Saturday, May 28, 2011

May 24 Chase -- Canton Tornado

Another devastating tornado outbreak struck the southern Plains on May 24. Hardest hit was Central Oklahoma where three EF-4 tornadoes have been confirmed. By early afternoon, storms initiated rapidly along a sharpening dryline across western and Southwest Oklahoma and quickly evolved into supercells. The first supercell of the day formed near Elk City and moved toward the northeast. As the supercell passed west of Oakwood, it began to tighten up with two distinct wall clouds present for almost 10 minutes. Shortly thereafter, one dominant circulation took over, and it was obvious this storm was getting ready to produce a tornado. Indeed, a few miles west of Canton, a tornado developed, tracked northeast for nine miles, and lasted for nearly 30 minutes. Initially, the tornado was small but quickly grew to a one-half mile-wide multiple vortex stovepipe northwest of Canton. The tornado was rated an EF-3, and unfortunately, it injured two people near Canton Lake. Below are some images (courtesy of TB), video, and links documenting the storm chase. If you feel compelled to help tornado victims of this outbreak, you can donate to the American Red Cross.

A very sharp dryline across western Oklahoma served as a focusing mechanism and helped initiate supercell thunderstorm.

Classic supercell with dual wall clouds north of Thomas, OK.

Low, ragged wall cloud northwest of Oakwood, OK.

Ragged wall cloud with a well-defined beaver's tail.

Rotating wall cloud just west of Canton, OK. RFD can be seen to the left and behind the wall cloud. Rotation rapidly increased as the RFD interacted with the updraft base.

Tornado develops after RFD ingestion.

Tornado becomes larger as it moves northwest of Canton.

Large, multiple vortex tornado northwest of Canton.



1 comment:

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