June 28, 2001

An upper level low retrograted from Tennessee into Missouri on the 27th. Waves of thunderstorms moved south through the eastern half of Oklahoma throughout the 27th and 28th. By the afternoon of the 28th, the storms over the eastern half of Oklahoma had put out at outflow boundary towards western Oklahoma. The temp/dewpoint contrast along this boundary was notable, with temp/dews in the 80s/70s on the east side and upper 90s/50s on the west side. Storms were beginning to fire by mid-afternoon in southwestern Oklahoma. These storms were forming in an area where there was great instability and directional shear, so I decided to head out in that direction this afternoon.

After getting blasted by 30 mph outflow winds from ongoing elevated thunderstorms while getting gas (for $1.15 per gallon!), I finally left Norman around 3:45pm. I took I-44 to Lawton, where I began to see the outline of a backsheared anvil to my southwest. The NWS issued a severe thunderstorm warning for this cell for Tillman County OK and Wilbarger County TX. This storm quickly fell apart, so I decided to blow this area off and hope for something developing further north along the boundary. Since storms would be moving south today, I would be in good position to intercept. However, as I continued to head west down US 62, this outflow boundary/dryline kept retreating westward. By the time I got to Altus, I was getting into a lot of blowing dust from the 40 mph winds but only seeing small Cu along the boundary. I finally got west of the boundary as I crossed into Texas, but by now it was after 7pm and nothing was going on -- so I took US 83 north back to I-40 back to Norman.

On the way back up US 83, I got back into the moist side of the boundary again north of Wellington TX. It was quite eerie to see the wall of haze that marked the airmass boundary. As I approached the OKC area, I saw that the elevated junk storms were still ongoing over the area. These storms actually made for a nice lightning display as they were high-based.

Today's chase gets a 10 out of 65. The storm near the Red River was the only warned storm in the Norman forecast area all day. Aside from a few weak storms in northwestern OK, nothing else fired along the boundary as it just kept retreating and retreating westward. The highlights of the day would be a tossup between driving in and out of the dryline/boundary, the numerous close CG lightning strikes as I was coming back through Yukon OK - and that my odometer passed the 30,000 mile mark in downtown Hollis OK at 7:06pm!!!

Total Chase Mileage: 425 miles
Total Chase Time: 7 hours, 15 minutes

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