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Watonga Supercell; A Retrospective

The Weather Guide Calender is a quality publication. More than a calender it’s almost like a soft cover coffee table book.

Inspired by my recent publication via Andrews McMeel Publishing, I thought I’d revisit the amazing Watonga Supercell. Photogenic storms are rare on the Southern Plains in August. This storm developed on an outflow boundary created by storms the previous night/morning. It was stationary for an hour due to light upper air flow. CG production (cloud to ground lighting) was such that I dared not leave my vehicle.  The storm rotated in place until a bowing line of storms wiped it out from the west. Images below chronologically describe the event. A brief mesoanalysis is included for those who are meteorologically inclined. The Watonga Supercell will always be special to me as it also resulted in my first supercell time-lapse movie included below.

Watonga Supercell August 17, 2009 Click image to view gallery / purchase print

8:01 pm

Watonga Supercell August 17, 2009 Click image to view gallery / purchase print

8:03 pm

Watonga Supercell August 17, 2009 Click image to view gallery / purchase print

8:19 pm

Watonga Supercell August 17, 2009 Click image to view gallery / purchase print

8:33 pm

1) satellite image 2) satellite image annotated; red = Watonga,Ok. blue = outflow boundary 3) surface map description of outflow boundary

500 mb Map; Paltry 15 kts in western OK explains why this storm did not move for an hour. Radar Image; See the line of storms to the west that ultimately wiped out my stationary supercell.

As mentioned above the Watonga Supercell will always be special to me as it also resulted in my first supercell timelapse movie. Shot way back in 2009.

Please leave comments below, Thank you!

☯ Stephen

Chris Sanner - July 31, 2013 - 5:30 pm

I’ve gotta be the guy to chime and say what a beautiful storm that truly was. Would have to be one of my top 5 chases of all time still.

Allison Marshall - July 31, 2013 - 11:59 pm

One of the most beautiful storms ever. Nicely done! 😀

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