May 29, 2001

Today was hyped up to be the Southern Plains' big day of 2001 (and it was). My only concern for the day was that convection had started to fire in the late morning and early afternoon in the Panhandle - and this day would turn into another crapfest (like May 19). There were also some ongoing storms around Norman throughout the morning and early afternoon - although not severe I was satisfied enough with these I just decided to stay home. Missed the upside down wedding cake near Turkey (brings a whole new meaning to turkey tower) and the tornadoes near White Deer and the town of Panhandle. Spent the evening watching KWTV Channel 9 as the White Deer storms formed into a line and moved into Oklahoma while the Turkey storm remained isolated and churned into southwestern Oklahoma into the early morning hours. The line of storms bowed out in northern Oklahoma, causing the southern part of the line over central Oklahoma to become parallel to the upper level winds. As a result storms trained over the OKC area, dumping 1 1/2 to 4 inches of rain and producing a vivid lightning display that lasted for several hours.

Today reminds me of the May 31, 1999 chase day in that there were three main areas of storms and most chasers seemed to target the least tornadic one. Most chasers (including me) were up in Meade/Sitka KS that day, saw a nice supercell, but missed the tornado. A few other chasers caught some tornadoes in southwest Oklahoma, while numerous tornadoes touched down in eastern Colorado almost unnoticed. On May 29, 2001 - most chasers seemed to target the Turkey cell, which apparently did produce a tornado that was not seen by many chasers. A few other chasers got the tornadoes in the northeastern panhandle. But the tornado outbreak of the day may have actually been in southeastern Colorado!!! There were around 13 tornadoes reported in that region that afternoon - SIX near the town of Lamar alone!!! Whoever was lucky enough to be there must have had one heck of a storm practically all to themselves!!!!

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