Chris Kridler's Sky Diary: storm chasing, photography and rainy-day tales

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storm gallery: May 1, 2008

May 1, 2008: It was gray and cloudy when I woke up in Muskogee, Oklahoma, and I knew I wanted to get closer to the dryline and probably north, in an area from Independence, Kansas, to Bartesville, Oklahoma. I was concerned that winds wouldn't back much, as the upper-level support for storms would come into the area late, but the projected CAPE (convective available potential energy) was huge, and I was hoping for the storms to happen before dark.

Click on the thumbnails to see a larger image, or view these photos as a gallery. From the gallery pages, click the "up" arrow to return to this index.

050108-01 050108-02 050108-03
Gray skies in Muskogee, Oklahoma, pushed me to go west and north for sunlight and better heating, near the dryline. I made my way to Bartlesville, Oklahoma, north of Tulsa. It has water towers that say hot-warm-cold. Perhaps if you combine them correctly, they can produce a tornado. Bartlesville's historic Nellie Johnstone No. 1 oil well, the first commercial oil well in Oklahoma, points to developing cumulus clouds.
050108-04 050108-05 050108-06
Bartlesville's historic Nellie Johnstone No. 1 oil well sits next to this muddy waterway. When I looked at a satellite image on my iPhone, I noticed slighly beefier dots of cumulus north, so I went that way. North of Bartlesville, once one of these towers broke the cap, the storm grew fast. The developing storm in southeast Kansas had a beautiful anvil (shot through the buggy windshield). It quickly became severe.
050108-07 050108-08 050108-09
West of Independence, Kansas, the storm develops. West of Independence, Kansas, the embedded cell had hard convection and showed rotation at the mid-levels. The storm had a succession of wall clouds and scuddy lowerings.
050108-10 050108-11 050108-12
More scud and wall-cloudy features. West of Independence, Kansas, a serious flanking line developed and produced more storms that fed into the line. West of Independence, Kansas, the storm developed nicely.
050108-13 050108-14 050108-15
West of Independence, Kansas, the storm was a beautiful sight. The flanking line was impressive. The storm still had a tornado warning as darkness fell.
050108-16 050108-17  
Even as darkness fell, scuddy lowerings suggested the storm and its line were up to something. I followed the line north of Independence, Kansas, and the embedded, rotating storm until dark, then gave up. Despite tornado warnings and a report of a brief touchdown, I didn't see one.

2008 reports and photos

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