JUNE 16, 1997

DECATUR, TEXAS CHASE
(including the Mineral Wells "Scudnado') Carson Eads and Tim Marshall Bill Lende

9:15 373 WICHITA-Marginal day today. Straight-line hodographs make for multi-cells at best. We'll head on home and see if anything fires along the way. Best instability is down by Ardmore. Front extends NE-SW across central Oklahoma. Target town is Ardmore.

11:10 OKLAHOMA CITY- 1 pict ACCAS wide angle. Stopped for data. Southwest winds prevail. Best instability is still along Red River between Ardmore and Wichita Falls.

11:45 OKLAHOMA CITY- Leaving town.

12:20 569 NORMAN ($28 gas)-Strato-cu south of town, light NE winds. CI S-SW.

1:24 ARDMORE- Stopped for lunch. SW winds.

2:20 ARDMORE - Towering cumulus ALQDS. 1 pict of towers -regular camera.

2:27 2 picts. 1 polarized. Non-polarized is vertical format. 2 picts of turkey tower, 1 is polarized. Comfort Inn sign in it. We'll head west on Rt. 70 a ways until we hit the front. Rt. 70 W.

NTTO- There is a moderate risk of severe thunderstorms for this afternoon and tonight. A warm, moist, and very unstable air mass continued across north Texas. Abundant moisture extends from the surface to 10,000 feet. An unusually strong upper level storm system for this time of year is located in central New Mexico, near Albuquerque, moving slowly to the east-southeast. A weak surface wind shift boundary extends from Wichita Falls southwest to near Fort Stockton. As the upper level storm moves closer to the area this afternoon, mid-level cooling of the atmosphere will occur, and thunderstorms are expected to develop rapidly from Wichita Falls to Abilene by mid-afternoon along the wind shift boundary. Due to weak mid-level winds at 15-25 mph, and little directional vertical wind shear, the main threat of severe weather will be straight-line damaging winds, and light hail Due to the large amount of available energy in the atmosphere, a few supercells are possible with isolated tornadoes. Another problem will be very heavy rain. With deep moisture in place across north Texas with weak mid-level winds, thunderstorms will be slow moving and capable of producing 2-4 inches of rain in three hours or less. In east Texas, this could become a prolonged severe and flash flooding event.

3:17 683 RINGLING - There are less towers here. So we will wait.

3:37 RINGLING - West winds. Heading east on Rt. 70.

3:45 WILSON - SW winds. (TORNADO WATCH ISSUED PAGE-ALTUS)

3:57 696 Rt. 76 S. - Crossing Red River on new bridge.

4:17 715 Bridge Activity along the front has dissipated.

4:27 Large tower SW and another NE.

4:40 740 ST. JO- Line of towers along the Red River. Fm 677 SW.

4:47 1 pict SW of Cb

4:54 756 FORESTBURG- FM 1749 SW. Nice anvil with sharp point SW.

4:56 1 pict SW of Cb. There is a 60mph sign on the right side.

5:00 1 pict SW of Cb. White cattle guard in left corner.

5:04 1 pict SW of Cb. (Severe Thunderstorm Warning - Wise Co.) That's our storm. Beautiful, crisp, hard back on updraft.

5:12 775 Rt. 287 SE.

5:16 Underneath the anvil edge.

5:28 785 DECATUR - Rt. 51 SW.

5:44 796 Jct. 114/51

5:47 Stopped just passed Rt. 114. 1 super wide angle shot of base.

5:59 798 Wall cloud is developing south of us.

6:04 804 BOYD- Warm air encountered.

6:18 810 Rt. 287 S. - It's now an HP and has a tail extending back to the southwest. (3 miles south of Rhome, golfball hail reported) We are heading back there.

6:36 2 picts N and 1 pict W through the windshield of shelf cloud. Super wide angle.

(Severe Thunderstorm Warning Cooke Co. moving NE at 30)

6:47 846 I-20 W.

6:57 858 WEATHERFORD- Isolated Cb SW with large overshoot. Previous overshoot has left cirrus debris. Another Cb W.

7:10 Cb W and Cb SW. Anvil on SW Cb hasn't grown much in past 30 minutes.

7:28 889 Rt. 281.N Stopped for gas. Small supercell NW. Ragged RFB NW.

7:37 Stopped at Magic Valley Ranch. 1 pict W of RFB with white pipe fence.

8:12 893 Huge "scudnado" forms. Ragged cloud tags formed at ground and made it all the way to cloud base. Looked like a tornado. Leaving now.

8:16 897 I-20 E.

8:39 Storm catches up to us. Encountered small hail. Close Cg's. Stopped at FM 1187. Wall cloud with tail forms to our west.

9:08 (Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Tarrant Co.)

9:13 934 I-20 E.

9:54 984 FLOWER MOUND. 611 miles, 10.7 hours, TRW+, A

Summary: It took until about 4:30pm for the cap to break. Storms quickly became severe but were pulse type. Very little inflow at the surface and outflow dominance prevailed.