Today was the last day of our trip in the central plains. We started the day in Ada, OK. We did not have a regular forecast discussion, because we as a group did not know if we were going to chase today or not. We wound up discussing whether or not we were going to chase in the van. We decided that if we were going to chase, we would head towards Piedmont, OK. After about an hour or so of weighing the pros and cons of chasing, we decided that it would be in our best interest to not chase and to go ahead and head back to Bowling Green, KY. We chose not to chase for several key reasons.
The first reason is that due to time constrictions on the van. It would be nearly impossible for us to have chased and then get back to Bowling Green before our deadline for the van.
Another reason is that the topography of our target area is full of hills and trees, so that we would only be able to see the storm for a few seconds at a time.
Another reasons is that there would have been a lot of storm chasers trying to target the same storms that we would target. This would have added another potential threat to an already dangerous situation.
The final and main reason we chose not to chase was due to the fact that these storms were forecasted to initiate over or move into highly populated areas. One of the things that we try to do on this trip is to avoid, if at all possible, areas where serious damage could occur and areas that have already been hit by a tornado. This reason fits with our target because there was a risk for severe weather, and potentially tornadoes, in the same areas that the EF-5 tornado damaged last week.
So with all of those reasons in mind we left Ada, OK between noon and 1pm and reached Southaven, MS by about 8 pm or so. After we dropped of Dr. Dixon, we then headed off to Bowling Green, KY and got there between midnight and 1 am. We then rinsed off the van and went our separate ways. We will be resuming the class portion on Monday so we can compile all of our photos and collect the radar data from the storms we chased.