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Sunday, March 02, 2008

Wall cloud in central ok near Alden

We started the day in Amarillo, drove down to Vernon, TX where we ran into Amos M. Headed north to Altus and then to Blair, OK. We headed out east through Roosevelt, OK. Not much was happening with the storms and the structure was not great. We and the O'Keefe's left the main group and headed south a bit to get a look at the tail end storm where we got hit by a brief blast of nickel size hail.

I was able to put the WW3 with the wireless cam up between storms and test out flying by the laptop which worked well except that I could not tell how fast I was climbing and was soon up so high the plane was almost out of sight above us.

The storms to our northeast started showins signs of rotation so we headed back up and caught up to them again as the now three supercells went tornado warned and started showing rotating lowerings. We saw this rotating wall cloud today with the O'keefe's near Alden, OK where I was able to fly the WW3 again but this time with the ActionCam as we were having inverter issues in the car and losing power to our laptops when stopped.

The updraft was very strong and at times I had to dive the plane to keep it from being drawn up into the storm. It was getting dark so I had a hard time seeing the orientation of the plane and had a rough uncontrolled landing in the field down the road from us. The plane hit with a thud and dust flew up in a puff, but the plane and camera was fine. Back at Amarillo now where we have 3" of snow with driving winds last night. A fun first chase of 2008 even though we didn't get the beautiful cone up by Canton, OK that was streamed by channel 5 OK.

Mileage: 1354


Reed said...

INCREDIBLE shots from the wicked witch!!!

It's too bad the cells were so close together or we probably would have seen some hoses.

Good luck this season!


Sam Dienst said...

Yea nice shots form the wicked witch. It's amazaing how you got that thing flying in those strong inflow winds. Looking forward to some more shots from it.

Sam Dienst

Verne Carlson said...

Hey sam and Reed, it was not easy flying but also very doable. The WW3 is actually the 4th type of plane I've tried for this kind of thing. It's a compact delta wing with a short moment arm so it does very well in high winds. I only wish I had been on that cell up by the cold front that produced a tornado but having to pick again I still would have bet on the southern cells.

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