11:16AM central: With an early morning wake up call in Atlanta, I took a flight to Wichita, KS. Had to arrive there early enough for the Tornado Hunt team to make it to Oklahoma before the storms really got going. It's a good thing it is early... right now we've got nothing but severe clear.
1:43pm central - We have been debating staying south on I-35 or jogging southwest on I-44. Although the dry line has been pushing east (a win for I-35), the cold front itself is still lagging back. With southerly winds continuing we are hoping for some cells to form back along the front, using it as a lifting mechanism to get moisture up in the atmosphere. At least we have a few clouds starting to fill in the blue.
3:00pm central - We have a LOT of data at our fingertips on this trip. In this car alone, we have 4 laptops, 4 smartphones, a tablet, and a communication system to the other vehicles. Not to mention, we are a roaming wifi hotspot, so we are constantly connected. We are always updating our chasing targets.... in fact here is Dr. Forbes and Mike Bettes checking out a satellite loop, analyzing what could be a boundary forming that may kick off storms later today:
4:30pm central - We are rapidly seeing development on these storms. We have seen high base wall clouds, rain and hail shafts, and dust being kicked up by the outflow winds. We also had lightning strikes starting grass fires out in front of us by a couple miles.
Some amazing mammatus along the chase today.... Mammatus form when there is a LOT of turbulent upward motion.... so much so that it can push past the equilibrium level and then it starts to sink back down forming these little pockets. They are enhanced when ice crystals or snowflakes evaporate creating cool air which enhances that resinking motion.
As the chase continued towards 5:00pm we pulled over to watch this spinning storm feature. The entire white low hanging area was rotating... trying so hard to form a funnel but this one never did. Dr. Forbes did spot a funnel which we reported to the National Weather Service in Norman, OK... but we were so wind and rain blasted at the point that my cameras had no chance.