This was a day that is firmly in the minds of storm chasers every time we go out and chase now. Simple rules like stay right of the tornado’s path and don’t drive south from the notch into rain which are old-school rules have unfortunately been repeated over and over again.
The chase day for us was pretty much like many other days with big HP monsters. When you have super high instability like on 5/31 coupled with big shear tripled with a boundary you can bet any supercells will certainly behave a bit erratically. The general rule we stuck to was keep a pretty good distance as much as possible and avoid letting the Canadian river box us in.
When it became obvious the supercell was beginning to drop south towards us, we kept moving south and east, which kept us out of its reach with us maintaining several safe escape options. This did mean we missed the very best views, but on a day like this we definitely made the right calls, getting some early views while staying safe.
We ended up dropping south through the RFD which was a bit hair raising just because of the prospect of huge hail which thankfully didn’t materialize. This did slow us down, meaning we missed the tornado basically as it approached and moved over US-81.
The aftermath of the tornado was relatively simple as we kind of meandered along US-152 until traffic cleared enough to get south of the Canadian river relatively quickly to allow for maximum maneuverability south of the river.