Home Storm Chasing Pre-2003 05-05-2002-TX Panhandle / W OK

05-05-2002-TX Panhandle / W OK Print E-mail
Friday, 30 July 2010 23:49

Total Distance: 540 miles
Target Area: Altus, OK, to Childress, TX
Chase Area: Canadian, TX, to Elk City, OK
Maximum SPC Risk category: Moderate

There were two targets on this moderate risk day. One was the dryline that was forecast to enter western TX by afternoon, and the other way a warm front that was located near the Red River. Given that I didn't want to drive out to the far western portions of the TX panhandle to meet initiation, I opted to play the closer target between Altus and Childress.

By early-mid afternoon, it was apparent that there was very little surface convergence to initiate convection in this region. Hearing of supercells moving through the western TX panhandle, I decided to start heading northwest. I quickly heard of a supercell in Roberts and Ochiltree counties, so I blasted northward on Hwy 83 to Canadian. I found a high spot in town to watch the supercell approach Canadian, nice RFD and wallcloud included. Seeing how the storm was moving eastward, and with the lack of eastward roads out of Canadian, I was forced to decide between heading northeastward or southeastward in hopes of finding a real east road. I first tried to head northeastward on 60, but realized that the storm would be south of me. So, I turned around and dropped south of Canadian. By this time, the storm was considerably east of town, and I was left playing catch-up as I hauled east on Hwy 33 through Roll, then on 47 south of Leedey. By the time I got to Hwy 183, it was quite dark, and I decided to call off the chase. I did call my brother a couple of times during the evening to get radar updates, and I was told how incredible (classic supercell) the storm looked on radar. Great.

A tornado hit the town of Happy, TX, earlier in the evening.



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