Welcome to newly-redesigned Tornado Central, the virtual home of Jeff and Kim Snyder. Many of my storm chase logs, pictures, and videos are all contained in Tornado Central. In addition, there is some information about the other facets of our lives. I seem to be perpetually updating or upgrading this site, so check back often!
Last Updated on Friday, 04 February 2011 03:59
04-14-2012 - Northwestern Oklahoma
Written by Administrator
Tuesday, 17 April 2012 01:14
Target area: Near the OK/KS border in northwestern OK
Chase area: Fairview - Mooreland - Waynoka - Cherokee, OK
I expected time to be a very difficult chase, largely because of the fast storm motions forecast (40-50 mph) moving at a bad angle relative to the nice N/S - E/W road grid system. I (with Howie B., Dan D., Robin T., etc.) targeted far northwestern Oklahoma, willing to head into southcentral KS if needed. We ended up chasing 3 supercells that developed southwest of Woodward through the afternoon and evening. It was actually the first time that I was able to employ, to near perfect [ :) ] the "hop down the line" chase strategy. Although I intended to be able do this before, it has never worked out so well. The storms developed near or just west of the OK / TX panhandle border every couple of hours and moved off the NE. Each time, we'd drop the existing supercell (or it was leave us in its wake as it plowed northeastward), drive southward a little, and wait for the next supercell to approach.
We saw a lot of nice low-level mesocyclones and rapidly-rotating wall-clouds, but something was apparently "missing" with the environment during the first the time we were on supercells #1 and #2. The third supercell was the "tail end Charlie" of the train of supercells and became a prolific tornado producer. It's difficult to come up with a tornado tally, since it not always clear where one tornado ends and another begins (e.g. with the first and third supercells, we saw "tornadoes" >5 mins apart from what appears to have been the same low-level mesocyclone -- are these separate tornadoes? One could argue either way, I think). The best opportunity to get nice, close-proximity video of a tornado would have occurred with the first two supercells. We never had the chance to get close enough to supercell #3 to get any good video of the circulation at the ground. To do so, you tend to need to have some luck on your side or be presented the opportunity to make a good decision at the perfect time. The storms didn't cooperate when we were close, but that's the name of the game when storms move as quickly as they did Saturday (and when road options may be limited).
Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 September 2012 16:43
04-09-2012 - Northwestern Oklahoma
Written by Administrator
Tuesday, 10 April 2012 01:16
Target area: Near Fort Supply, OK
Chase area: Woodward to S of Camargo, OK
I was on the fence today, but I opted to give it a shot since the low-level hodographs were progged to be very nicely shaped (nearly a 1/2 circle of radius 15-20 kts) and there was sufficient CAPE and upper-tropospheric flow to get me out the door. I left my house on the north side of the OKC area around 2:15, with an initial target of Fort Supply. By the time I made it to Kingfisher, the first storm developed near Buffalo (+/- 20 miles), and I was worried I was going to be late for the first part of what I hoped would be "the show". I ended up near Mooreland with a decision -- do I head N from Woodward to get a view of the northern supercell, which looked decent on radar and was near the sfc boundary, or do I stick with the southern supercell and hope for the best? I didn't think the boundary was going to be the "make or break" feature for the case, so I went with my chasing gut and opted for the storm with the best uninterrupted inflow; the cells were quite close together, so I thought that the outflow from the FFD of the southern storm would end up in the inflow of the northern storm. I was chasing solo today, which I used to love to do, but it was difficult today since I have a new laptop that doesn't fit on my laptop "desk" in the car, and the S-SSE storm motion meant I ended up with the storm in the rear-view mirror a lot as I drove southward ahead of the mesos (structure wasn't rotated 60-90 degrees like we tend to see with NW flow events).
I have uploaded a bunch of pictures from our July/August 2011 trip to the beautiful state of Washington. The ranked as one of the top two vacations we've had, and it was a perfect get-away from the inferno that was Oklahoma.