The widening anvil seemed to be weakening as we looked on the storm from the southwest. But, we allowed a couple of radar scans to run thorugh (about ten minutes) and the storm all of a sudden turned hard east-south-east and began to strengthen. Beautiful! We are going for it! We were suddenly all in our vehicles (whether a van or a probecar!) and zipping down Oklahoma roads looking at new landscape that I had never seen before (again! my goodness, I have seen so much on this trip!).
As we rode down the road we monitored the storm visually and on radar. It was looking real good! The radar signature got stronger, the local NWS station posted a severe thunderstorm warning on the storm, the anvil grew wider, the storm started forming some striation, and as we got closer we saw a great wall cloud, that appeared to be rotating. The storm started looking like a supercell! But, in all the excitement, the next radar scan showed a slight decrease in the storm’s energy. We thought, “well, this happens. We’ll wait for the next scan.” The next scan showed an even more decresing radar signature. Then the next. Then the warning was lifted from the storm. We got closest to the storm just as it was fulling winding down. But wow, what a great, exhilarating chase.
As the storm dissipated, the large amount of hail that had been up in the cloud fell quickly and we could clearly see the hail shaft (slightly more white against the grayer rain precip). The hail got as big as baseballs according to reports.
The energy these storms possess! It was really quite stunning!
Tomorrow it looks like things have the potential to be even better! Be sure to keep up with our location as we roam central Texas for our storms…
This is Byron Wiedeman, your trip physicist, from Vernon, Texas. Goodnight!