Mission Summary 5/7


This was the day of the Ardmore tornado, which we now know was on the ground for over 50 miles through N TX and south-central Oklahoma. This tornado formed as a solid squall line broke into discrete cells, with only the southern one or two cells surviving and becoming supercells.
Another squall line formed in a very similar environment over the far eastern part of the TX Panhandle and SW TX. An HP supercell in this line was targeted by VORTEX. Good aircraft and sounding data were obtained. The mobile mesonet was not deployed for data collection; our operations plan calls for deployment on fast moving storms only when a tornado is occurring or appears imminent, or as a last-ditch data-gathering effort prior to the end of operations on a given day.
Clearly, the Ardmore storm would have made a much more interesting target. Events of this day make it obvious (once again) just how little we know about storm-environment interactions. The squall lines appeared to be in similar environments, but one broke into cells and the other evolved into a solid line.

Erik Rasmussen
Jerry Straka

Return to Case Study Page