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  • Writer's pictureMichael Thornton

Funnel clouds, lightning, and destroyed windshields

Today looks like a good day for chasing in Southwestern Oklahoma. Before chasing today, I attended the National Weather Festival at the Storm Prediction Center! Such a cool event, because of that I left Norman around 12pm, and headed West towards Indiahoma. A Storm near Fredrick showed some promise so I got on US-62 and headed West towards that storm. After chasing this one Severe Thunderstorm, I ended up to the West of it, and wanted to get in East the storm before it went tornado warned because at that point the Thunderstorm was showing well defined rotation on radar. So, I did something I rarely do anymore, and that was drive right into the most intense part of the hail core.

After I made it out of the hail core, I looked to my right and noticed a huge crack on the passenger side of my windshield from the hail storm. However, even though now part of my windshield was destroyed, driving through the hail storm would pay off later as I watched a funnel cloud develop right across the road from me! It was a beautiful little funnel cloud. I watched as this Thunderstorm passed in front of me on US-62. The Thunderstorm had very powerful inflow with it as well, so powerful that my brand new Oklahoma Mesonet hat was blown right off of my head! Road network's became limited as this tornadic storm went over the Wichita Wildlife Refuge, and over the mountains in Southwestern Oklahoma, and as night began to fall I decided to stop chasing. I filled up in Lawton, and started to head home, that was until the same storm I had been chasing early became tornadic again. But this time it was Tornado Warned at night on I-44. I cautiously chased the Thunderstorm up I-44, and it was a good thing I did as well, because the Tornadic storm formed one tornado outside of Cyril, and then one outside of Newcastle where a chaser was hit by the tornado. The tornado near Newcastle ended up causing some damage to the Riverwind Casino and Hotel as well as some other places, thankfully the tornado was short lived and lifted. If it hadn't lifted my apartment would be gone tonight. Tonight was a crazy chase for October my windshield got destroyed finally after a ton of hail intercepts, I I caught some AWESOME lightning strikes, and a funnel!



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