on it. At first we couldn’t see a whole lot, but as we got down into the better environment, some features began to present themselves. We drove further, and found a good spot to view the incoming supercell along some more favorable roads. Here is where we really got to see what a beast this supercell really was. The ground scraping cloud features, inflow, wall cloud, etc. We saw some awesome stuff, no tornadoes, even though this supercell did produce at least one that was reported. The structure and colors of the core were phenomenal. Blues, greens, and a mixture of those. Impressive shelf cloud features, and some good old fashion grungy HP ground scraping structure as well. Even got into some large hail for a short time. Some of which was over 1.00″ in diameter. A great day in Texas! Below is the full chase video from this day, and photos follow that.
We abandoned the storm after awhile of continually outrunning the core, then drove northward through the heavy rain and storms to stay the night in Lawton, OK to position for day 2 of chasing. Once in Lawton, OK, we came across some flash flooding in the city. I captured some video of that as well as a couple of photos. Those can be found below the supercell videos and photos. The water was pretty high in several areas, including this particular intersection. Many drivers braved the flood waters, while others turned around. Be sure to scroll down to see all of the footage from the day. Enjoy!