As 2018 Tour Season continued to prove difficult in terms of storms producing tornadoes Tour 4 - Prime Intensity was provided with some of the best chasing of the year. With 10 tornadoes observed in 3 states, several beautiful supercells and unforgettable memories made. Tour 4 stole the show.
Tour 4 began in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and started off with a bang! We in fact started this tour on the arrival day and soon as we picked up the last guest from the airport we headed north of OKC metro to a stalled outflow boundary where we anticipated the action to be.
Storms had started pretty early in the day and fast moving outflow dominant supercell rode the existing boundary and stabilized the air mass before peak heating was ever reached. We moved in on a couple of different cells that tried to develop in the wake of this early activity but failed to materialize due to the cool surface air. We thought the day was shot but kept an eye back to the west where more intense heating had taken place along the boundary. We decided to head towards Enid, Oklahoma for dinner and if anything along the destabilized area was to peak our interest we would postpone dinner. As we approached Enid a new storm cell was showing some interesting characteristic on radar. We then headed west to investigate this storm. This new cell as it came into view featured a tall robust updraft and large rain free base. The storm of the day and one of the most structured supercells of the year was developing right in front of us and gave us a show for a couple hours before moving back into more stable air. This classic supercell was tornado warned for a good portion of it's mature stage and featured several wall clouds with excellent conveyor belt motion from the tail cloud into the wall cloud. Though no tornadoes were seen this day it was incredible to stand in awe of this spectacular mothership supercell near Fairview, Oklahoma! What a way to start off Tour 4!
After the chase we celebrated our successful day in Enid for some delicious Italian food!
Looking west at the Tornado Warned Supercell near Fairview, Oklahoma.
The next day we departed Oklahoma City, but we had to stop for all you can eat ribs before our journey began! All of the guests on this tour are serious about their BBQ and getting our fix was priority! One of our guests from Germany, who has toured with us since year one, put down something in the ballpark of 20 ribs! Holy smokes! Then brought more on the road to enjoy for later! I guess you can say he is a professional in his craft!
Back on the road again, we headed west towards New Mexico where we would stay the night in anticipation for the following day chase!
Starting the day out in New Mexico, we headed to the town known for its alien and UFO crash site, Roswell, New Mexico, hoping for some UFO structured storms near the famous town heavily themed in Aliens and UFO's.
Patience was for sure required this day. After a delicious lunch, we headed just west of town to stage in a parking lot to wait on storms to initiate. Who says waiting for storms needs to be boring! We blasted the music, danced, recreated scenes from the Titanic and laughed until we could not breath!
That parking lot is full of memories now, we partied it out until show time! We even did the chicken dance. We were having so much fun another group of chasers nearby also came to investigate the fun and say hello.
Radar coverage in New Mexico isn't the best along the mountain ranges due to the obstruction of the terrain, and in this case and in so many others experience and your eyes are the best tools. Many attempts of towering cumulus persisted through the late afternoon when finally it was happening. Radar wasn't showing much but in the distance was a massive towering cumulus that had finally got the push it had needed. Off we went for a spectacular show in the mountains of New Mexico!
Getting a good view in a valley we got to witness this breathtaking supercell and followed it through its many transformations until it's death at dark.
Looking west towards the beautiful New Mexico supercell.