June 12, 2002

This afternoon would offer one of the best set-ups for severe weather Oklahoma had seen all year. A well defined outflow boundary was draped WNW-ESE across far northern Oklahoma by early afternoon, with a cool front sagging SW-NE from the Texas panhandle through northwestern Oklahoma and into Kansas. My hopes for this afternoon was for storms to fire near the triple point around Woodward and ride east southeast along the outflow boundary. With this in mind, I left Norman at 3:45pm and headed towards northwestern Oklahoma.

As soon as I got to Oklahoma City, I could see storms firing well off to my north-northeast in Kay County. Although these storms were developing in an area of good instability and backed winds, I blew these off and decided to stick to my original target. I went west on I-40 from OKC, then took US 270 to Seiling. Once I got here, I could see a storm off to my west in Ellis County, another storm off to my north in Woods County, and towers struggling to develop over Harper and Woodward Counties. Although I had wanted to continue further northwest, the Woods County storm visually looked best at the time so I decided to take US 281 north. As I headed north on US 281, I could see another storm go off to my northwest in Woodward County, but this storm was not as visually impressive as the Woods County storm. So I continued northward up towards Waynoka. Once I got there, it appeared the Woodward and Woods County storms were trying to form a line. Sure enough, I got hit by cool outflow once in Waynoka, so I turned around and headed back to the south and west to try to get some new development closer to Woodward. No luck - as it appeared outflow was now the rule of the day. So once I got to Mooreland, I turned around and headed back to Norman, trying to ignore the numerous chasers heading the other direction (including the UMass radar truck and a crew from KWTV TV-9). I was overtaken by the outflow three times on the way back, most notably on US 60 between Orion and Fairview. Here I was blasted by clouds of red dust driven by the gusty north winds. Fortunately I missed the precip, as I hit my south escape route (Hwy 58) in Fairview just minutes ahead of a nasty looking greenish precip core. I witnessed a couple of gustnadoes south of Fairview before emerging from the outflow for good. The rest of the trip back was fairly uneventful, although I was treated to a nice view of some inflow bands streaming towards a storm in far northwestern Oklahoma while passing through Watonga.

This chase gets a 10 out of 17. A bit disappointing that the storms turned into an MCS so quickly, but it was nice to finally have some decent storms in Oklahoma. Following are some video captures from today's storms.

Total Mileage: 378 miles
Total Driving Time: 6 hours, 20 minutes

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