Wednesday, March 25, 2015 (Central OK, 190 mi.)

Synopsis

Observed hail to golf ball size.

Chase Map

Meteorological Background

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RUC Analysis at 00 UTC

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The first three weeks of March proved ominously similar to the last two: plagued by relentless eastern CONUS troughing and dry cold frontal passages for the Plains. As late as a couple days before this setup, many were contemplating the serious possibility that the CONUS would pull off an unprecedented feat: a tornado-less March. That would be spoiled this day by two high-profile events, both serving as pokes in the eye to chasers since they occurred in the OKC and Tulsa metro areas.

Dan and I left Norman around 3pm and sat in Yukon for awhile, then hedged W to El Reno. With the triple point somewhere out by Clinton, we were hoping for dryline initiation over southwest OK, a scenario made plausible by several consecutive HRRR runs. This wasn't to be, as the cold front began accelerating and forcibly initiating convection around 6pm, by which time the dryline still lay dormant. Several supercells had already developed along the I-44 corridor from OKC to TUL by then, but we weren't interested in playing the jungles, given the day's seemingly-marginal potential. Instead, we blasted W to Hinton and then dropped to Binger and ultimately Ft. Cobb to intercept the southwesternmost of the cold front cells. En route to get "in position" S of that storm, we observed a decent wall cloud through the rain in Binger, then drove through golfball hail for a good 5 minutes between there and Ft. Cobb. This proved the highlight of the day, as a high-based, outflow-dominant mess awaited us once we arrived SE of the base. We followed it into Chickasha before taking the turnpike home, watching the controversial and meteorologically-unique Moore tornado event unfold along the way.