Thursday, April 3, 2008 (North TX, 438 mi.)


More north Texas crapvection, with the day's only excitement coming from hail that busted other chasers' windshields.

Observed hail to quarter size.

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So uneventful that I can't even remember enough to type a decent chase log now (writing this in December). When it comes to chasing, my memory is usually good enough that I have no problem recalling just about every detail of any half-decent day, even many months afterwards. Kind of sad, really. But I digress... the one thing I do remember well is how insanely awesome this one looked from the 48-hour range. Specifically, the 00z NAM two nights before was printing out STP parameters almost off the charts for NW TX, and comparisons to April 1979 were starting to get thrown around. But as would become the overriding theme of early 2008, veering low-level flow as the lead shortwave raced east of the target area in the morning would put a serious damper on any hopes for tornadoes. We took I-35 south to Gainesville, then headed west on US-82 towards developing convection south and east of Wichita Falls. Additional storms were also located over southern Oklahoma; all of them were quickly becoming prolific hail producers, as many other chasers found out when they ventured into their cores and lost windshields. From both a structure and tornado standpoint, though, these messy HP monsters would not impress. We intercepted our first storm of the day near Nocona, barely avoiding a bad hail encounter ourselves, but its structure screamed "outflow" from the first view we had. We headed back east towards Saint Jo, where we argued over whether to pursue visibly HP cells to our NE (south of Ardmore) or hope that developing convection to our SW near Graham would get its act together. We decided on the latter and proceeded southwest, eventually gaining a view of a ragged-looking supercell near Jacksboro after 5pm. Though it produced a wall cloud, it was quite high-based and the structure was just laughable garbage.

After perhaps half an hour watching it pass by, we casually followed it back northeast as it decayed, then grabbed dinner in Gainesville before driving back home.