Today was a very active day for the SWIFT team. With a chase already under our belts from yesterday's supercells, we were eager to hit the road today. We began the morning with a visit to the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, OK where we got to see how the National Weather Service issues severe storm warnings and the process they use to issue information for the rest of the country. Afterwards, we got a great tour of the Radar Operations Center, where we had the opportunity to walk inside of a WSR-88D Radar. The weather was setting up very nicely for a chase day and the SPC issued a Particularly Dangerous Situation (PDS) tornado watch, so we were especially hopfeul to see some beautiful setups.
Within minutes of arriving back at our hotel, we were hot on the trail of some interesting precipitation signals in the Northeast panhandle of Texas. It was in McLean, TX where we got to see our first tornado of the day, a very photogenic tornado Professor Barrett affectionately referred to as "cute." After being rain-wrapped, we followed this rotation for a little bit longer before the tornado re-emerged as an Elephant-Trunk tornado. We kept an eye on the leftover rotation, but favored a more southern storm that looked promising. Unfortunately, much of what it produced was rain-wrapped, however, it was the longest-lived supercell of the cluster. We tried following one last supercell for the day, a storm that Colin had his eye on for most of the chase, however we were too late to witness the multiple vortex tornado it produced. At the end of our chase, unfortunately, we also saw the devastating effects that severe weather can bring. Our thoughts go out to the people of Elk City, and all of the affected areas.
Tomorrow the SWIFT Team sets its sights on Iowa!