Monday 8th May 2017
Monday the 8th of May was our first chase day, and we began the day in Oklahoma City and took on the 8-9hr drive early to get to eastern Colorado in time for what looked like being a nice chase day.
The SPC had put a slight risk in place for the afternoon as an increase in low level moisture, steep lapse rates, good shear of 30-40 kts and moderate instability would set the stage for a few supercells capable of large hail and damaging winds. While the tornado potential on this day was slim with temperatures set to soar into the 80's with dew points in the early 50's, eastern Colorado has a habit of doing some strange things! This storm nearly produced early in its life cycle and was spinning like a top, however it just couldn't get the job done. Great way to start off the USA 2017 chase.
Monday 15th May 2017
Today was a slight risk day across portions of the Texas Panhandle, as a lee trough developed across the region with steep lapse rates, decent shear of 30-40 kt southwesterly flow, however moisture was a little shallow on this day and would limit tornado potential, We were expecting a few elevated supercells capable of damaging winds and large to very large hail in the baseball to softball size region.
We started the day out in Oklahoma City as this was an arrival day chase for our Tour 4 guests. We set out sights on heading to Armarillo to begin the chase and right on cue as we arrived thunderstorms began to develop. We intercepted a severe warned storm just to the north of the town and followed it for the next few hours. The storm took on supercell characteristics on radar showing a rather large hook echo, however due to meager moisture a tornado threat was never really considered likely. We punched through the back of the hook to be greeted to some very impressive storm structure and golf to baseball size hail. This was a very fun chase day indeed!