May 7, 1995

Vortex NCAR Aircraft Mission #6

Takeoff time - 1930 UTC
Landing Time - 0128 UTC


The Electra and P-3 flew to near Childress to intercept growing storms that had weak mesocyclone rotation. Upon reaching the storms, the Electra descended to 2000' AGL around 1958 UTC to fly legs oriented approximately north-northeast to south-southwest. The P-3 collected data on the same storm complex but at a much higher altitude. ELDORA went down from approximately 2054-2108. Starting at approximately 2120 UTC, the P-3 descended to low levels to coordinate flights with the Electra on the squall line. For the rest of the mission, the Electra trailed the P-3 by approximately 6 km while flying 500' below the P-3's altitude.
At 2204 UTC a decision was reached for both aircraft to leave the ground crews to pursue a supercell storm over Ardmore. During the first pass, a wall cloud was spotted by the crew. During the second pass, a tornado was seen near the town of Sulphur. The entire storm seemed to dissipate by the third pass. This tornado was the last in a series of twisters that was spawned by the supercell. An earlier tornado caused extensive damage in Ardmore.
Operations were terminated at 0017 UTC, however, both aircraft had to fly south, parallel to a major squall line. It wasn't until we crossed into Texas that a break could be found so that the aircraft could fly west thorough the convection. Both aircraft headed northward and back into Oklahoma City.

Roger Wakimoto