Chief Scientist: Watson/Ziegler Flight Director: Damiano Doppler Radar: Shepherd/Trapp Pilots: Tenneson/Kennedy Omara Cloud Physics: --- Data Technician: McMillan Radiometer: --- Systems Engineer: Barr Observers: Windler (REU) Navigator: Strong Observers: Francis Flight Engineer: Bast Observers: Brand (media), Manis (media) Takeoff Time: 1835 UTC Landing Time: 0253 UTC Official Mission Duration: 8.5 hrs Mission Breakdown VORTEX: 8.5 hrs ARM: 0.0 hrs Number of Data Tapes Used: Radar: 2 Cloud Physics: 0 Video: 3
Data Systems LogRadar Data System Log Time On(UTC) Time Off(UTC) Comments Problems with TA Tape #1 1849 Begin LF 2032 Stop recording Board replacement rebotting Tape #2 2048 Begin LF & TA 0239 End recording Cloud Physics Log Time On(UTC) Time Off(UTC) Comments 1845 0230 ETL Radiometer Log Time On (UTC) Time Off (UTC) Comments 1845 0230
Based on very large CAPEs, an east-west outflow boundary, and an
adequate wind profile, the forecast was for supercells in far northwest
The P-3 departed OKC at 1835 UTC; the Electra at 1905 UTC. Initially, the FC suggested we find the dryline as the triple point of the E-W boundary and dryline was said to be in the northern Texas panhandle. We flew west at 500' AGL along 36N encountering only the frontal/outflow boundary near Sunray, TX.
Convection had already begun northeast of Perryton, TX so we proceeded to the VORTEX target storm which was already a supercell when we arrived. Due to radar problems, we could not begin radar legs until 2050 UTC. We executed only 7 passes before the FC aborted operations on this storm as it gradually lost its supercell characteristics and became just a rainy glob.
We then proceeded southwest along a line of echoes to the 'tail-end Charlie' near Clarendon, TX south of I-40. Both the P-3 and Electra set up radar tracks (2238 UTC) on this storm as the ground teams took 2 hours to ramble south to it. First tornado was reported near Kellerville, TX at 0000 UTC.
It appeared that this tornado was on the ground for some 40 minutes. A tornado was reported near Briscoe, TX; a very large tornado was reported at 0048 UTC near Allison, TX which was on the ground for more than one hour. Due to haze, we were not able to see any of these tornadoes. The evolution of the hooks, inflow notches, and echo weak holes (EWHs) from this storm will be studied for some time. Several mesocyclones were observed within the same thunderstorm complex at the same time. There were several EWHs on LF radar at the same time.
The Electra was rocked by severe turbulence at 0010 UTC resulting in several injuries, one requiring medical attention. We encountered very strong up and downdrafts at 1500'AGL in the inflow region at 0026 UTC. The remainder of the radar legs were performed at 10,000' AGL. Twenty-six radar legs were completed. We returned to OKC at 0253 UTC, consuming 8.4 hours in a very successful season.