...And it begins again

May 21, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

I started my annual chase trip with the normal amount of anxiety. Anxiety about leaving my husband, anxiety about leaving my dog, anxiety about sitting in a car for two weeks straight, and anxiety about being tough enough to handle the chase.

Within minutes of starting our first chase on Saturday, the rest ceased to matter for a little while.

The storms weren't anything to write home about. They were weak, non-tornadic, blobs. It didn't seem that there would be any sign of the big old supercells (and hopefully tornadoes) that we drove halfway across the country for. I didn't care. I was in the plains. I was somewhere that people and buildings weren't closing in on me. I could breathe the air and not worry about what carcinogenic fumes I was inhaling. All of my stress seemed to melt away.

We started off in Norman, Oklahoma around 2pm and began to head west. We stopped for lunch in Seiling, OK and decided to chase a little cell southwest of Elk City. It wasn't anything special, but I did get some pretty mammatus clouds. I'm pretty sure that's the first time I've ever seen them.
 

 

We decided that the cell at the southern end of the line looked a little healthier so we started heading in that direction.

We stopped to take a structure shot as the storm was passing over a wind farm with the sun setting behind it.
 

 

Since this storm had a little more umph than the previous one, we decided to stay on it. We turned down a dirt road that had farm fields on either side, and an abandoned house a bit down the road. As we turned onto the road I noticed that the sun was setting and you could see it through the core of the storm.
 

 
 
 
 
We decided to re-position to get some more wide angle structure shots of what had surprisingly become a supercell. We stood up on a hill, with Elk City below us and watched the storm come in as the sun was setting. For awhile there was a pretty good wall cloud on the storm, but no one thought it would produce a tornado. 
 
 
 
Once it became too dark to shoot anymore, we called the chase and headed into Elk City for dinner. We core of the storm was between us and there was larger hail than we anticipated. Nothing huge, but it was LOUD as it was hitting the roof of the car.

 




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