Miles Traveled: 1160
Target City: Canadian, TX
Duration: ~24 hours
A hugely successful chase for very early in my chasing career. Initial target of Canadian, TX ended up bagging my first tornado in western OK. Followed by a marathon drive home overnight.
I started this day in Elk City, OK after chasing the same area the previous day. I got up and got rolling around 9:30 am. Grabbed breakfast and fuel while checking the latest info at the local truck stop. I decided on an initial target on Canadian, TX and set out down I40. In hind sight it is very clear that I had no real clue what I was doing and that became clear about the time I turned north in shamrock, TX. This was when the new day one outlook came out and I realized I was setting up well west of the high risk area outlined and well behind the cold front. I decided at that point that the best course of action would be to continue thru Canadian and head back east and set up in Woodward, OK.
I reached Woodward just after noon and camped out in a church parking lot in the center of town for awhile before deciding to move once again to the south east. I settled on the intersection of Hwy’s 183 and 270 just west of Seiling, OK and sat for another hour or so watching things fire to both my south and west. This time was spent deliberating whether I was going to commit to the activity to the south or to the west.
In the end I decided on west mostly because it was closer, this ended up being my best decision of the day. I hurried west on Hwy 60 and dropped south at Vici and then west again to come up on the south side of a healthy line of storms. Around this time a tornado warning was issued for the storm I was just getting on. Turning north at the tiny town of Roll, OK I advanced several miles until cresting a hill I was presented with a large cone funnel making its way to the ground.
I advanced another half mile or so and found a good area to get off the road right as the tornado was touching down. I took the video below along with many pictures from this position until it lifted several minuets later.
I ended up circling back around to the east to get across the Canadian river and ended up west of Vici watching another area of circulation try to develop with the TIV and a large amount of other chasers. I then tracked northeast on back roads trying to keep up with an interesting area in what had become a line of storms training up the cold front. I continued this until I was due east of Woodward and decided I was loosing light and it was time to head towards home. The drive home ended up being a marathon overnight drive with an hour or so of sleep at a rest stop just south of Kansas City and arriving home at 10:30 am the next day.
This was my first big out of area chase and I couldn’t be happier with how it ended up. However I will be the first to say that It was pure luck to get on the only tornado of the day in what most considered a high risk bust. My biggest issue was settling on a final target, I made a large ~300 mile loop in the morning chasing where I thought I should set up only to end up bagging a tornado probably less than 40 miles from where I woke up that morning. This stemmed from being extremely inexperienced and listening to much to different posts on storm track to help pick a target. I would say however that I learned more this day than all the reading and studying I had done the previous winter.
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