2001 May 6
Copyright 2001 Eric Nguyen
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Area Chased:  SC OK

Discussion:  I chased with Dave Fick and Brian Fant this day.  We went down to Ardmore, had lunch, and then went west about 5-10 miles watching two distinct towers developing.  They both quickly organized and the bases quickly lowered, right away rotation seemed to be evident at the base.  The first rotating wall cloud was on our northern storm.  It slowly disorganized due to the storm to the south seeding it.  So we stayed where we were and watched the new storm to the south with a rotating wall cloud drift east-northeast.  It was about 2 miles south of us moving NE so we would be in a decent position.  It already had signs of significant rotation very early on.  My chase buddy Brian had some tire trouble, so we quickly changed it while watching the wall cloud, and then funnels form to our east.  Once we finished the tornado had just touched down at 3:53PM CDT.  We moved east and pulled onto a hill which gave us a great view of the tornado under 1/2 a mile away.  It was perfectly backlit and we watched it rip up trees while going up and over the hill.  After that it slowly roped out and finally dissipated at 4:05PM CDT.  Awesome tornado, especially since it hit open country only.  After that, a few miles to our west was a new rotating meso with a developing RFD notch.  We moved east quickly and got east of the storm.  Looking west at now some classic supercell structure with a rotating wall cloud.  Inflow tail quickly formed while a new RFD notch punched in, showing signs of rapid organization.  Low hanging scud was beginning to form underneath the wall cloud lifting rapidly.  Small hail of pea to dime began to fall in my position.  After a few minutes the storm showed signs of being outflow dominant, perhaps the RFD was cold this time, or other cold outflow came from the north cutting off our storm.  The gust front began to race south cutting off storms as it went.  We tried catching another potentially tornadic storm to the south with no luck.  We ended up on the TX/OK border where Brian, Dave, Amos, Jeff, and I all had a delightful steak dinner at the Ranch House in McKinney, TX.  Amos M. and Jeff Lawson all caught the Marietta, OK tornado which was south of our storm.

Pictures:  Evolution of the supercell.

010506-1b.jpg (9016 bytes)     010506-2b.jpg (10950 bytes)     010506-3b.jpg (10359 bytes)     010506-4b.jpg (9198 bytes)     010506-5b.jpg (10847 bytes)      Storms begins to produce tornado, very evident RFD notch.   Tornado about 1/2 mile to my NE moving north.  During the entire tornadoes life the winds were calm and the birds were chirping.

010506-6b.jpg (9205 bytes)     010506-9b.jpg (9335 bytes)     010506-10b.jpg (9994 bytes)     010506-11b.jpg (6838 bytes)      Tornado's updraft quickly shrinking, very photogenic as it begins to rope out with a small needle evident at the surface.

010506-7b.jpg (9635 bytes)     010506-8b.jpg (8651 bytes)     Closer image of the tornado after it crossed the hill.

010506-12b.jpg (13260 bytes)     010506-14b.jpg (8839 bytes)     010506-13b.jpg (9782 bytes)      Cop heading toward damage path with new rotating meso to the east.  I got east of the storm after the tornado roped out, with a view looking west now at the awesome vault structure with a rotating wall cloud underneath.  Notice the inflow tail and new RFD notch.  This was almost the best site of the day!!

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