Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Chase Recap - April 26-28th, 2014.

Rough notes to look back on for when I can actually do a day-by-day summary...First big trip of the year, and pulled down at least two, and possibly 3 tornadoes. Left Meridian at 6 PM the night of the 25th, and drove to Norman, Oklahoma. Stayed with Brandon Sullivan. Sat in Norman most of the day, noted strong mixing out of the dewpoints in SW OK from the low 60's to the low 50's. Realized early on this wasn't a chase setup, and left for Arkansas around 4 PM. Stayed in Alma, AR for the night.

The 26th was insane. High risk upgrade at 3 PM, volatile environment. Watched storm from Pine Bluff for a good chunk of the day. Moved south and west for a bit, then back north to Little Rock. Sat on an overpass on the west side of Little Rock and watched the storm that would produce the Maumelle/Mayflower/Vilonia monster wedge tornado evolve. Moved east and then north, encountering insane inflow winds and an LCL at ground level pulling into the tornado, and got a rough view of the tornado as it entered Vilonia. Chased on up to around Searcy, then gave it up for the night. Drove back home to Meridian that night, arrived about 3:30 AM.

Up at 7, went to work at 8, got the day off, then blasted west to Canton, MS. Waited for storms to mature, and moved in on the Yazoo City storm. Caught the stovepipe phase of the tornado, then blasted east, trying to get ahead of the Louisville storm. Couldn't do it til I got to Starksville and dropped down 45, encountering debris falling from the sky for about 10 minutes. Amazing stacked plates supercell with a large ground-scraping wall cloud...difficult to tell if it was on the ground with the trees, so waiting to see the damage survey. Ended back home in Meridian after dark.

All told, 2,156 miles, 6 states, 2 confirmed tornadoes, and a great start to the season. I'll be on vacation for the entire month of May...plains season should ramp up soon!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Yazoo City, MS Stovepipe Tornado - April 28, 2014

Chased the 2nd day of a huge Dixie Alley tornado outbreak, and pulled down a nice stovepipe tornado around Yazoo City, MS!

Vilonia, AR Violent Wedge Tornado - April 27, 2014

Insane weekend. Cap bust in Oklahoma on Saturday, and the toughest chase of my life on Sunday, culminating in a shot of the rain-wrapped wedge just before it impacted Vilonia, Arkansas. Video will be up later in the week, as today looks to be another violent day closer to home. Here's a couple shots.

This is a raw screenshot from the footage. Multiple power flashes seen seconds before pinpointing the exact location.

And with the contrast enhanced. Unfortunately, at least 16 fatalities have been reported from this tornado. Catastrophic damage all through the region...prayers go out to all those affected.