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5-13-09 Moore OK "Chase"

Funny thing happened yesterday...
I "skipped" chasing due to some other obligations and the fact that I simply didn't feel like getting out on a day that appeared to be somewhat harmless in Oklahoma until after dark.

At 6:55pm, Aaron T. texted me and said there was a torn warning in NC OK. I happened to be outside at the time so I missed the first-hand news of this. I will suffice to say, I was not in a very good mood once I sat down, looked at the warned cell and then brought up a live stream (at ChaserTV.com) of it happening right in front of me. I should have been there!

The cell was a one-hit wonder but tornadic nonetheless. It turned into an outflow dominate beast just in time to blow through Stillwater and Langston then expand eastward.

Later in the evening I was out on our balcony shooting lightning on a cell entering Oklahoma County from the north. As I was shooting I noticed a major upswing in lightning strikes. I checked the half-assed radar on my BlackBerry and saw that the cell had really "balled up" compared with the linear look it had when I was setting up the camera.
I shot downstairs to look at GR2 and sure enough, a nice couplet had formed and within minutes of watching, a tornado warning was issued.

The image above is a screen cap of the cell as it was moving SSE into Cleveland County. You will notice a tiny white dot on the map. That dot is where my house is located. Yeah, scary, right?
Turns out about 30 minutes later, this circulation arrived literally in my backyard. I was not terribly concerned because it was broad in nature but DID note a secondary circulation directly to my north that seemed much tighter but was somewhat occluded from view.

Now about that secondary circulation...

The lake outlined in the radar mapping above (courtesy of TDWR FAA Wx Radar) is Stanley Draper Lake near 149th & Sooner. The black dot is where my house is. Again, a close call as the initial cell's circulation passed almost directly overhead! A double whammy.

Of course this whole event was well documented on video that will probably never be cut down for display but being the "chased" and not the chaser in this case, I felt full documentation was necessary! Rest assured, we were prepared with flashlights in-hand and the below ground-shelter in the garage open and ready for action. This was truly a backyard chase.
Instances like this is certainly one of the disadvantages to living in what I consider to be the ground zero of Tornado Alley. Sure, it's great as a home-base for chasing but it's also in the path more often than I would like.

Looks like tomorrow will be another day on the road as the forecast leads us toward south central Kansas for supercells once again. Updates from the road tomorrow!

The Liability of Storm Chasing

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