3/27/97 OK chase by Kevin Scharfenberg


On Thursday 3/27, a supercell developed just North of
Norman, OK just before 5 pm. Ben Geerdes, Brian Good
and I (all from OU School of Metr.) took off after the
storm.

It quickly became clear we weren't going to "catch"
the storm, it was moving NE at 45 mph up the H.E.
Bailey turnpike between OKC and Tulsa. We stuck
with it, however, usually only 15-20 miles southwest
of the storm.

I was glad, however, we were stuck southwest of the
storm, because this was a beauty! The huge, white
billowing updraft towered up and continued
strengthening until sunset. As the anvil developed,
it became backsheared with knuckles and mammatus.
Eventually, the setting sun to the west turned the
color of the updraft into a golden yellow, with
the updraft still strengthening. In fact, at sunset,
there were two low level inflow bands extending southeast
several miles from the storm with a large inflow band
in the mid levels southwest of the storm. Suddenly, as
the storm moved into Creek County, the updraft showed
signs of significant rotation, and a Tornado Warning
was soon issued.

I was interested in learning if anyone else, who
was closer to the updraft of the storm around sunset,
can describe what they saw there.

All in all, this was one of the most picturesque storms
I have seen in Central Oklahoma since I moved to Norman
2 years ago.

-Kevin

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KEVIN SCHARFENBERG       E-mail: kscharf@ou.edu
KC5NPX           http://rossby.ou.edu/~kscharf/
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