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9/14/05 - Crash and Burn

To have a year like I have had and crash and burn as I did yesterday really puts a bad taste in my mouth. I have not seen a set-up like yesterday in over 4 months and bit hard on it.
Justin, Joseph T. and I departed Tulsa at around 1:30 for a target of Duncan, OK with Matt Patterson and his girlfriend and Buddy-weiser the dog in the car behind us.
Forecast variables were all VERY nice and consistently encouraging hour after hour. SPC updates were in-line with what we were thinking as well. Everything was just great.
We modified our target a tad in Chickasha, OK and decided to head southwest to Lawton. Additional data gathered in Lawton and a quick look at the sky told us to jet west as fast as possible. We made the trip from Lawton to Altus (61) miles in a little under 40 minutes.
As we entered Altus, our car was out of T-mobile data range so radar was not available. A choice was to be made. Do we continue west and then south to intercept a cell we last saw possibly rooting on the boundary or drop south at Altus and intercept storms in TX that were moving due east and had structure.
Chuck Allison called while we were in decision making mode and suggested we head south out of Altus. We did just that.
About five-minutes later Chuck called back with text from a MD the SPC had issued stating the tornado threat had diminished and now storms only had a hail and wind threat.
Of course we were disappointed at that point but had driven 3.5 hours to get to where we were and knew there would be an even longer drive home due to rain & wet roads and didn't want to make that trip with no video at all... So, we did the best we could with what we had - a svr warned storm with a GREAT shelf cloud and smoothed striations at the the lower-mid levels, a ton of lightning and a lot of strong wind. We set-up on a house with a bunch of junk in the yard figuring the high gust-front winds and any possible micro/macro bursts embedded in the storm would send shit flying everywhere. That always makes for good video... (yes, I am a jerk I guess)
As the gust began, we measured winds in the upper 20's with a couple of higher gusts in the low to mid 30's. Toward the back of the storm we caught a partial burst (my guess is the brunt of it was to our south judging by the lack of damage to the north and east of our location after the storm had passed) that measured 46 (I think). I am convinced it was at least 50MPH winds. There was driving rain at the time which slows the cups on anemometers.
We were in solid 25MPH wind and higher for at least 7 to 10 minutes as the storm went over.
Amazingly there was no junk flying across the road from the home we set up on. I did get some decent CLOSE lightning shots though.
As soon as the wind died down we headed home - the "chase" was over.

Looking back on the past two days - I find it interesting that on the day(tues.) we are chasing in a severe thunderstorm watch, we have numerous tornado warnings. On the day we are chasing in a tornado watch-box, we have nothing but severe thunderstorm warnings.

2005, the year of the wall cloud, continues...

Forecast for Hurricane Rita

9/13/05 Chase log