Storm Chase Details

Chase Date: January 10, 2020
Miles Logged: 548
States Chased: OK, TX
First chase of new decade

Severe Risks: SPC Outlooks

Chase Recap:

For the days leading up to this event, I kept telling myself I would not fall for it. LCL’s looked to be on the ground, lack of insolation, and parallel flow to the initiating boundary. I was intrigued, however. Would it be a typical January bust or would it actually happen this time?

The 12Z Fort Worth sounding looked pretty decent, with good shear vectors and a right motion of 31kts. A brief look at a water vapor loop told the story, with the trough still lagging back, digging deeper into the desert south west. Nonetheless, the OUN sounding was also not too bad, but the thermal profile was less impressive.

As to be expected with a strongly forced environment in January, storms started popping in a warm air advection regime. They were all likely elevated, but a few of them prompted tornado warnings and had nice couplets on radar, especially near Ada, Oklahoma.

Rachel and I headed out to the Sonic and Love’s in Norman before she decided she wanted to put her car in the garage, so we returned. I then decided we should head south to Paul’s Valley.

First storms fire

So the first storms had fired to my due west near Lawton, so it was easy to head up highway 19 towards them. They were moving in a north-northeastward direction, so we had to get almost to Chickasha to intercept. The closer we got, the more they fell apart. I decided to cut up highway 76 towards Blanchard but bailed on 39 back towards I-35.

As we’re heading south on I-35, NWS Fort Worth issues a tornado warning for Cooke County in Texas. We’re sliding through Ardmore as this is going on, so I continued south on 35. Eventually NWS Norman went with a Severe Thunderstorm warning for Love County after it crossed the Red River. We stopped to observe near Thackerville. The storm was very mushy and grungy with almost no discernible features.

Tornado Warning

So we dropped further south to Gainesville. We gassed up at the QT and then headed east on 82, getting out of town before having the weather radio go off for a tornado warning right behind us. I turned back around and found a great gas station parking lot to park in and observe.The structure was grungy and shelfy with no real rotation. I decided to bail east on 82 again and start heading toward Greenville. There is a storm that has fired near my previous night target of Waxahachie. It will be in Greenville about the same time I will if I start heading that way.

Over the next hour we watched that storm struggle on radar like everything else that day.

We got to Greenville and called the chase. At least there was a new Bucee’s to visit in McKinney/Melissa. Typical January Bust.