Today was a very busy day for the SWIFT team! We started the morning in Norman, Oklahoma at the Storm Prediction Center, where we got to tour the weather deck and interact with some of the severe weather forecasters working there. We also had a presentation on the history of the SPC, as well as the development of tornado and severe weather forecasting methods and technologies. At the end, we even got to see Dorothy and some of the other props from the movie Twister!
We then drove to Clark Elementary School in Tulsa, Oklahoma to do some STEM outreach with over 90 4th graders. They enjoyed learning about helicopters, catapults and the interesting properties of water through a number of experiments and demonstrations.
After leaving the school, we hit the road for our first chase day with a target area along the Oklahoma-Texas panhandle border. After a few hours of driving, we arrived at the edge of the storm about an hour before sunset. Although we didn't see any tornadoes, there were some great photo opportunities of mammatus clouds, as well as a shelf cloud and lots of lightning. Tomorrow looks to be another promising chase day, with our target area just to the northwest of San Antonio, Texas.