Funnel possibly associated with damage over Choctaw, Oklahoma ~7:30 PM on May 1, 2008 (cropped from image below)


A few minutes after I shot the funnel posted below, one of the Skywarn net controllers talked about the image he was watching on a live television feed from a chase-copter hovering nearby. He said the rotation on the ground was from an "invisible rope." I thought, yep, that's 2008 for me so far: incredible structure with invisible tornadoes. Or "explain-adoes" as Scott Currens calls them. The ones where you have to direct the viewer to stand on his or her head, listen to Coleman Hawkins records and drink three gallons of water to see the tornado embedded somewhere in the image. There, see, right there! Don't look straight at it. Okay, it's late.

The shot below was taken looking north from the intersection of S Choctaw Road and E Reno Avenue at approximately 0030z. That's the Choctaw Church of Christ in the foreground, I believe, as best I can confirm from Google Earth and glean from the sign. A few minutes after the photo, damage reports came in. I don't know if this is a tornado or not. It looks like an elevated funnel to me.

Full image from above, 7:30PM

I didn't intend to chase today at all, but I put in a fair day's work and left Denton for Ardmore, then left Ardmore when a new field of cu formed west of Norman. I came into the metro area in time to see a 6-7-05 style LP-ish updraft which appeared more than willing to produce a tornado. By the time I made the corner onto 240 eastbound, I thought a tornado was imminent, from a vigorously rotating wall cloud. I raced east to get the structure and tube both in the shot.

From earlier in the chase, ~7:18 PM

Alas, it wasn't to be. Bob Fritchie, Rachael Sigler, and their co-worker Chip joined me later as we zig-zagged through mountain and meadow into the forest. Big dinner at Chilli's back in Norman followed.

In hindsight, I had last Thursday too much in mind when choosing to sit the day out (which I didn't do anyway), but it was clearly a stronger system without the specific jet quad deficiencies that may or may not have plagued us last week, and with much colder air aloft and stronger 'kinematics.' When the surface low formed out west and the cu fields appeared in south central OK, it was obvious this wasn't an identical scenario. I'm glad I left Denton when I finally did.