11/07/2011 SW OK Tornadoes

11/07/2011 Tipton and Snyder, OK

I traveled from Dallas up hwy 287 to Vernon,TX early in the afternoon.
As I neared Vernon I could see I was nearly late for the show.
A cell had already developed and was moving north across the city.
As I got closer I could clearly see a rain-free base and developing wall cloud.
Just outside of town the cell produced a few brief funnels.
My original intention was to gas up upon arriving at my target area early
but the chase was already on. I drove north on 283 a few miles where I met with David Reimer.
We traveled east on CR110E which didn't do much to improve our vantage point.
It did however remind us how slippery the Red River area muddy roads can become.
From a distance we could barely make out what appeared to be a developing tornado across the river.
Backtracking west we got back on 283 northbound heading into Oklahoma.
Just north of Elmer we turned east on hwy 5 toward Tipton.
As we entered town we could see the now fully developed tornado southeast of town moving north.
I stopped on the side of the road just east of Tipton and gave it the right-of-way.
It was the right thing to do. Later we learned this was categorized as EF-4 (winds between 166 and 200 mph).

After the tornado had cleared the road it churned its way through open farm land.
I continued east on 5 then headed north on CR N2170 keeping up with the mature tornado.

Tornado #1 as it was in its later stages roping out (dying).

Continuing slowly on rain-slick muddy farm roads I made my way up to hwy 62.
On my way there I was fortunate to capture tornado #2.
This was a still capture from my stream camera so I apologize for the quality.

After reaching 62 I headed east past Snyder,OK.
The Oklahoma highway patrol decided it would be prudent
to blockade traffic right under the overpass of highway 183.
Under a bridge or overpass is a very dangerous place to be in a tornado.
Needless to say I was more that a little concerned about being trapped at this location.

Of course the TVN dominator was allowed past the roadblock and nearly got stuck in the muddy median doing so.

The cell was cycling as it crossed 62. Just after it cleared the highway it produced short-lived tornado #3.
I managed to capture some brief video as I continued east on the highway.

I turned north on hwy 54 and paralleled the storm once more. I turned east on 49 (Wichita Mtn Byway)
along with every other chaser. Tornado #4 had now developed.

Unfortunately this was as far as I was going to be able to track this cell as I had
failed to get gas in Vernon as previously planned. I was very near empty.
It was a tough decision but the only prudent one: head back to Snyder for gas.
After getting gas in Snyder I headed south as there was now no chance of regaining ground
on the fast-moving storm I had been tracking.
Back in Texas I made my way south of Electra to intercept a cell that was showing some promise.
The sun was going down and daylight was rapidly fading away.
On approach from the east I could make out the silhouette of a lowered area in the rain-free base.
However as I neared the cell it was apparent that it was gusting out. I continued to work my
way under the cell on small back roads until meeting hwy 183 which took me south
to 114 then back home to Dallas.
This was a very memorable chase with 4 tornadoes seen from fast moving storms.
Not something you would expect in November but I'm glad I was there to see it.

Total Miles = 519

Return to 2011 Chase Activity