Friday, March 14, 2008 (Northwest OK, 400 mi.)

Synopsis

A real long-shot chase ends in disgrace when dew points mix out into the 20s and 30s over our target.

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Big waste of a day. A very low-amplitude trough was propagating into the Southern Plains during the later part of the day, and though moisture was not expected to be too spectacular, we figured the likelihood of a couple supercells with an outside chance of a brief tornado warranted a relatively close Oklahoma chase, especially being the first day of Spring Break. As late as noon, the latest RUC was promising dew points of 50-55 deg. F to wrap up towards the surface low in NW OK, yielding decent if high-based supercells. What a joke that would turn out to be. Brandon and I left around 1:30 for Enid, hoping storms would initiate to the west of there and move into slightly better moisture closer to I-35. By the time we got up that way, convection was initiating over extreme NW OK and looked incredibly crappy on radar. We continued west and north to Waynoka and watched one of the highest-based storms we'd ever seen pass just south of the town.

Heading south on US-281, we ran into Sam Dienst, and followed him southeast through the Glass Mountains area on US-412 as the storm (now more like shower) paralleled just to the north. With dew points now in the 20s and 30s across most of OK north of I-40, the idea of continuing the "chase" was laughable. We headed back to I-35, stopping a bit east of Enid for a few attempts at lightning shots that didn't pan out. The most significant storm we observed all day was an elevated hailer with abundant lightning that was approaching Guthrie and Edmond as we passed through on I-35. We arrived home just in time to watch strong, long-track tornadic supercells in the Atlanta area, as well as over S AR and N LA, despite the fact that the highest tornado probabilities on the day's SPC outlooks had been over OK.