Who Chased? Chris
This day’s setup was marginal at best, but after the previous day’s surprise tornado event in west Texas, even a marginal setup seemed chase-worthy. I left Denver solo at the last minute and raced down to northwest Oklahoma, originally targeting the town of Beaver in the eastern Panhandle. The target was eventually adjusted east towards the town of Laverne, in a 5% Tornado Risk area, added by SPC at their 20z Convective Outlook update.
Meandering a bit up and down Highway 283 in Harper and Ellis Counties (Okla.), some towers tried to go up, but struggled. These storms looked promising at initiation but ultimately didn’t get it done. Some rain and small hail, a little lightning, but not up to par in a chaser’s mind.
I adjusted a bit east towards May, Oklahoma and eventually to Highway 183 towards Buffalo. These storms weakened even more, and I almost pulled the plug and started back towards Denver. As the small cluster of storms moved north of the border into Kansas, I made a snap decision to follow them north, just to see if they had one last effort. The southwesternmost storm in the cluster started to intensify, and I moved north towards Protection, Kansas for a closer look.
The storm was slow to develop but eventually earned a severe thunderstorm warning. Hail to golfball size was reported.
Some rotation was noted on the west side of the storm, as well as a hook feature, and a tornado warning was finally issued. Note the somewhat lackluster velocity couplet in the picture below. The blue circle is my location, and some southern adjustment had to be made. The worst of the hail was just 100-200 yards to the north.
The view of the wall cloud was picturesque, and some decent rotation could be observed, but the storm failed to produce a tornado. After some chaser convergence, I made my way to Dodge City for the night.