Chase Summaries (Prior Year's Chases at Bottom of Page or Click Here)

2005 Chases

May 14, 2005

Solo Chase

See summary and pictures here.

2004 Chases

May 29, 2004

Chase Partners - Gene Childers, David Callahan, Lauren Shell (his first chase & tornado)

What a chase day.  3 tornadoes.  Started up I-35 around 1:30.  Went to Enid and stopped at the library to look at data.  The librarian there has no since of humor.  Anyway after seeing storms firing out west along the dryline we headed southwest to some storms around Seiling.  We watched this cell for a good 1/2 hour before giving up on it for another cell to the south of it.  As we traveled SE back down Hwy 270 we caught up with the DOW truck and saw on XM Radar another cell SW of Thomas.  We reached Hwy 33 which went SE to Thomas.  Looking at radar it didn't look like we could make it back to Thomas before the storm did, but the DOW truck and a entourage of other chasers headed that way so we followed along.  We finally made it to Hwy 54 one mile east of Thomas and headed south.  Not wanting to get hit by the 4 inch hail, we traveled a few miles down the road and pulled over to shoot a few pictures.  As soon as we pulled over small hail began to fall.  We started down the road again and looked back to the NW to see a cone tornado come into view.  We got several pictures of lowerings, circulations as the storm occluded, regenerated and started over again farther to the SE.  At one point, there was inflow into the storm of about 40 mph and it just died at once as the storm occluded.  Very strange feeling.

We then took Hwy 58 towards Hydro.  We encountered tornado #2 just a mile or two east of Hwy 54.  I didn't notice a condensation funnel from the cloud to the ground, but there was a large dust swirl on the ground.  My video shows a condensation funnel about half way to the ground.

We took I-40 east to Hwy 81 in El Reno, then north to the Lucky Star Casino.  Hordes of locals had come out to watch the show.  Looking off to our NW from just south of the Casino we spotted tornado # 3 on the day.  Dave's video shows  power flashes as the storm later crossed Hwy 81 although it was so dark in there we could not see any tornadoes.

Here are the pictures.

May 25, 2004

Solo Chase

Chase account with pictures to be posted soon....

April 21, 2004

Chase Partner-Gene Childers first, then solo

Headed north to I-40 and Portland.  Stopped in my church parking lot, Faith Tabernacle and watched as the wall cloud moved across north OKC.  At times there was good rotation, but about as fast as it would start to wind up and try to tornado it would fall apart.  A huge hailstorm that fell prior to the storm created some cool air that seemed to keep it from tornado-ing.

More to come....


2003 Chases

May 16, 2003

Chase Partner-Doug Marzean

I had not planned on chasing at all today, but about noon a storm sprang up in Edmond that the NWS issued a tornado warning on.  I picked up Doug and we raced off north on I-44 and then to I-35.  It was hard to pick out exactly where the lowering was.  It appeared to be a little strung out.  We finally noticed an area off to our NE that appeared to have some rotation.  We went east on Covell road and then north to Seward road stopping along the way to take some pictures.  As we went east on Seward road, several times we saw some quick rapid motion in the clouds, but there did not appear to be any funnels or touchdowns even though the KFOR helicopter was reporting a touchdown.  I'll give them the benefit of the doubt though as our vision was a little obscured by trees at that exact moment.  Seward road doesn't stay paved very far east and we found ourselves on a red muddy road.  My truck loooked like it had been through a mud storm when we got back.  I wish I had taken some pictures of it.  I'll have some pictures posted soon of the lowerings.  Total miles- 80

May 15, 2003

Solo Chase 

A high risk over the Texas panhandle was just too much to keep me home so off I went out I-40 towards Amarillo hoping to catch an outbreak of tornadoes.  I stopped in Sayre, OK to try and get an update on my computer but the connection wasn't good enough to get through.  I got an update from Ted White, but it was beginning to look like a later show than I had anticipated.  I hung around in Sayre until about 6:15 before continuing west to almost Shamrock, TX.  By this time it was starting to get dark and there was only one small storm in the vicinity that was having trouble getting started.  I finally gave it up about 7:30 and headed home not wanting to chase in the dark even though I knew there would be tornadoes.  I had not been heading back east more than about 15-20 minutes before a tornado warning was issued for the storm near Shamrock.  A tornado later touched down near Shamrock from a different cell but it was well after dark.  Total miles - 330.

May 8, 2003

Solo Chase - Ted White nowcasting

Storms fired along the dry-line in SW Oklahoma around Pocasset, OK.  I drove out Hwy 37 to Hwy 4 then south a little to watch the storm come by.  I could see a ragged base to my west with some slow rotation.  As the cell moved east I began to see rapid rotation overhead and had inflow winds of 20-30 mph.  I could not see a funnel nor a debris cloud but the rotation was there.  As the storm passed, the RFD kicked in and the winds were 20-30 out of the west and then became completely calm.  I raced to catch up with the storm that by this time it had crossed over the Tri-city shopping center and moved over the river.  As I approached Tri-city I heard radio reports of the tornado on the ground crossing SW 134th between Western and Sante Fe.  That's about where the daycare was that my kids were in as the tornado passed overhead.  Needless to say, the chase was over at that point and I couldn't get to the daycare fast enough.  As I came down SW 134th approaching Western I could see the power poles were down and could only imagine what the daycare looked like.  As I pulled up, the power poles were draped across the parking lot, but the building appeared to be intact.  It appeared the tornado passed right over the top of building and only did a little damage to some shingles.  Not a single window was broken in the whole building.  Someone I know came out the front door and said all the kids were okay and not to worry.  At the point I felt quite relieved to know they were okay.  This was my son Matt's second time to be in a tornado.  He was in our house with my wife on May 3, 1999 when that tornado leveled our house (see May 3rd Chase link).  I was afraid he would be scared but his teacher said he was the most calm of all the kids.  I guess he was calm since he has exprerience with this sort of thing.  I call him the tornado magnet.  I'll have to start taking him with me if I want to see a tornado.  Total miles - 40.  I might have some pictures soon.

May 5, 2003 SE Oklahoma to McAlester, OK

Chase Partners-Gene Childers & Carol

An uneventful chase.  After first heading north and then reversing course to go to a closer storm south we headed off to Seminole and SE to McAlester.  It was difficult to find a good road that took us straight to the storm as that part of the state is terrible for chasing.  We caught the tail end of the storm just southwest of Wilburton where we heard it produced a tornado, but no road options left us stuck with nothing to do but come home and regret that we didn't keep going north to Kansas.  The same as a bust.  I am never going SE again to chase storms even if they issue an ultra high-risk.  Totally frustrating after hearing all the reports after getting home.
Total miles-424.


April 23, 2003 SW OK to Seymour, Tx

Chase Partner-Gene Childers

After vowing to never go to North Texas again, off we went down I-44 to Wichita Falls then SW to Seymour, TX.  Several tornado warnings told us we were headed in the right direction for once.  However, as we got closer to Seymour, another storm to the south over Throckmorton seemed to steal the energy from the storm near Benjamin.  We watched this storm north of Seymour try to get wrapped up at one point but just couldn't get it's act together.  It was only about 67 degrees at this point.  A little warmer and I htink it would have been going good.  This storm then moved on north and dissipated.  On the way back home up I-44 we heard of  tornado touchdown 20 miles west of Walters, OK.  We were only about 20 miles to the SE of this storm but could not see a base.  We headed west to Chattanooga, but by the time we arrived the storm had completely weakened. and there was nothing.  I may post a few pictures in a day or two.  Total Miles - 388.

April 19, 2003 NE OK to South of Tulsa

Chase Partners-Gene Childers & Carol (Gene's Girlfriend)

We were quite undecided as to which way to go all morning and finally headed NW to Kingfisher but changed our minds and went east out I-40.  We ended up zig-zagging up through Prague, Boley, Bristow, Slick and Beggs to the far south side of Tulsa never able to quite catch the storm that kept producing funnel clouds and lowerings.  We had a great view of the towers and everything it seemed like there was a pulse upward, we would hear of a new funnel or lowering.  We saw neither a lowering nor a funnel, it all looked pretty lined out to me.  We then turned around and headed home.  We briefly considered heading down to McAlester, but it seemed too far away and the speed at which they were moving made it sound impossible to try to catch.  On a scale of 1 to 10 this was a 2. No Pictures.  Total Miles - 340.

April 15, 2003 Strong City, OK (Roger Mills County)

Chase Partner-David Callahan (Dave's first chase where something happened.)

Yes I went chasing on April 15th, but I had all the tax returns done!  We headed out west and then north to Woodward, but information from Doug Marzean told us to go west on 51 to Vici.  From there we went back south through Leedey and down to Hammon.  We took Hwy 33 west to Strong City.  W stopped there to wait and watch the storm approach.  It didn't take long as this cell was moving at 50 mph.   As the back side of the storm came by, tremendous in-flow of 40-50 mph developed into this storm.  Dust and tumbleweeds were flying.  The cell became very dark and visibility was poor.  There had to have been something in there the way that wind was being sucked into it.  We paralled the storm north on a dirt road several miles until the main core moved on to Leedey.  On the back side of this storm we noticed a lowering and a strong updraft with rotation.  Several times it seemed to tighten up and I thought it was going to drop a brief tornado but just as soon as it tightened up it dissipated and that was the end of it.  In reviewing the video it looks like there might have briefly been a dust cloud on the ground beneath the circulation, but maybe I'm just wishing.  All the rest of the stronger cells were in SW Oklahoma so we decided to head home.
Total miles - 370.  Pictures Here

April 5, 2003 North Texas

Chase Partner-Doug Marzean

A total bust.  We went all the way to south of Olney, Texas trying to get ahead of the storm that hit Woodson.  But the farther south we got the farther SE it went.  We finally gave up and came home early, empty-handed.  Total miles- 350.

March 17, 2003 Southwest Oklahoma, Carnegie, Binger, Hinton

Chase Partners- Doug Marzean, Gene Childers

Started out about 2:15 headed towards Anadarko.  Storms were already fiiring along a NE bulging dry-line.  Tornadoes were reported on the ground by the time we made it to Anadarko.  We caught up with the wall cloud west of Carnegie, still spinning with lots of inflow, but it never produced anymore tornadoes.  After watching this one for awhile and about deciding to head back, I got a call from my nowcaster, Ted White, who said there was another cell to our east showing signs of rotation.  We headed up to Hwy 152 and then east towards Binger.  This wall cloud was rather large and kind of strung out all over the place.  The sun was shining on it making it appear white.  Hail covered the road in one spot along 152.  One time the wall tightened up and was spinning real good, but would not drop a tornado.  Probably a good thing since it was over Binger at that point.  We followed this one north up through Hinton and made a pit stop in Hinton.  While we were there, we noticed a third wall cloud to our west starting to lower and show signs of rotation.  We followed this one north to I-40 where it crossed the road.  It had a strong updraft on the front side and a strong RFD cutting into on the back side.  My speeded up video shows this very well like time lapse photography.  I might try to put a clip on here to see.  It was fun chase with a lot of wall clouds.  I wish all chases could be this close to home.
Pictures Here


2002 Chases

June 15, 2002 NC Oklahoma, Enid

Solo Chase

This was a "didn't have anything better to do chase".  There was a squall line racing out of Kansas with some strong winds.  Thought I might see a gustnado or two.  Went out Hwy 3 from OKC to Hwy 81 straight north to Waukomis.  Met the line there.  Some some dust get kicked up around Kingfisher and that was about it.

June 12, 2002 NW Oklahoma, Alva

Chase Partner-Doug Marzean

Headed up to Alva where the moderate risk area was located.  Storms had already fired by the time we arrived and had already turned outflow dominant.  We could also see what appeared to be a hail core over Alva.  The outflow began to kick up dust with lots of gustnadoes and some really vivid lightning.  Here are the pictures.

May 27, 2002 Texas Panhandle

Solo Chase

I wasn't going to go, hadn't even looked at the weather until Doug called and said he was heading to Childress because of a moderate risk.  I told him I wasn't going but kept watching the weather and after about an hour decided to head straight west after a tornado watch was issued for the Texas Panhandle.  I thought I might catch a storm or two near Amarillo.  Along the way some storms built up and there were a couple of tornado warnings, but by the time I got close enough there wasn't really anything going on, just some rain and small hail.  It was about 400 miles of driving for nothing when I could have stayed home and relaxed.  Such is life as a storm chaser.  Win some and lose some. (Actually I've had a lot more losing going on than winning lately).

May 24, 2002 SW Oklahoma

Chase Partner-Doug Marzean

The SPC had issued a moderate risk for most of western and southwestern Oklahoma with a good chance of tornadoes.  We headed down to Altus then west toward Hollis as storms began to fire just west and southwest of Hollis near Childress, TX.  The first storm west of Hollis had a heavy rain core with a rain free base on the southern side of the storm.  We watched this one move slowly east northeast for quite awhile occasionally producing a little lowering.  It was having a hard time getting it's act together.   We moved up Hwy 34 about 10 miles watching the storm to our west.  It finally started building back to the south producing more lowerings and mini wall clouds.  The storms finally grew together and we opted to go north through Mangum and then east to try to get ahead of it, but that plan didn't work.  Another heavy storm cut us off so we decided to head north up Hwy 54 to the Washita county storm (not knowing there had already been a tornado with it).  As we got out of the rain we could see a lowering to our northwest.  We turned west at Gould and watched this storm spin for awhile.  It had some good inflow curling into it as it just sort of sat in the same spot.  After a while this one began to fade and eventually completely fizzled out.  The sun was just going down when we headed back home and we decided to pull over and take some sunset pictures.  This turned out to be the best part of the day as it was an incredibly beautiful sunset.  Here are the pictures.

May 8, 2002 North Central Oklahoma

Chase Partner-Doug Marzean

Pretty much a bust.  We headed out Hwy 3 from OKC to 81 through Kingfisher to Enid.  The first tornado warning was issued for northern Grant Co for a possible tornado.  We decided to head west out of Enid to catch tail end charlie since the Grant Co. storm would be hard to catch.  We eventually migrated up to 64 and 81 north of Enid.  We ran into Val Castor who pulled over there also.  The storms had already become outflow dominant at that point and didn't look like much was going to happen.  We sat around for awhile and talked to other chasers who showed up but nothing was going on so we decided to head for home.  Here are a couple of pictures.

May 5, 2002 All over SW and NW Oklahoma and Texax Panhandle

Chase partner-Doug Marzean

Headed down to southwestern Oklahoma first to Lawton then to Altus.  We rant into chaser convergence in Altus.  After getting some data on the laptop we decided to head north hoping to get close enough to the storms firing off in the Texas Panhandle.  We went to Erick then Shamrock and then headed north hoping to intercept the supercell in the northern Texas Panhandle near Perryton.  We caught up with it and saw some lowerings, but not any strong rotation.  It was headed east, unfortunately, there were no roads east so we had to double back to Miami then NE to Canadian, TX.  As we arrived in Canadian, once again there was some lowerings but no strong rotation.  It also appeared to have some outflow at that time.  We headed back south to Hwy 33 then east hoping to get out in front of it.

We had a good view of the base with occasional lowerings.  The updraft continued to cycle up and down.  We would see a new updraft on top and then see a lowering below.  We finally took some dirt roads north trying to get closer about the time we heard that a tornado had been reported.  It must have been a little further east and in the notch because from the south we couldn't see it.  We got as far north as we could before we ran out of road and light.

We headed back east on Hwy 47 in Oklahoma hoping to seeing something in the dark with a lightning flash.  We were really low on fuel so we headed for Thomas wishing that a gas station would still be open.  I think I was running on fumes the last 3 miles, because the needle was below the "E".  Next time I'll fill up more often.j  Fortunately, I have relatives in Thomas so I wouldn't have had to walk to a gas station.  We covered 550 miles over about  10 hours.  This was by far the longest chase for me.

Here are the pictures.

 April 20, 2002 SW OK/NW Texas

Chase partners-Doug & Christie Marzean

A complete and total bust.  Drove down I-44 to Lawton then to Altus, to Vernon Texas, to Frederick, back to Lawton, had supper at Braum's and came home.  Along the way we met Stormguy Dave Crowley and friends, and ran into some other chasers in Vernon, TX.  There was chaser convergence around my laptop at the Best Western in Vernon as everybody got an update on the weather.  Thanks to the guy at the Best Western for letting us use his sign-in on his ISP to get internet access.  Our only other "excitement" if you can call it that was getting to watch a NEWS 9 satellite truck do a remote broadcast in Frederick, OK.  That was it.  340 miles, 7.5 hours.  Sorry, no pictures.

April 17, 2002 Western Oklahoma

Chase partner-none.

Convergence along the dry line caused numerous severe storms to develop in western Oklahoma.  I caught up with the storm near Seiling, OK about dark. The tower on this storm had that corkscrew appearance with a well-pronounced lowering.  I stopped just south of Seiling to watch it.  Inflow was about 30-40 mph at this point.  It began to weaken as darkness fell.  Here are the pictures..
240 miles, 3.5 hours

April 7, 2002  NW Texas
Chase partners, David Callahan (his first chase), Doug Marzean and Carl (his first chase).

Not much to this chase.  We got a late start after indecision about whether to even go or not.

Doug and Carl went on ahead of us.  They were on their way to Frederick and decided to come back and wait for us in Wichita Falls.  If they had kept going they  would have had pictures of the big tornado in Throckmorton.

We were a little late for the show on this one.  By the time we arrived, the storms only produced a lot of rain and a little bit of wind, maybe 30-40 mph.

On our way back, a car driving too fast hydroplaned causing Doug to swerve and hit a light pole totaling his truck south of Wichita Falls.  He had to drive 35 mph all the way back to OKC. 
324 Miles, 7 hours.

March 24, 2002
Didn't have to go anywhere.  This one came to me.  It wasn't really a severe weather event, but we did get almost golf ball size hail at my house.  Here is a picture.


2001 Adventures

This year was fun, but didn't produced tornadoes where I've been.  I've seen some wall clouds, small funnels, a beaver's tail, even had a circulation come right over my house, but no tornadoes.  I've been chased by storms moving 70 mph at Arnett and Vici, and sat and watched the Newcastle storm creep along.

September 7, 2001

June 5, 2001

May 27, 2001

May 20, 2001

April 14, 2001

April 6, 2001

1999 & Before

May 3, 1999

October 4, 1998