May 29, 2013 Chase

This day didn't have great potential, but it was late in the season and we were biting on any chance that presented itself. Bridget and I headed to Elk City as a starting point. As we neared town, an ongoing area of sever thunderstorms approached from the eastern TX panhandle. There had been numerous severe warnings and a few tornado warnings for embedded circulations, but nothing confirmed or even impressive on radar. We waited around on the west side of town in a motel parking lot for the line to approach, but before it could reach us, we decided to move south, to try and get to the end of the line. This would be our best hope for a tornado.

We headed south on OK34, past Carter and Willow. We stopped alongside the road north of Mangum, not far from the OK9 west intersection. The plan was to wait for the line to move by, having positioned ourselves to the southern end. However, after some time and the storms still hadn't moved into sharp visual range, we decided to make a break for them. We still had daylight left, but didn't want to waste it waiting for the storms to reach us. We headed west on OK9 towards Reed. As we did, a nice lowering gradually came into view through the haze. This storm was looking less like the end of a line and more like an isolated supercell at the end of the line. We moved through Reed, and then eventually found a county road north from there, as the storm continued to approach.

As we drove north, I noticed what looked like outflow dust, underneath the storm's base. It began to change shape however, and stretched vertically. At the time I thought nothing of it, because the day had such low tornadic potential and we hadn't seen much of anything impressive. We continued north for  bit further, then started making our way east on unmarked roads. Because there had been no rain, the dirt back roads were working well. We just stayed ahead of the storm through the rest of the evening, working the great network of back roads in rural Greer county. There were many suspicious-looking lowerings, but nothing that was ever a serious threat. Finally at dusk, we threw in the towel south of Willow. A few days later, chaser friend JR Hehnly made a social media post about the dust cloud we'd seen; apparently the mobile radar team had been on the storm, and measured a low-end threshold tornadic circulation above it. So an underwhelming day ended up producing one final tornado for our 2013 season.