In the Autumn as the days begin to shorten, every supercell feels so special because it could be your last of the calendar year. 2013 was no different, with the October 4 chase day really showing a lot of promise and delivering with some sweet structure near Clinton, Oklahoma.
The famous day of El Reno — our view here wasn’t as exciting as others as we stayed to the right of the path at all times, despite the somewhat unorthodox (but not unheard of) track the tornado took. Oftentimes, big and messy HPs along boundaries can behave this way so its always best to keep a clear exit route available as well as some distance, especially initially while a storm is still establishing itself.
Supercells erupted up and down the Highway 81 corridor and moved into the I-35 corridor into the late afternoon/evening with gorgeous structure and even a couple of weak tornadoes. This was almost a prolific tornado outbreak, but low level winds were just slightly off, preventing a larger event.
Storms formed across NW Oklahoma with a supercell rapidly forming NE of Ft. Supply, OK. This storm eventually merged with several others, with a monster MCS the result into the evening.
Storm chasing isn’t the easiest hobby to deal with, but Sanner talks a bit here about what its like and the challenges that come with chasing.
This was the start of a fun multi-day excursion across the plains which culminated in the May 31, 2013 El Reno chase day. On this day, the storms weren’t too cooperative but we made out with a fantastic sunset anyways!
There isn’t much more you have to say about this day. It was a horrific, tragic day of chasing. While we certainly do love storms and the complexity of the atmosphere, this was where chasing them down wherever they happen wasn’t at all what we wanted. The thrill of a forecast correctly made and chase decisions correctly chosen were quickly replaced on this day with the horror of what was going on in Moore. This day was the launching pad for our second era of Titan U, it changed how we approach chasing and how we see the storms we co-exist with each year.
While a supercell to our north was doing enormous, untold, historical damage — we were in southern Oklahoma chasing a supercell which went on to produce a cone tornado. For us, this was a worst case scenario from a chase standpoint where we weren’t ready to commit north until it was too late to get south for a better view. Its amazing we salvaged what we did out of this day. Be more decisive kids!
The view in the chase vehicle and outside of it as we filmed a distant tornado near Duncan, OK. This tornado was a pretty stout one, but it was the only one this storm could manage to produce as the environment seemed to go downhill quickly after it formed.