Roger's SkyPix

SkyPix Tornadoes

Tornadic Mini-supercell

Tornadic Mini-supercell

This was the shortest distance I've covered on any tornado intercept to date, yet it was one of the most difficult. Driving through a hilly and forested part of eastern Oklahoma City's suburbs, in attempt to at least keep astern of a fast moving storm, we had to stop at no fewer than 90% of possible traffic signals enroute. With daylight fading, that frustrating entanglement cost us any hope of positioning ourselves to the storm's east with any remaining sunshine. By the time we found a properly directed clearing in the viewing conditions, we were about 5 miles to its SSW, the storm moving away quickly, the tornado soon to dissipate. In this 50-mm focal view, the supercell looks more distant than that because it is smaller than normal. The supercell developed in a strongly sheared, marginally unstable environment just east of a middle level, cold core low. Despite its shrunken dimensions, the storm was classically structured in every way: wall cloud, clear slot (left), inflow band (portion at right), and even a little tornado framed by fall colors. Fortunately, we stumbled on a place where we could spend a few minutes observing almost the entire structure of the storm with the Jones tornado still in progress. This tornadic mini-supercell was a first for me, and also, my latest tornado in a calendar year. We were somewhat surprised, but quite glad, that nobody was killed or seriously injured.

2 SW Choctaw OK (10 Nov 4), Looking NNE