Friday, June 13, 2008 (Central OK, 115 mi.)

Synopsis

A daytime cap over central Oklahoma finally breaks at sunset, producing several somewhat-photogenic supercells in the OKC area.

Observed hail to half-dollar size.

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Today was kind of like April 21 in the OKC area... just as I started getting disgusted that the cap hadn't broken all day right before sunset, boom! Would've been nice had it happened just south of the OFB in the 4000 SBCAPE this afternoon, but I'll take what I can get this late in the year. I headed over to Westheimer Airport on the north side of Norman (about the only flat and treeless area nearby) as soon as I saw the explosive development of the tower on the west side of OKC; from there, I watched the slender updraft quickly anvil out, with fairly nice-looking structure that verged on LP.

It wasn't long before the anvil was overhead, given the WNW upper winds. Lightning was beautiful, including some anvil crawlers, but not all that frequent - so despite 20-30 long-shutter attempts I don't have much to show for it.

As darkness fell, I decided to check out the updraft base to my NW, which led me to Moore. I didn't find a wall cloud or anything remotely threatening, but did inadvertently stumble upon severe-crtieria weather nonetheless: 1-1.5" hail about 2 mi. W of I-35 on US-37. Ironically, this started right when I was refueling at a 7-11, so I didn't even have to feel guilty using the covering for shelter.

After that, I probably should've called it a day, but instead hopped on I-44 southbound in hopes of shooting lightning-illuminated structure once I got south of the multiple supercells now over Oklahoma and Cleveland Co. When the cell moving out of Canadian Co. took a hard right turn, I was forced to continue farther south than I'd hoped (to Chickasha), and by that time convection was so widespread that good, clear views of structure from a distance were not in the cards. I did manage this shot from just SW of Blanchard, looking NE at a mediocre cell near Moore (this was around midnight) that would end up pouring on me for the remainder of the drive back to Norman.