Chasecation 2016, Day 9: Oklahoma joins the party

A high-based supercell over Oklahoma. (Ian Livingston)

A high-based supercell over Oklahoma. (Ian Livingston)

A big part of the fun of storm chasing is visiting a lot of new places and meeting online chaser friends face to face. Since this is the 6th year I’ve chasecationed, generally for stints of 10 to 14 days or so at a time, I’ve now seen a good chunk of the Plains and met quite a few of my fellow storm weirdos.

The 2016 chase has been extremely Kansas-centric. Of course, I can’t complain given what Kansas tends to show us, yet still it’s good to get around a bit.

We’d already passed through Oklahoma, but Friday was our first chase in Oklahoma of the trip. We’ve now chased in (from north to south) Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas this year. All are states you might expect to hit in May. Still, the list is smaller this year than many.

It was a low tornado risk day overall, and we did not manage to find any of the few that touched down. Expectations were minimal, but we came away with some nice imagery and found one of the best storms of the day. In general, those are the goals of any chase day. The days with tornadoes are just icing on the cake.

And to top it all off, we got to meet yet another person we chat with all the time about storms online. There were good burgers to be had and tornado talk to get lost in.

There was some chatter of going home early due to the pattern relaxing compared to earlier in the trip, but the ticket home (for Wednesday) has already been purchased, and often as you close in on days in late May they become more likely to produce severe weather than it seems from afar.

So, no going home early. Today we head to Texas, where there is no notably apparent tornado threat. The next two days might be there. Today appears rather conditional, meaning storms might not even fire. However, it’s another one of those giganto CAPE days. As you might recall, we’ve already seen special things come from those kind of days.

Certainly worth rolling the dice on.

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Defense and foreign policy researcher at a D.C. think tank. Information lead for the Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang.