The map above shows the most "chasable" swaths on May 7. The Wakita storm was off the right top corner and is not included.

This chase page is VERY "preliminary", as I am tired tonight but want to get this online. I will try to add more bits Friday and over the weekend. Please pass along any material or comments. Thanks!


Click here to see a batch of chase photos from this storm day!


by Dave Floyd

Fate worked well yesterday. I couldn't run out of work before 3pm, and I ended up hanging around work looking at data. At 4:30 pm, Jim LaDue and I observed a storm split on the Vance radar along the KS/OK border. As the southern split evolved into a hook, I blasted north and caught up with it at 6:45pm. (The radar loop was very impressive as the storm was close to Vance. You can easily observe multiple occlusions in 0.5 reflectivity data, as well as storm boundaries. The storm ultimately made a classic evolution from HP into a small scale bow echo with a tight spiral as a comma head over Osage/Pawnee counties well after dark.)

When I arrived, the storm was HP, with a huge, long forward flank to the east, and a solid rain core wrapping around from the SW. Contrast was poor at times as I was basically filming looking west with a rain backdrop. I got video of a large cone about halfway to the ground, but the wall cloud was about 5-7 miles west, and contrast was poor. I was not sure at the time whether ground contact was made, but later review makes me believe this was Medford tornado. About 20-30 minutes later, the storm began to wrap up again. I was about 3/4 mile ENE of the wrapup, with ENE inflow estimated at 40-50 knots. Cloud tags were racing into the updraft from the north, and the southeast, with uplift and motion that almost looked like time-lapse, rather than real-time. I think a rain-wrapped tornado may have been developing just as my view was obscured by the rapidly advancing fat, rain-filled rear flank >from the S/SW.

There was one more time when I suspect a wrapup was about to occur, (Deer Creek report?) but to be honest, with the amount of rain falling, I was not willing to get into the bear's cage to film a 15 second tornado before it became obscured in rain. I opted again to blast east, then south to get back to any new action area.

My only regret is that I waited 20-30 minutes before blasting off to that storm. Overall though, a totally awe-inspiring storm, with roaring inflow and uplift right in front of me. I slept well last night. :-)

MAY 7, 1997

Gene Rhoden / Tim Vasquez

Miles logged 527.5 miles, time logged 12h 49m.

12:35p NORMAN. Left west side of town, target area Childress.

12:43p I-35 OVER CANADIAN RIVER. Exiting on Highway 9.


1:15p CHICKASHA. Getting off of SH9 and getting on I-44 southbound.

1:52p LAWTON. Heading west on US62. Doesn't appear the cap will break south of US287.

2:42p ALTUS. Stopped at Braum's for lunch and to gather 20Z surface data.

3:25p ALTUS. Left Altus.

3:59p HOLLIS.


4:10p 6W STATE LINE. Stopped for photos.

5:00p 6W STATE LINE. Leaving.

5:04p N CHILDRESS. Heading north on US83.

5:25p SALT FORK RED RIVER OVERPASS. Stopped at rural park along river to await developments.

6:37p SALT FORK RED RIVER OVERPASS. Continuing north as it appears cap along and south of US287 is holding. Will shift now to the Dumas storm.

6:53p SHAMROCK. Anvil from Dumas storm is clearly visible.

7:12p MCLEAN. Leaving I-40 for SH273 northbound. Precip area is only about ten miles away.

7:32p LAFLORS. On SH273, passed Al Moller. Starting to see a lot more lightning, getting into some rain, and seeing a new updraft base to west.

7:35p 2N LAFLORS. Pulled over for photos of very active updraft base.

7:43p 2N LAFLORS. Headed back south as storm is moving sharply right. Getting rained on. Can see an occluding wall cloud to the north.

7:47p 3S LAFLORS. Turning south on FM291 to head straight south.

7:53p 6S LAFLORS. Stopped for photos. Sam Barricklow, Alan Moller, and Robert Willis are on the 2-meter radio and are still to our north near the precip area.

8:14p ALANREED. Stopped for gas at Conoco on I-40. Storm is gusting out with a dusty, golden "cream soda" appearance along the rear flank downdraft feature.

8:24p ALANREED. Back on I-40 moving east under a rainy updraft base. Trying desperately to get to a good south road before we get swallowed.

8:32p MCLEAN. Heading south on TX273.

8:43p 9S MCLEAN. Stopped for photos. Tim Marshall stops by.

8:51p 9S MCLEAN. Leaving spot.

9:00p MCKNIGHT. Turned on TX203 eastbound, stopping for dramatic lightning photos.

9:06p MCKNIGHT. Leaving photo spot.

9:35p N CHILDRESS. Turned off US83 to US62 heading for Hollis. Sam, Al, and Robert break away, heading for Childress and onward to Fort Worth.

9:49p HOLLIS.

9:56p 3W GOULD. Stopped for photos.

10:15p 3W GOULD. Leaving.

10:45p ALTUS. Stopped for dinner at Burger King.

11:10p ALTUS. Left Altus.

12:14a LAWTON. Leaving US62 for I-44.

12:52a CHICKASHA. Getting off I-44 onto SH9 to Norman.

1:24a NORMAN. Home.

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