|06-21-2006-SW KS / OK PH|
|Friday, 30 July 2010 23:56|
Total Distance: 500 miles
We (Robin, Dan, and I) decided to give 2006 another try. Pfff. High-based convection developed owing to high dewpoint depressions. Flow aloft was relatively weak as well, so shear wasn't overly impressive, except for areas along and northwest of an outflow boundary that stretched from the western Texas panhandle north-northeastward into northcentral KS, where low-level flow was backed to easterly. The best chances for tornadic development appeared to be in far eastern CO and western KS, but I wasn't willing to make the 6+ hour drive from Norman for what was still a rather marginal setup.
Dan Dawson, Robin Tanamachi, and I headed northwest from OUN today... We were planning on heading to Woodward to assess whether we should fully commit to another >80 miles northwest. All of us were on the fence about supercell and tornado chances initially, but we opted to continue to head northward into Kansas given that mesoanalyis was indicating 20-30kt 500mb flow just north of the OK/KS border. Surface obs indicated that the dewpoint depressions were again very high, leading to high LCLs and a tendency for storms to become outflow dominant. Marginal deeplayer shear was also progged to lead to problems sustaining any supercells. As it turned out, the 00z DDC sounding actually showed 45kts deep-layer shear, which was a good 10-20kts higher than the 12z NAM had forecast, and would be enough to consider that "Supercell-quality".
Regardless, we made it past Ashland in southern KS, and watched storms develop to our west. Noting very, very little eastward movement, we meandered westward to get a closer view. There was a storm near Meade at the time, but it's base looked less impressive with time. In fact, it looked as though the rain-free base was on the north side of the storm, which intermittent cloud features hanging down that didn't look entirely outflowish (shelf cloud), and not entirely inflowish (wallcloud). At any rate, it was apparent that the storms were a mess (no surprise given marginal shear and relatively low boundary layer RH from 30-40F dewpoint depressions), so we dropped south in hopes of finding any "tail-end charlie". After we crossed into OK, a decent base appeared to our northwest, with pretty good updraft-downdraft seperation. The base dropped a bit, and there were a couple of minor wallclouds that developed over the next 10-20 minutes -- nothing overly impressive, but better than nothing. We tinkered around in eastern Beaver county before calling the chase off due to pessimism that the situation would improve any. There was quite a bit of CG activity, however.
Overall, this chase continues to carry on the 2006 legacy of high LCLs and relatively poor flow aloft, which lead to outflow-dominant multicells for the most part. There were embedded storms with brief supercell structures (I surmise that was the case for the baseball-sized hail reported north of Minneola around 7pm), but nothing too persistent. All that said, I hope I see some good pics from the supercells just west of the CO/KS border!