This wasn't much of a chase, mainly just a lot of driving around in gray skies and eventually ending up in three hours of driving rain. But, this chase made me remember a few things that it seems I had forgotten, and taught me a couple of other things that will shape the way I chase in the future.
The night before I had hardly looked at the forecast models. I did a quick overview of the main parameters and moved on to something else, thinking I would get up the next morning and take a look and make my decision then. So, I get up the next morning and check the SPC outlook to see what they had to say about it. Then I looked at the models again and I think I was trying mash what the models were saying with what SPC was saying, again not looking very deeply and not paying attention to what the forecast models were saying anyways. I was wishy-washy about going in the first place because I believed it would be a day full of gray skies and rain, and I've seen that movie before. But, after thinking about it a bit I decided to go because it had been about five months since I've chased anything and the number of opportunities per season is very limited. So, I got my equipment ready which didn't take long, but again I didn't have in place to go in the first place. This was very telling when I look back at why things ended up the way they did.
I left OKC heading south on I-35 with a target of Greenville, Tx. Greenville? Because it took me south about as far as I really wanted to go, and I believed it would be a place where the storms would end up after developing just a bit further west. Also, because I wasn't paying attention to the forecast models as I drove down, and common sense as a chaser. There was no cap, no lift, and ultimately no storms there. I stopped there to eat for about 20 minutes, then decided to head west so I could at least get some storm time. I drove west to Denton, thinking if I got west of Denton I would be in a non-populated area and could get some good photos of the heavier storms. Well, I ran into the heavier storms. Gray, non-structured, heavy rain storms. And they moved slowly, so basically I sat in rain for most of the rest of the afternoon with nothing to really photograph. Meanwhile, two hours to the south, structured supercells were taking shape and blue skies provided the heating needed to punch through a sufficient cap.
Ultimately, I half-assed the chase, and I got the results I put into it. This is the first time I've really had a chase that I walked away empty handed and was disappointed in how I played it, and more mad at myself because I really didn't play it at all. I don't have any photos to post and the video was just rain falling, and some thunder and lightning here and there. I was chasing very lazy, not wanting to drive too far south because of the long drive back, and not expecting much so I got what I expected. It was a very bland day from the results, but a very eye opening day as I look within myself and what I need to do going forward to be really ready for this season.
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