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!

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