June 11, 2004

Today was one of those, "it's late in the year and I want to get in one more chase before our yearly 75 days in a row with a 120 degree heat index and a .0001% chance of rain" type of chases. Although the cap was expected to be quite strong over the Sooner State today, a convergent dryline and tremendous instability over the north central part of the state made that area worth a look. After I got off work at 5pm, satellite was indicating developing towering cumulus along a dryline draped across the northwestern quadrant of the state, with radar showing a few weak showers starting to develop in the Enid area. Before long I was able to see distant anvils out my window to the northwest, so at 6:15pm I hopped in the Copunch Machine and headed on north up I-35.

By the time I got to Oklahoma City, I was able to get a good view of the developing storms off to my northwest. It was very apparent these storms were having trouble with the cap, as the mushy looking updrafts were tending to fizzle out and leaving orphan anvils in their wake. One cell northwest of Mulhall actually did appear to break through the cap for a short time - even taking on some LP'ish characteristics. The updraft was extremely narrow though, and it wouldn't be before long before this cell met the same fate as all the ones before it. But before it did, at 7:18pm it produced a black, snakelike mid-level funnel hanging down from the downwind side of the updraft. This funnel only lasted for a minute, so there wasn't enough time to stop and get pictures. So I continued northward up I-35, as I began to see more persistent TCu development through the haze off to my north. These looked quite mushy as well, although they did persist until I caught up with it just north of the Kansas/Oklahoma state line at sunset. With darkness setting in and figuring this storm wouldn't do much either, I decided to turn around and head home.

Even though the storms continued not to look very impressive from my rear view mirror, they did produce some lightning from time to time, and even prompted a few warnings in south central Kansas. Some more impressive storms took place this afternoon in western north Texas, although the main show today was in Iowa - no way I was going to catch that having to work today though. But days like today show me why I go out even on the very marginal days - you never know when you're going to see something unexpected (like a mid-level funnel).

Total Mileage: 284 miles
Total Driving Time: 4 hours, 39 minutes

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