Storm Chase of April 13th, 2012

Storm Chase of April 13th, 2012

April 13, 2012 Off By Brian
The Storm Prediction Center’s 1200z Convective Outlook.

The April 13th storm chase was kind of a spur of the moment thing. If I remember correctly, the tornado probabilities were not that high, the next day looked better, and I had work later that day. However, some isolated supercells began to fire up not that far southwest of Norman, so I decided to go for it. After getting my car ready, I jumped on the road and headed towards Chickasha.

I found a nice open spot just west of Chickasha, so I pulled over and watched the storm for a while. I got some cool storm structure pictures, and a couple of shots of lightning. As the storm moved off, I jumped back into my car and followed after it.

I followed the storm for a while, as it moved closer to Norman. At one point, as I turned to get onto highway 9, I drove right under the hook, and a very intense updraft, as well as low rotating clouds. As I followed highway 9 east through southern Norman, some people I was talking to on Spotterchat alerted me that there was in fact a torando on the ground, to my north. I couldn’t see it behind the rain and the buildings, but I could see power flashes. At that point, I stopped chasing and instead raced to get to my at the time girlfriend’s apartment; to rescue our dog. Along the way I did get pinged by some large hail. Luckily, the tornado went further north than our apartment complex.

After I grabbed the dog, I drove to the west and viewed some of the damage caused by the tornado. I saw uprooted trees, downed power lines, and structural damage to buildings. 20 people were injured, and the tornado was rated an EF1.