5/17-26/97 chases by Scott Woelm

From: "Scott Woelm" (woelmwx@skypoint.com):

Here's a summary of my trip.

Saturday May 17 - Busted on a MDT Risk into western MN and eastern SD.
Missed the supercell east of ABR.  Ended up in Onawa, IA.

Sunday May 18 - Chased the MDT Risk in north central MO (!) and saw some
neat looking but distant CBs.  Ended up in Marshall, MO.

Monday May 19 - Drove into Norman.

Tuesday May 20 - Spent some time with some business clients in OKC, and 
then headed west to AMA for no particular reason.

Wednesday May 21 - Drove back to Norman to meet up with Dave Floyd.

Thursday May 22 - Chased with Dave Floyd and Mike Langfus.  We saw some
outflow dominant activity in western KS.  Neat storm, and met up with a
fairly large group of chasers near 1K5.  My Pentax still camera broke.
Ended up in Liberal, KS.

Friday May 23 - Dave, Mike and I were in the TX Panhandle and watched a
great evolution of a non-severe multicell cluster into a severe storm near
Pampa.  It was wonderful!  A great storm!  However, my second still camera
(my two year old Minolta) died, so I was really bummed.  Ended up in Pampa.

Saturday May 24 - Drove into AMA from Pampa to buy a new still camera (with
a trough coming in, I "needed" one!).  Chased crap near Plainview in the 
TX Panhandle.  Nice CGs though.  Ended up in Vernon, TX.

Sunday May 25 - This was supposed to be THE DAY with a PWO MDT Risk!
However, I fell short of the mark tornado wise.  Because we(I) didn't
stick to our guns, we missed the 1/2 mile wedge in Sumner County, KS.
I split up with Dave and Mike, so I am unsure what they saw.  I wound up
on a great supercell with strong inflow and a fantastic RFD occlusion in
Reno County, KS.  A funnel appeared, but it didn't quite make it down.
Tried to get into the notch of the Harvey County cell after that, but
didn't make it.  Saw the "zoo" near ICT.  In my 13 years of chasing, I
have never seen anything like that.  The chasers I saw were fine, it was
the general public that were causing the problems.  Saw the "Mother of All
Flanking Lines" into that storm though!  Wound up in Macpherson, KS totally
fried with 4000 miles under my belt.  Was planning to call it quits, as I
had chased enough.

Monday May 26 - I was very, very close to coming home, but I decided to
play the MDT Risk into southeast KS.  I went to Winfield, and looked at
a 19Z SFC map.  It screamed "GO TO EASTERN OKLAHMOA" so I got "suckered
further south" (remember the great line by Howie Bluestein in NOVA?) with
my new target being Shawnee, OK.  Well, I wound up on a supercell that
dropped two short lived tornadoes for me near Cromwell, OK!  They were
nothing great, and one I didn't see touch down, but a local spotter said
there was debris.  The second I clearly saw in contact, so there!  I went
east, trying to get into another notch, but failed.  Saw Chuck Robertson
briefly.  Ended up in Joplin, MO.

Tuesday May 27 - Completely exhausted, I drove home.  5,138 miles in 11
days.  You do the math, that's about 470 miles a day.

I would have stayed longer, but I was so tired I barely made it home.
Besides, I wanted to leave The Slot on a positive note, and 26MAY97
was indeed that!

               Unlike 1995 when I said I would never return,
               I will say here in 1997 that I will most likely
               be back next May!

I hope that everyone who chased had a good time and enjoyed these last
two weeks in May!


P.S. Great job by the SPC, OKC, TUL and ICT during 25MAY97 and 26MAY97. 
Particularly ICT on 25MAY97.  Their NOAA Weatheradio broadcasts during
the event (including "live" updates) may have been the best I have heard
to date.

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