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Chase May 4 2003

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Route:Ardmore (OK) - Hugo (OK) - Muskogee (OK) - Fayetteville (AR) - Van Buren (AR)
Chasepartner(s):Saskia Mulder


CHASE LOG:
Our first chase in the US this year and immediately there was a potential for a severe weather outbreak. At 10 LT we left our motel in Ardmore and headed east on US 70 towards Hugo, Oklahoma. Storms should fire up over eastern Oklahoma this afternoon and quickly become severe. After a few hours we heard our NOAA weather radio mention a tornado watch for parts of Oklahoma further north. They called it a PDS, or a particulary dangerous situation. Wow, this could be fun! So we went north on US 69 towards the Muskogee/Tulsa area. There we saw a storm fire up to our northeast, but we were informed that this storm moved NE at 50 mph. We thought we couldn't keep up with that and waited for other storms to form. One did, just to our southeast, but this beast was moving NE with 65 mph. What the...! This is no fun chasing!
We decided to give it a try, what else was there to do, and headed east on US 62 (as no NE road was available). In Fayetteville, Arkansas, we stopped near the local Wal Mart for maps and other stuff as it looked impossible to keep up with this fast moving storm. The supercell did show a great overshooting top at this moment as it was probably producing violent tornadoes over Missouri at that time. Local radio informed us about another strong cell near Fort Smith, so we went south on I540. But when the storm was located over the mountains and forests of Arkansas, it died. So this was a classic bust, but the storms were just way too fast moving for us. We checked in at a motel in Van Buren and saw the footage on tv of devastating tornadoes in Kansas, Missouri and Tennessee.


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© 2003 Bernard Hulshof