Tornado - June 18, 2011

Osage County, Oklahoma

Our last chase day of the season produces a great storm and tornado in Oklahoma.

TORNADO !! - Osage County, Oklahoma. What a cool day. It was the last day of Cloud 9 Tours for 2011 and we had one last chance to find a tornado. One storm formed right in our target area and despite the lack of roads there and the many, many tall trees, we were able to get into a great position to watch it.This storm had it all. Great structure, a tornado that touched down in the middle of nowhere, spectacular lightning, 2 1/2 inch hail.
The tornado was spotted in the last hours of the last day of the last tour. Whew, it felt so great to capture this for the folks on tour 3. Talk about pulling it off at the last minute! The forecast today only had a 2% tornado risk so that makes it even more special. All it takes is to get onto the right storm and be in the exact right spot and magic can happen.
The funnel snaked its way out of the storm and even though the condensation funnel didn't form all the way down, the circulation was most certainly on the ground.
It was amazing to be directly underneath this "mothership" looking supercell that clearly had plenty of rotation. another bonus was that there were not that many other storm chasers there so there wasn't the usual frenzy of traffic or difficulty finding places to pull over.
The lightning display was especially nice as well, with plenty of bolts with lots of branches. I even was able to get a shot of a lightning bolt with its reflection in the van window.
Because this was the last chase day of our season, we had to get back to Norman so that everybody could catch their flights. We got in late, but nobody cared!.




Tornado touches down

Tornado with an oil pump jack in the foreground



Storm structure plus tornado

Mike Theiss admiring the awesome structure this storm had



Lightning reflected in the van window

More spectacular lightning