Friday, May 02, 2008

May 1st chase

I wasn't going to chase yesterday, as I wasn't all that excited about the way things were setting up, and didn't think anything was going to go up anyway. As I was heading to my wife's dance studio in OKC to pick up our kids after work, I saw towers going up. A quick look at data and it was an easy decision to go chase.
I headed to Eastbound I-40 to try to intercept the cell that went up by Moore. The timing couldn't have been more perfect, as I intercepted it as it was just north of Tinker AFB. It had a nice lowering with decently rapid rotation and was putting down plenty of hail. During that time, I was also listening to radio rebroadcasts of a local TV met and station chaser who were going nuts about the storm. At one point they mentioned debris on the ground and then went on to assume it was a clear funnel / tornado, and called it a tornado on the ground. I was looking directly at the rotating base (yes it was rotating), but didn't even see a funnel. My guess is it was straight line RFD that managed to blow down a backyard shed, which is what they saw as debris. That's just my informed judgement. I followed the cell up to Chandler and the majority of the time it had lowerings / a wallcloud on it. As it travelled further Northeast, the cloud base got higher and higher, so when I got to Chandler, I broke off as daylight was fading.
Now onto the second part of my post. TV mets are getting worse and worse about going nuts over relatively non-dangerous situations. Don't get me wrong, they provide a great service to warn the public, as they are the most visible venue for storms. I just get irritated when I hear them screaming "Tornado on the ground!!!", when I can plainly see there isn't one, and if there was, it wouldn't do much damage to even a car, much less a house. I just wish they would tone it down a bit and present the facts as they are warranted. If I believed the radio broadcasts, every time we have a severe storm coming through the OKC metro, a strong tornado is always present... bleh. [off my rant box now] Also, some stations are worse about it than others.

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