Storm Chase of May 19, 2013

Storm Chase of May 19, 2013

May 19, 2013 Off By Brian
Storm Prediction Center’s 2000z Convective Outlook.

Day two started out in Wichita, KS. I was a little unsure of where exactly I wanted to target. Originally I was thinking Tulsa, or slightly west of there. Eventually I decided on either Perry or Guthrie, Oklahoma. So I headed south, and stopped for lunch in Perry. As I waited in Perry, storms began firing up north in Kansas. One would eventually drop a tornado in or near Wichita; where I had spent the night.

Storms did fire in Oklahoma, and one became supercellular very quickly. I drove south from Perry to Guthrie, deciding at first to let it develop a bit more. I wasn’t there for very long when the storm became tornado warned. I jumped on the road, heading west and then south into Edmond. As I drove, I saw some intense lightning. I entered the town of Edmond, and tried to find a good vantage point where I could actually see the storm (there are lots of trees in Edmond.) The tornado sirens were sounding at that point. I pulled into Edmond North Highschool’s parking lot, and watched the storm.

Not long after I did see the tornado on the ground, and I jumped back on the road to chase it. I was just north of it, tracking a lot side of it. Once I got a little ahead of it, I took a right and moved a little closer. Then I stopped and watched it cross the road ahead of me.

After the tornado cross I-35, it look liked it dissipated or lifted. I chased after the storm, along with many other storm chasers. Sometime during that, the storm dropped a massive wedge tornado. After I got ahead of the storm, I stopped on top of a hill and briefly photographed and videoed the tornado. 

It quickly lost contrast and became hard to see, so I jumped back on the road. I chased the storm for probably another hour or more, but never got close enough to see anything. At the same time, a tornado dropped east of Norman. The tornado became another massive wedge, and struck the town of Shawnee. I decided to abandon the first storm and head south towards the new wedge.

Along the way, another, smaller storm became tornado warned. I stopped and watched the storm for a while, but it never dropped a tornado. I gave up on that up on that storm and continued after the Shawnee tornado. I headed south towards Prague. Along the way, some debris from the wedge tornado actually dropped out of the sky around me; even though I was still quite far away from it. Soon after, the wedge had lifted and another tornado had dropped. By the time I got to Prague Middle School, the second tornado had lifted, and a third one touched down and lifted a couple times. I chased after the storm, and got very close to its circulation.

I continued after the storm, but eventually my path become blocked by a downed tree. At that point, I decided to call it a day. I headed to Norman for the night.