May 26, 1996 OKC Chase By John Monteverdi


Regarding the May 26 OKC supercell:

Thom Trimble and I were on the storm that eventually tracked across OKC from
about Hobart OK.  The storm produced a weak funnel briefly near Hobart and
then the mesocyclone occluded, a new wall-cloud and meso forming along the
flanking line.  This happened five times between Hobart and Mustang. The
last wall cloud was the largest, with apparent rotation just south of Will
Rogers Airport.  The northeast side of the wall cloud had stepped, striated
appearance.

The tornado warning was issued at that time based upon Doppler signature.  We
did not see a tornado at this time.  We watched for about 5 minutes until
the wall cloud moved to Will rogers, at which time we tried to get northeast.
Unfortunately, as we got on I44 the rain/hail wrapped around the south side
and completely obscured the view.  In fact, though we raced eastward on I240
we never did catch up with the storm(clearly HP by this time) again.

Incidentally, I aagree that the thing was moving along at 40 to 50 mph.
Given the strength of the mid-level flow, it was clear that the storm-
relative flow at 700-500 was nearly non-existant, and the rain/hail swamped
the updraft area.

John Monteverdi