September 20, 2001

Sometimes minimal planning will get you minimal results. And that sums up today's chase quite well.

I had not planned on chasing at all today. That quickly changed at 3pm when I saw that the SPC had northwestern Oklahoma under a moderate risk for severe weather. With the shortening late September days, it would be tough to get out there before dark. It appeared there would also be a slight chance of severe weather in southwest OK/northwest TX as developing storms were heading towards an outflow boundary in this region. The only problem would be very weak wind shear but it was my only chance of seeing anything today. One last glance at the radar showed a developing cell near Childress TX moving east, so at around 4pm I loaded my cameras and maps in my car and took off towards the Lawton area.

Once I got close to Lawton, it appeared the storms over northwest Texas were turning into a big, mushy, disorganized mess. At Lawton, I got off the Bailey Turnpike and headed west on US 62. By the time I got to Snyder, no warnings had come over the wx radio so at this point I turned around and headed home. Darkness set in on the way back, which enabled me to see quite a bit of lightning from the cluster of storms over northwest TX...and also a decent lightning display from high-based storms to my distant northeast over the OKC area.

Today's chase gets a 10 out of 60. The isolated storm near Childress turned out to be a sucker storm that quickly formed into a cluster due to the weak wind shear. Severe storms ended up forming closer to the better upper level support in northwestern Oklahoma, where 3 inch diameter hail was reported.

Total Chase Mileage: 251 miles
Total Chase Time: 4 hours, 22 minutes

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