April 26, 2009 Western Oklahoma - High Risk Tornadoes
April 26, 2009 Western Oklahoma - High Risk Tornadoes

The day started off with a with some good potential, but with so much forecasted precip I knew there would be some big problems regardless of SPC going with a High Risk and a 30% hatched tornado threat. My target area was western OK and north of I-40, though I almost went to SW OK. On the 25th we had chased the exact same area so we knew what kinda road network laid in store for us and with the previous days storms, dirt roads were out of the question due to the rain.

We chased some early storms, but they didn't get us out of position for the show later. The first "good" storms fired around the Wheeler-Shamrock area and we caught up with the storms near Allison, where we witness a couple wall clouds. One of wall clouds passed right over Allison. We followed it into OK and lost the wall cloud in the rain. As we pulled into Reydon, we noticed a large wall cloud forming back on the next storm in the line. We moved north to intercept, but it did not want to produce before it crossed the highway. We ended up on the west side of the rapid rotating wall cloud as we moved toward highway 33. About a half mile from 33, there were a group of guys trying to get a trailer out of the mudd and were blocking the highway in doing so. While setting there we saw a good funnel come down half back to our east. I was about 3 seconds from driving through the mud and going around them when they finally moved.

After being on 33, it was only moments later we were staring at a rope tornado coming down. We quickly moved east to get closer, but were only able to get within a couple miles by the time it crossed the highway (right where we had parked the day before). It was one of the most beautiful tornadoes I have ever seen and that was partially due to getting behind the storm and getting to see the tornado backlit by the light to the east. It seemed the tornado formed along the RFD of the much larger rotation that formed next. We watch the first one rope out as the second one came down. We quickly got over to 283, but were a bit late and had distant view of the second tornado that was much bigger and looked quite violent. We tried to get back in front of the storm, but the action for this day was done for us. Definitely one of the better chased I have had. It was also nice to finally see a condensation funnel to the ground again, but was unfortunate to hear a mobile got tossed by the second tornado (no one was home last I heard). Also saw the 2 tornadoes at once for the first time.

Here is where I drove on this day.

Here is the video from April 26, 2009.