Stats
The cold, hard numbers behind this chase.

Date
Wednesday, March 12, 2003
Length of Chase
2 hours
Distance Covered
40 miles
...for the year
40 miles
Chase Partner(s)
Valerie McCoy

This was the first day of real return moisture of the year. By mid-afternoon, a cold front was moving through southern Kansas, where isolated severe storms initiated. This line eventually became linear in nature with large hail being the main threat. Storms failed to initiate in Oklahoma until late in the evening, after sunset, due to a strong capping inversion.

At 7:30 PM, Valerie and I left the apartment for dinner. I checked the radar just before we left and storms had yet to fire. However, the cap had eroded by 9 PM and the lightning in Norman was almost continuous. Storms fired up in a SW to NE line from near Clinton to Osage County, OK. First, the cap was broken north of Tulsa, with subsequent convection exploding within 30 minutes, as if someone had pulled a zipper from Tulsa to Oklahoma City. Click here for a radar loop.

The squall line was pushing its way south and we decided to drive south of Norman, about 20 miles, to near Purcell where we planned to have the line intercept US. I took some lightning pictures with a DiMAGE 7i digital camera, which are posted below. We experienced pea sized hail and frequent cloud-to-cloud lightning.

Although this was not, by far, the most exciting chase we've ever been on, it was the best show we've seen in the Norman area since last spring!