April 6, 2001

This was the first day that looked good this spring. The SPC issued a high risk for severe weather for much of Kansas, northwestern Oklahoma, and the Texas panhandle. The plan for the night before was to go for anything that developed along the dryline in the Texas panhandle or in northwestern Oklahoma. By morning, some serious questions began to come into place. 1) How quickly would the dryline advance east? The morning runs of the RUC and ETA had the dryline only as far east as the central TX panhandle by 7pm. 2) Would there be enough instability for storms? A thick overcast covered the entire southern Plains region for much of the day which really cut down on the heating. With a strong cap forecast to be in place east of the dryline (and especially in OK), we would need all the heating we could get for any supercellular storm potential to be realized.

By the time I got home from my day job at 2pm, the southern Plains were still socked in with overcast and the dryline was still way back in the western TX panhandle. I then learned of storms that had already formed in northwest Kansas that were moving at speeds of 90-95 mph!!! It would really be a challenge to keep up with/get out of the way of storms moving at that speed. All of these uncertainties were enough to convince me not to chase today. Turns out I didn't really miss much - a squall line quickly developed in the western panhandle region and hauled eastward during the early evening hours. Only three very brief tornadoes occurred in Castro County TX, Roger Mills County OK, and Morton County KS. As the upper-level support raced northeast into Kansas and Nebraska and the storms ran into the hot air at 800mb, the squall line rapidly desintigrated. The remains of the line sputtered into the OKC metro area on fumes shortly before midnight, only bringing a brief sprinkle to Norman.

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