26 May 2016 / Kansas, Oklahoma Supercells + Car Trouble

Weird day.  It appeared as if it would be an early show, so we started north during the late morning, making our first stop in Enid for some auto maintenance.  After spending an hour at the Jiffy Lube getting an oil change and AC service, we continued northwest reaching Anthony, Kansas just before 2 pm.  Storms were already rolling across a large area of northwest Oklahoma, southwest Kansas, and central Kansas.  Several of the storms had nice looks on radar and numerous warnings were out.  The northern portion of the area was a bit messy, so we targeted the southern part and headed west from Anthony.

By the time we got to Coldwater at 3 pm, it looked like everything was going to be falling our way.  One storm to our southwest was tornado warned and had a nice shape visually.  There were other storms over far northwest Oklahoma that also looked to have tornado potential, so the worst case would scenario would be having to change storms.  It appeared that a significant outbreak of severe weather was underway.

Between 3 and 4 pm, the storms transitioned like I’ve never seen before.  Like a switch had been turned off, every storm within a couple of hours of us started rapidly falling apart.  The warnings stopped, the updrafts shrank, the lightning stopped, and in a very quick time, we had no play in front of us.  To make matters worse, the fresh AC we had enjoyed for a few hours stopped working completely.  Waves of light smoke entered the cabin every few minutes.  We quickly decided that getting the car home – hopefully – would be the best move.  We did make it back, and a rental was secured the following morning to finish our chase vacation.