This time of the year most of us are getting ready for Christmas. Finishing up our shopping lists, looking at Christmas lights, drinking cocoa. It's cold outside and we just want to stay in where it's nice and warm.
Well, in Oklahoma is mostly like that except you get days like yesterday. An upper level low had made it's way out of California after dumping up to 9 inches of rain in some places and moved off to the east, eventually making it's way into the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles. The fast moving system brought with it heavy wind and also transported moisture into the southern plains, which meant there was a good chance for thunderstorms. All that was missing was warm temperatures...wait, there was that too. Storms!
I left for western Oklahoma around 11am and had intended to set up in Anadarko, but my gut told me that Clinton would be the spot. After the first wave of morning rains moved through the instability picked up and storms began to fire. The bad news is they were traveling so fast to the north east there was no way to keep up with them. But, further to the south storms started to form near Frederick and quickly moved northeast as well. I chose to travel back towards Anadarko to head the storm off at the pass. Just before we got there, near the town of Apache a small tornado formed and was captured on video by other chasers. We saw awesome structure and a few spins in the clouds, but mostly the storm lined out and made for some good photo ops. We followed the storm to the northeast up to Union City, but let it go in favor for another cell that had formed and moved into the Chickasha area.
This cell took us into Oklahoma City where we saw half dollar size hail and again with the traffic we had a tough time keeping up. Eventually it produces a wispy tornado that touched down near Arcadia and caused minor damage. Maybe one of the best parts of the chase was the glorious light the setting sun cast on the clouds over Oklahoma City. Photos from the chase:
Click an ad to support this site!