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  • Writer's pictureMichael Thornton

The first chase of 2019

Updated: Mar 27, 2019

Hey everyone! This is a few days late. But better late than never as some say! I chased a marginal risk setup that was over Central Oklahoma on March 23rd, 2019. The HRRR had hinted at Thunderstorms developing around 4/5pm in far Northeastern Canadian county and then moving into Oklahoma county. I left Norman at 2:30pm since I was so close to the target area. I went North and setup base in Oklahoma City. Visible Satellite images showed that there was a huge area of clearing which was allowing the atmosphere to heat up in far Northeastern Canadian county. At around 3:23pm I used my Kestrel weather instrument (which I plan on writing a review about soon) and recorded 56.5 degree dew points.

Kestrel 3500 showing 56.5 degree dews in OKC.

With everything in place I drove West towards Canadian county to get ready for storm initiation. Storms began to initiate at 4:30pm near Piedmont. So I headed West and got onto I-40. Right from the beginning the storm was HP. So I watched it on radar and looked for anything that I could see visually.

Once I got into the town called "The Village" which is a suburb in Oklahoma City, the HP Severe Thunderstorm began to drop marble sized hail. Of course I had to stop and record the hail falling with my DSLR and at the same time pick up the hail with my hands to measure it. It felt so great to hear hail hitting the roof of my F250, especially after such a long winter. After recording the hail storm in "The Village" I tracked East right along side the Severe Thunderstorm. The Severe Thunderstorm that I was tracking started to show some rotation in the town of Edmond, thankfully the storm did not drop any tornado. Thankfully this Severe Thunderstorm moved Eastward away from the suburbs of Oklahoma City, because I absolutely hate chasing Thunderstorms through cities. Once the Thunderstorm had moved out of the metro I began tracking the Severe Thunderstorm on back roads due to the fact that the storm was parallel to I-40 and I did not want to chase the Severe Thunderstorm on an Interstate due to the amount of factors that could occur like losing the Thunderstorm all together because of people stopping under overpasses due to hail. Which unsurprisingly did occur. I followed the first Severe cell all the way into Meeker, until a second cell near Jones began to form.

This cell was about to become the next severe storm as my storm began to die down. So, I drove West towards the 2nd Thunderstorm and by the time I had reached the storm, the storm had gone severe. The 2nd severe storm of the day had now reached Harrah and had some pretty awesome storm structure with it as well. I tracked this Thunderstorm all the way back into Meeker until it began to become dark outside and since this storm had turned into an HP cell as well I decided to stop chasing.

But, my day still wasn't over. On my way back home my DSLR camera fell off of the tripod in my truck. So, I pulled over on an off ramp to pickup my DSLR and I looked up and saw this absolutely incredible view of Thunderstorms to my East. I decided to stick around for a few minutes and record this awesome storm structure! After it had become to dark to see the structure without lightning, I started to head home again. Once I got into Norman I sat near the National Weather Service Radar Operations building and watched a Severe cell that had gone through Norman earlier give off amazing negative lightning to my East. This concluded my first chase of 2019. What a great way to start off the season, especially for a marginal risk day! I will leave highlights from the chase day below. Thank You for reading!



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