The (Not So) End of the World: May 6, 2024 Oklahoma High Risk

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Severe storm forecasting and chasing is a humbling game. Even the most obvious and high-end severe weather days often feature unseen variables that can enhance or mitigate the outcome. This was proven again on May 6th, 2024, a day that looked like the actual end of the world in Oklahoma and Kansas. Thankfully for the people of these states, the event largely busted, with the exception of a violent evening tornado in eastern Oklahoma. While frustrating overall, we did manage to score a couple of pretty storms and a brief tornado near Helena, Oklahoma. Most importantly however we were able to help realize the childhood dream of my friend Sarah — she finally got to come on a proper storm chase.

The day started in Topeka, KS where Kevin, Sarah and I met up with Adam to head down to the KS/OK border. After waiting a couple of hours for initiation, we managed to get on a cluster of pretty storms near Seiling, OK. Out of the cluster emerged a dominant supercell that treated us to some structure, lightning and a brief tornado near Helena. While the day overall disappointed, it was far from a bad chase day!

Very lucky cell phone shot of a pretty supercell and lightning near Fairview, OK.
Maturing supercell with wall cloud near Meno, OK.
Large cone funnel and brief touchdown.
Ropeout of the brief tornado.


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