header3inv.jpg (8385 bytes)

35mm.jpg (3927 bytes) : Picture from 35mm still

video.jpg (3939 bytes) : Picture from video capture

May 22, 2000: Tiny Supercell Chase to Ft. Smith, AR

Non-Tornadic Chase Through Eastern Oklahoma and Western Arkansas (Dave Lewison, George Kouronis, Chris Kridler and Richard Bedard)

Click any image to enlarge to full size...

may22sm.jpg (89288 bytes)

The red path shows where we went today. The first supercell tracked south of Ft. Smith. The second cell which we followed tracked further north nearer to Ft. Smith.



Today wasn't looking that promising. Somewhat weak low level flow and a NW jet didn't hold much hope of supercells in the immediate OKC area. In the morning, we took care of some business, going to Home Depot to outfit George's vehicle with a stronger laptop mount.

At about 2:30, I decided to get one more check of data for the afernoon. SPC seemed a bit more hopeful, now that there was a moisture convergence zone evident in NE OK near Tulsa. There was also a thin line of Cu there, along with a helicity bullseye andgood instability.

We decided to give it a go and head up towards Tulsa on I-44. I rode with George, Chris followed and Richard joined with us.

may22overshootsm.JPG (9635 bytes)video.jpg (3939 bytes) may22bombtowersm.JPG (5551 bytes)video.jpg (3939 bytes) We started out on I-44, but before too long we spotted a nice looking cell going off to our east. It quickly developed a sequence of overshooting tops, culminating with this nice one. The cell looked really good at this point, but it looked to be in far eastern Oklahoma, which we had no hope of getting to. We dropped south to I-40 and headed east in the hope that something else would fire nearby.

About an hour or so later, another cell went up to the west of the first one. It exhibited very strong updraft growth.

may22bombtower2sm.JPG (9863 bytes)video.jpg (3939 bytes) may22ministormsm.jpg (9862 bytes)35mm.jpg (3927 bytes) The same cell about 15 minutes later. It anvilled off somewhat, but couldn't quite get as good of a backshear as the first cell had. It was quite small.

The cell about 20 minutes later still showed explosive growth, but the cell's small size prevented it from getting too organized. It was also very high based, but still had inflow features.

persoffsm.JPG (10186 bytes)video.jpg (3939 bytes) stilliingssm.JPG (13167 bytes)video.jpg (3939 bytes) We stopped just east of Ft. Smith to take some pictures. We met a number of other chasers here, namely Jason Persoff and David O. Stillings "Lightning Stalker".
may22chaserssm.jpg (7678 bytes)35mm.jpg (3927 bytes) may22sunsetsm.JPG (7056 bytes)35mm.jpg (3927 bytes) Here we are at the same place taking more pictures of the beautiful storm. It was amazing how compact it was!

A bit further east, we all stopped again in the hope of getting some lightning at sunset. Unfortunately, the storm died off pretty quickly at sunset...but it still made for some pretty pictures.


It was a bit of a long drive all the way out to Arkansas and back in one day, but I think it was worth it. A pretty and very compact storm. The storm that had produced the nice overshooting domes before supposedly produced a brief tornado south of Ft. Smith, but the report was shakey at best. So, overall not a terriffic day, but we'll take it. Besides, I'd never been to Arkansas before!

may22arkansassm.JPG (14498 bytes)


May 11 | May 12 | May 16 | May 17 | May 18 & 19 | May 22 | May 24 | May 25 | May 26 | May 27

Email me at: lewisd2@rpi.edu

Back to the MAIN PAGE