May 25, 1997 Chase Photos

Kansas storms

Oklahoma storms

The map above gives a rough idea of the tracks of the Oklahoma storms of 5/25/97. We haven't yet looked at any radar loops to verify these tracks; these are just subjective evaluations based on what we've gathered this evening and is for supplementary purposes only.

Also see Sam Barricklow's 5/25/97 material including the Gainesville, TX storm here.

1856 CDT, 10NW Harper, KS, looking SW. Jim Leonard and Casey Crosbie head south on SW 50th Avenue, watching the first tornadic storm to fire along the dryline. The storm exploded to their west and became tornadic in less than an hour. The funnel shown here had been present for a couple of minutes and was going through a lot of contortions. (Jim Leonard)

Inside joke: Click here to hear a song on Jim's radio that ended up becoming background music for video of this tornado (it will take a couple of minutes to load at 28.8 kbps).

1920 CDT, 5N Anthony, KS, looking SE. They decided to break off the previous storm and go south to "tail end charlie", driving south on Hwy 14. (Jim Leonard)

2035 CDT, 2SE Perth, KS, looking WNW. Casey Crosbie was a quarter mile up the road deploying the "Dillo-Cam" between W. 100th and W. 90th Street on Drury Rd (just off the right edge of the road, half a mile away). (Jim Leonard)

2036 CDT, 2SE Perth, KS, looking WNW. (Jim Leonard)

2036 CDT, 2SE Perth, KS, looking WNW. (Jim Leonard)

2036 CDT, 2SE Perth, KS, looking WNW. (Jim Leonard)

2038 CDT, 3SE Perth, KS, looking WNW. (Jim Leonard)

2038 CDT, 3SE Perth, KS, looking NNW. We see Casey up the road fleeing southbound after deploying the "Dillo-Cam" in front of the tornado. The tornado is past the left edge of the frame, about to cross Drury Road and strike the "Dillo-Cam". (Jim Leonard)

1552 CDT, 2NE of Blanchard, OK, looking SW. Leaving Norman and heading down state highway 9, we approach the northeastern edge of the Blanchard supercell. Visible down the road is a band of inflow stratocumulus leading into the storm. Overhead is the rain-filled anvil cloud. (Tim Vasquez)

1558 CDT, 5W of Blanchard, OK, looking WSW. We pull over and are greeted by this scene of a large organized updraft base and a large wall cloud several miles to the west. (Tim Vasquez)

1607 CDT, 5W of Blanchard, OK, looking W. Rotating wall cloud, looking southwest. Tornado warning was just issued for the storm. The rear flank downdraft can be identified by the bright area at the far left and the small plume of dust; the forward flank downdraft is the dark rain/hail area to the right. The updraft is in the middle and extends overhead. (Gene Rhoden)

1610 CDT, 5W of Blanchard, OK, looking WSW. Light rain turns to large hail as we watch the wall cloud become well-organized. The hailstones were mostly marble-sized with a few golf-ball sized stones beginning to come down. We didn't wait around long enough to see baseball sized stones! So we headed east on highway 9, was briefly in the core, and went south on highway 76. (Tim Vasquez)

1619 CDT, 5S of Blanchard, OK, looking W. Somewhat obscured by a rain-covered window, we get a wide view of a tornado on the ground several miles to our west. (Tim Vasquez)

1620 CDT, 5S of Blanchard, OK, looking W. Looking at the tornado, masked somewhat by curtains of rain circulating left-to-right in the foreground. (Gene Rhoden)

1621 CDT, 9S of Blanchard, OK, looking W. A minute later, looking at the same tornado beginning to rope out. Curtains of rain continue to mask the tornado. (Gene Rhoden)

1621 CDT, 8S of Blanchard, OK, looking W. A wide view of the tornado, showing the clear slot (rear flank downdraft) working in from left to right. The clear slot contains rain, so it's easy to visualize the "hook echo" wrapping around the tornado. At the top of the photo is the main updraft base. It can be seen that the tornado is separated from the main updraft base -- this is what we call "occlusion" and is what led to the tornado's dissipation. (Tim Vasquez)

1623 CDT, 9S of Blanchard, OK, looking W. The rope stage continues; the tornado withers into a long slender tube. (Gene Rhoden)

1637 CDT, 12S of Blanchard, OK. Gene Rhoden discovers that the hail we had been in earlier had damaged one of his 2-meter radio antennas. There was also a fog light that was cracked by the hail. (Tim Vasquez)

1639 CDT, 12S of Blanchard, OK, looking NE. While the old tornado ropes out, a new mesocyclone brews along the leading edge of same storm. This wall cloud was located about 11 miles west of Purcell. Within 10 minutes after this photo it spawned a new tornado (which we didn't track due to a poor road network and the need to get to the Duncan storm). The tornado touched down southwest of Purcell and created what appeared to be F2 damage (shown further below). (Gene Rhoden)

1658 CDT, 2NW of Payne, OK, looking NW. An unidentified chaser gets footage of the Blanchard storm as the rear flank downdraft surges eastward. (Tim Vasquez)

1658 CDT, 2NW of Payne, OK, looking NNE. The rear flank downdraft (the bright area in the foreground) sweeps eastward, obscuring our view of the developing mesocyclone and wall cloud. However it was in this area where the new tornado touched down. (Gene Rhoden)

1700 CDT, 2NW of Payne, OK, looking NNW. The tornado action is over! Yes, it can only mean one thing -- chaser Roger Edwards (left) has gotten off shift at the Storm Prediction Center and has jinxed our storm! Gene Rhoden takes a minute to touch base with him. (Tim Vasquez)

1701 CDT, 2NW of Payne, OK, looking WNW. Roger Edwards heads back to his infamous hail-battered 1986 Pontiac Parisienne, known to most chasers as simply "Meatwagon". (Tim Vasquez)

1716 CDT, Lindsay, OK. Mechanical trouble! We stop at a gas station on the east side of Lindsay to investigate blue smoke emanating from the bottom of our vehicle. A couple of friendly locals stop to check out the problem, including a cigarette-smoking guy (top) looking over the vehicle with Gene Rhoden (bottom). We traced the problems to a seal leak on the transmission. This leak definitely cost us a view of the Duncan tornado. (Tim Vasquez)

1730 CDT, Lindsay, OK, looking WNW. Our unscheduled stop in Lindsay occurred while we were moving south to the Duncan storm. However we get a grandstand view of a smaller storm in between -- one moving through Lindsay, shown here. Under it, a menacing wall cloud looms over the town. Rapid cloud motion was observed, but rotation was rather weak and the updraft was quite small in comparision to the other storm. (Gene Rhoden)

1734 CDT, Lindsay, OK, looking WNW. Gene takes a moment to get video of the strong cloud motions on the Lindsay storm. (Tim Vasquez)

1825 CDT, 15SW of Lindsay, OK, looking NW. After a 20-minute delay, we were once more on the road towards Duncan. This is a passing look at yet another storm -- the Rush Springs one -- about 15 miles to the northwest. A well-established wall cloud remained under the base, but the storm had distinct LP characteristics and this was the best look we got at it. (Tim Vasquez)

1934 CDT, 5W of Velma, OK. More problems -- in an effort to avoid the Duncan core, we took a 12-mile "shortcut" shown by the DeLorme GPS software which ran from Bray to Harrisburg. Unfortunately, the last half was unpaved, sending us down a rough dirt road and allowing the core to catch up with us. Furthermore, the rough road blew the seal again and we lost all our transmission fluid just as we got to State Highway 7. Thank you DeLorme! Tim Vasquez headed out with a local resident to Velma to pick up a dozen bottles of fluid to get us on our way. Gene Rhoden stays with the truck, monitoring what's happening around us. (Tim Vasquez)

2034 CDT, 2N of Elmore City, OK, looking N. We're finally on our way, and we have no choice but to limp back to Norman via Elmore City and Purcell. We stop as a cheesy anvil spreads away to the northeast, leaving a somewhat picturesque sunset scene. The ripples in the anvil represent the beginnings of a unorganized mammatus formation. (Tim Vasquez)

2051 CDT, 2S of Maysville, OK, looking N. Far, far off to the north we can see the tops of a distant storm that we speculate is somewhere along the OK/KS border. We later found that it was the most potent storm in the southern Plains at the time. (Tim Vasquez)

2105 CDT, 4SW of Purcell, OK, looking NW. A lonely sunset scene in the wake of the Purcell tornado, which downed power lines and damaged several houses in a swath about 100 yards wide. (Gene Rhoden)

All photos (c) Copyright 1997 Tim Vasquez and Gene Rhoden. Reproduction for commercial use is strictly prohibited.

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