Storm Prediction Center early outlook for today, May 25.
People seem transfixed by the damage and deaths from this year’s insanely deadly tornado season, including yesterday’s outbreak. I wish more people had been glued to media yesterday, when it might have saved their lives. But some of the tornadoes would not have been survivable unless people were underground. It was also extremely hazardous and difficult chasing. “Our” storm produced a beautiful tornado just before we arrived, and then we were behind the curve. I dallied to see a second line of storms forming, and by the time it collapsed, it really was too late to get ahead of the line, which was moving at highway speeds and offered no safe places to squeak around the big tornadoes they were dropping. I didn’t have the will to punch the core of these monster storms.
Aftermath of storm with mammatus in Kingfisher, Oklahoma, May 23, 2011. Photo by Chris Kridler, chriskridler.com
I’ve never seen a setup like that while chasing in the Plains. Compared with the May 3, 1999, outbreak, another famous day of destruction in Oklahoma, my understanding is that these tornadoes were moving faster and were more numerous and much harder to see. Several were wrapped in rain. Nonetheless – I’m not the only chaser who didn’t see much May 24, but I still feel bad about it. Today’s setup is almost as volatile, but farther east, in more difficult chase territory. I don’t think I could get into play before the storms go up, given that I’m in Norman, Oklahoma, this morning. By the way, I’m extremely glad Norman is still here. When the warnings were coming out yesterday, it sounded as if it might be wiped off the map.
On a better note, I had a fantastic day May 23, when I saw a slim tornado, a beautiful low-precipitation supercell, hail, flooding and lightning. All without worrying about tornado-geddon! I’ve posted pictures of the May 23 chase.