May 20, 2001
NOTE:Numbers after certain sentences indicate the photo being referred to.
On this morning, it appeared the main tornado threat would be along the Red River, so I targeted Ardmore, Oklahoma. However, by the early afternoon, it was apparent the tornado threat shifted north, and I found myself heading north up Highway 177. I briefly met up with Scott Blair, Dr. Jason Persoff, Dr. Bill Hark, and others while viewing the first storm go up near Highway 9.1. Everybody ended up getting seperated, and I continued the intercept solo. At one point, I briefly stopped and watched the RFD and rain wrap around the mesocyclone.2. Making my way to Highway 9 in order to track the cell, I encountered several areas of apparent tornado damage 3. while driving through quarter to golfball hail for about 10 minutes.4. During this time, Scott and I ended up meeting up again, and after emerging from the precip, we had a view of the rapidly rotating meso nearly overhead. Soon after pulling over, a brief, weak tornado spun up near Enterprise, Oklahoma and lasted only a few seconds.5.; 7. (contrast enhanced: 6.; 8.) Unfortuantley, at the time of the tornado, strong winds ripped Scott's door panel off and shut it, locking his keys in the car; so we had to settle for this last good view of the meso as it began to really wrap up as it approached Stigler.9. After the delay, we continued the chase in my car, but never got another good view of the meso. Deciding to head back to retrieve Scott's car, we drove through Stigler and saw several areas of minor damage in the city.10.
Also, I must thank Charles Shaw, Steven Daniels, and Steve Lane for helping Scott and I out of a jam. They graciously donated their time to help us unlock Scott's car.