Here's the second tornado-producing supercell from May 21 as it puts down a tornado outside of Ada, Oklahoma. Photo by Chris Kridler, chriskridler.com
Chasing in southeast Oklahoma is a special kind of challenge. I was reminded of this fact as I spent a few minutes twisting through the hollers, my view completely obstructed by trees, as a tornado-warned storm that had already produced funnels was moving somewhere over my left shoulder. Nonetheless, that was my target today, due to a potentially favorable spin in the atmosphere and huge instability, among other things. Ardmore, specifically, I viewed as a starter point, but when I got there after driving from Wichita, I couldn’t help driving just a bit farther to Marietta, just north of the Texas border. (Also, I left the Ardmore truck stop because a skunk was wandering around, and I’d almost stepped on it when I attempted to get out of my car.) I was anxious over an already-reported tornado on the ground in Texas, but like everything in Texas, it was really far away. I chose to remain in my target area, watching cloud towers push up and break apart – until one started to look as if it meant it. It had crisp, billowing convection and began to cut a gorgeous shape in the sky. When I got up close enough to see the base, rotation was evident. At first, it had a multi-vortex appearance and produced a couple of needle funnels in this mode. Later, it put down short-lived tornadoes. And much later, as this storm died, another to its north produced a tornado just outside Ada, Oklahoma. I got to it just in time, and this photo shows the structure of the storm with the tornado on the ground under it. I’ll be posting more photos later, but once again, I am extremely sleep-deprived and anticipate more driving and chasing tomorrow and Monday. I hope I can find a few minutes (really, a few hours) to post photos soon.