I have had precious little success storm chasing under Moderate Risk designations by the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) but May 30 2013 may have broken the jinx.  The Hokie Storm Chasers started the morning in Arkansas City KS before dropping south on I-35 to Guthrie OK where we ate lunch and awaited storms to fire.  When a likely candidate approached we gave chase through the region east of I-35, which provided a surprising resemblance to chasing in the Virginia Piedmont:  hills, trees, and not very helpful road networks.

After watching this first storm drop down some very low ground-scraping wall clouds we finally met with success in the form of a substantial funnel that obviously was a tornado.   Despite the fact that we couldn’t see the ground below due to an intervening tree line a report from another spotter provided ground truth that this was indeed a tornado near Ripley OK:

After chasing this storm a bit further east we gave it up as it approached the Tulsa metro area and refocused on a second storm to the southwest.  It, too, looked nice on radar and provided a magnificent jaw-dropping “stacked plates” mesocyclone as we sat on a hillside and watched it approach:

Even tho’ I have been chasing for over a decade I literally oohed and aahed over this structure.  This second storm didn’t produce a tornado but that didn’t matter after this feature.

After this storm went too far east we did circle back and go after a third storm but it was a bit anticlimactic with “only” a little wall cloud underneath it.  All in all we chased for six hours this afternoon (1-7 pm CDT) and are now ensconced in hotel rooms in Enid OK, ready for another round tomorrow.

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