October 14, 2007 Chase

I chased solo again on this day, which seemed like a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon. A marginal Fall setup was presenting itself, and I was ready to jump on it. I headed out from Ardmore around noon, for my target of Altus. I arrived in town around 3pm, where I setup shop on the west side of town, and sat waiting.

After a while, I was able to identify the approaching cold front, as high-based cumulus congestus appeared on the western horizon. Not long afterwards, I started to head north towards Victory, as storms developed to my west, a broken line segment with an isolated cell hugging its southwest flank. While I drove, I noticed something I'd never seen before: a horizontal tube, way atop the storm, above the updraft tower. I continued north to my next east option, and then took that towards the town of Martha. I stopped along the way to get a look at the tail-end storm, which was now producing an interesting rainshaft, which looked similar to a wedge tornado. I went through Martha and found my way to OK6, where I turned north.

I continued north for a few miles, as a wall cloud began to develop to my west. I stopped for a minute to watch it, but because it was still in the infant stages, decided to keep moving north. I came into Blair, crossing OK19. I moved about a mile north of there, and found a nice open parking lot to stop and set up in. The wall cloud was now well-developed, and was starting slowly rotate on the left side. I zoomed in on the area of rotation, and watched as it continued to spin, producing a few random eddies on the ground below it. An obvious outflow push was in progress shortly afterwards, as a large, slow moving area of dust began to float to the southeast, away from the wall cloud. However, the eddies I'd seen previously were spinning, and were moving in the opposite direction of the outflow dust.

As I continued to videotape the slowly-spinning wall cloud, a tight dust swirl began to develop beneath it. Unlike the first few, this one was much more concentrated, vigorous, and spun much faster. It lasted around one minute, whirling itself to a slow death, as the rotation above it died too. Although the rotation was shallow, it was definitely there. This dust whirl remained stationary as well, which means it wasn't being affected by outflow, and was connected to the cloud base rotation...by definition, making it a tornado. Most folks (including the NWS) disagree with me on this, but to each their own. For me, I counted this as a brief, weak tornado.