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March and April, 2008

Chased several days in March and April; however nothing significant was observed. I will leave these days alone.

Storm Updraft outside Bartlesville, Oklahoma

May 1st, 2008

I started today sitting in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. I noticed storms firing to my North in SE Kansas so I immediately shot North and sat in Independence, Kansas. I observed several intense storms with solid updrafts to my NW, but it appeared they were in a "grunge-like" cluster with no real means of getting good solid inflow except for the tail end. I didn't lose hope on the storms, but did re-adjust south when I notice storms firing along I35. I traveled South on 75 and then West on US60 out of Bartlesville. I then traveled South on highway 99 through Pawhuska and observed a very intense storm to my SW, which was the Osage storm. The storm had a healthy updraft with a very well defined inflow tail. I continued south on 99 through Wynona and into Hominy. At this time there was a large tornado being reported in the Vicinity of Pawnee, Skedee, and Blackburn. I waited in Hominy for the cell to get a little closer to I20, then immediately shot West on I20 out of Hominy. I stopped at the intersection of County Road 541 and I20 and observed a large wall cloud with intense rotation to my SW. At 0150 I observed a tornado on the ground just to my SW. This tornado lifted shortly after my arrival but once again dropped and continued moving to the NNE. I observed this cyclical activity for about 15 minutes as the tornado would drop then lift. I counted this at least 4 times. The updraft continued to still appear strong; however, as the storm disappeared into the distance a condensed funnel was no longer present. I did observe a couple of power flashes, and then it was over. I went back East on 20 then North on 99 to catch back up with the storm, but it had decayed very rapidly and lost the majority of its intensity. The structure today was amazing, and the tornadoes were very photogenic. A great first chase of the season.

Chase Video can be found: HERE


  • Pawnee Tornado Radar Image   Osage County Tornado Radar Image  Left and Right: Radar Images of Pawnee and Osage County Tornadoes

     Radar Image    Osage County Beavertail   Left: Radar Image,Right: Beaver Tail

    Osage Tornado   Osage County Tornado  Left and Right:  Pawnee and Osage County Tornadoes

    Pawnee Tornado   Osage County Tornado  Left and Right: Pawnee and Osage County Tornadoes

    May 10th, 2008

    Today I started in Okmulgee, Oklahoma around 4pm watching Cu build and die under the cap. About this time the dryline began to race east so I went against my better judgment and went south and east into the woods of SE Oklahoma. Towers began to form just North of I40 around McAlester. I took I40 to stay ahead of the storms as they made their way East. With the dew points as high as they were (I was observing 70F at my location), the haze made it difficult to see any storm structure. There were 3 tornado warned storms at the time, and I chose to play the middle storm, which passed through the town of Yanush. I continued on I40 to highway 59 South through Panama, Poteau, Heavener, and stopped at the intersection of 270/59. At this time I placed myself between the middle and southern storm. This location was a fairly decent spot to observe the storm from the East, but obviously not the best. I was confident I had placed myself in a good location in between the two storms; however, with screaming HP beasts in the woods of SE Oklahoma, falling debris and no data I questioned myself. The storm to my North had mild rotation, while the one to the South was still looking fairly decent. I was south of the rotation to my North, and North of the heavy precipitation to my south. I observed a rather weak, wind and rain storm before it passed. Apparently the falling debris was from a large tornado near Yanush which had lifted. This was at one time part of the storm to my North. I'm assuming the storm was strong enough to carry this debris in it's updraft for quite a ways. I made my way back West on OK88 through the National Forest and observed the storms as they flew east from a beautiful lookout over the forest. I continued back towards Tulsa, and passed through both Yanush and the small town of Arpelar to get damage video for Fox. Both of these towns had fairly decent tornado damage. Today proved once again, why I donít like chasing in SE Oklahoma. I observed some nice structure though the haze, and that was about it. My thoughts go out to the folks effected by todays storms, especially those in Picher, Ok where many people lost their lives. Today was the deadliest tornado day in Oklahoma history since May 3rd, 1999. Later in the week Fox sent me up in the Helicopter to get damage video and photos of Picher, Oklahoma. 

    Tornado Radar Image Left: Radar Image of Tornado Outbreak

       Arpelar Tornado Damage   Arpelar Tornado Damage 2  Left and Right: Tornado Damage near Yanush, Oklahoma. 

       Picher, Oklahoma Tornado Damage   Picher, Oklahoma Tornado Damage  Left and Right: Picher, Oklahoma Tornado Damage 

       Picher, Oklahoma Tornado Damage  Picher, Oklahoma Tornado Damage 

    May 13th, 2008

    I chased Southwest Oklahoma today. I ran into Amos Magliocco, Bob Fritchie, Scott Eubanks, and Tim Carroll. Turkey towers were observed, with agitated cumulus trying to break the cap. Today was a cap bust and nothing significant was observed. 

    June 4th, 2008

    Today Dave Fick, Tim Carroll, and myself chased Kansas / Nebraska. We initially targeted a storm near Kearney, Nebraska. We followed  this storm to the NE along US80 until it became an HP mess and we ran into road construction problems. During the day we passed the TIV multiple times as well as the ROTATE team from OU. We flew South on 281 and then West on 73 and observed a gorgeous rotating LP thunderstorm. This structure was magnificent. We photographed this storm until  dark and the storm got swallowed up by the squall line then we returned to Hastings to stay in Nebraska for the night. About an hour after arriving in Hastings the squall line arrived at our hotel. We jumped back in the vehicle and parked underneath the hotel awning to watch the storm roll through. Right before the storm hit, a cell embedded within the line went tornado warned and approached our hotel. Shortly after the warning went out, the tornado siren at our hotel went off and almost blew our ears out, and probably woke every resident up. Hotel staff and guests stood by the windows and the door of the hotel to watch as our vehicle got rocked by 58 mph (recorded) downburst winds and hail at 1:03AM. During this time we observed small trees snap in half, as well as the roof of the hotel across the street start to peel away. After the storm passed we observed much damage through the area. The gutter from our hotel was ripped off, as well as damage in the Home Depot across the street. We called it a night and prepared for our chase the following day around Wichita, Kansas. 

    Dave Fick and Structure outside Hastings, Nebraska   Structure outside Hastings, Nebraska

    Structure outside Hastings, Nebraska

    June 5th, 2008

    Dave Fick, Tim Carroll and myself left Hastings for Wichita Kansas today. We observed a tornado-warned HP supercell pass through McConnell AFB. We saw a beautiful lightning storm as well as some small hail and a mean squall line. Nothing significant was observed. We returned to Tulsa and arrived in Broken Arrow later in the evening. Luck would have it that after we returned to my house, a tornadic thunderstorm approached my home when the squall line approached. A tornado warning was issued just SW of Broken Arrow moving to the NE. We went into my back yard and as soon as the warning was issued the sirens in my neighborhood went off. We watched to the SW and observed power flashes approaching. The power to the house went out and I immediately called the TV station to do a live phone interview. The power flashes got closer so we retreated back into the house. The tornado passed just NW of my home, and I observed small amounts of damage in the NW part of my subdivision the following day. Other than this,  nothing else significant was observed.

    My vehicle with an approaching Squall Line