Severe Weather Outlook

Sean has chased storms since 1998, covering Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and West Texas.

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Tough Weekend
Written by Sean Ramsey   
Sunday, 02 June 2013 13:49

There's a lot to say about Friday's storms, and after this morning there just aren't enough words to say them.  Earlier today, we found out we lost three of the best storm chasers and researchers there ever was.  Tim Samaras, his son Paul Samaras, and Carl Young were killed by the violent El Reno tornado on Friday.  It is hard to put into words how gut wrenching this is, both for their families and the storm chasing community as a whole.  They were among the most respected chasers and known for their safety and preparedness in chasing storms.  My heart and prayers go out to their families.

The erratic storm that went through El Reno was tough for many, including me.  I started out chasing it near El Reno, but when it wedged and started to track I-40 I realized I had to give up my chase and go get my family.  We had purchased a house in Yukon about 6 months ago and it didn't include a storm shelter, so our first plan in case of this kind of situation was to simply move out of the way.  Earlier in the day I had contemplated sending my wife and children out to western Oklahoma since this would take them out of harms way much earlier, but around 2:30 there were reports coming from news stations that the cap was expected to break within the next 30 minutes, so this made me re-think my decision due to knowing how fast storms can blow up and become tornadic, and the last thing I wanted was her to be stranded on I-40 with nowhere to go.

So the decision was for them to stay in place.  I would be out keeping an eye on things, and I kept close enough to react.  After the tornado developed I dropped east, telling my family to meet me outside when I drove up.  They hopped in and we took off to the south.  At this time the tornado was heading due east, and I like many others expected it to remain on this path.  My main concern would be how bad traffic would be when the metro realized a violent wedge would be heading its way.  Luckily for us, we reacted about 15 minutes sooner than everyone else and dropped south on Sara Road into Mustang.  Traffic started to back up on Sara, so we moved east a few blocks to Mustang Road and edged south again, but again ran into traffic so we took a side road back east to Sara Rd.  At this point, Sara Rd was clear so we started back south.  About this time we noticed the storm moving further south into Mustang, and taking a strong SE movement.  Sitting in long lines of traffic at lights, I was starting to get a bit concerned.  The lights changed and we finally were able to move to a safer location near Newcastle, ironically where the May 20th tornado in Moore had begun.  So, we made it south but we had no clue whether our house was ok or not, but I didn't care at this point because I had my loved ones with me.  To begin with I figured I would be one of the few to do this, as it has always made sense to me having the equipment, GPS, radar and everything else that I could maneuver away knowing where I stood with the storm.  But, factoring in metro area traffic makes it much more dangerous as people begin to jam roads and then you become a sitting duck.  For us, we acted sooner so we avoided the mess.  Had it been 10-15 minutes later, we would have had issues.  Especially with local news stations telling people to get in their cars and go south.  This is not standard protocol.  Until we get a shelter, we will be reviewing our personal plan as well.

Anyways, we ended up avoiding the storm all together.  I went to Chickasha where I talked to another fellow who did the same thing I did.  I then saw the storm back-building, so I moved us to the west to Anadarko and eventually ended up out at my parents house in western Oklahoma at the very least to drop the kids off so we could observe the damage in Yukon, if any (We were assuming the worst).  Ultimately, the house was fine and the only damage we took was a blown over fence and a ceramic tile busted out of our patio table. 

I had a really good idea where this storm would track, and the most likely place that might be affected.  Most chasers and meteorologist expected violent tornadoes.  No one predicted how erratic it would be and that it would track down one of the most traveled paths in the U.S.  It was a tough day that day for many including myself.  Today's news makes it much tougher.

May 27 thru May 31st - Kansas and Oklahoma
Written by Sean Ramsey   
Saturday, 01 June 2013 19:53

What started out as a slow chase season has gone crazy across Kansas and Oklahoma.  I haven't had time to sit down and write about each of my chases, so as the season winds down I will start writing some detailed accounts of each chase.  I've caught some beautiful tornadoes, violent tornadoes, and yesterday (May 31st) I had to stop chasing and focus on getting my family out of the way of one (which I will write up about tomorrow).  Here's some pics from the 29th when a line of thunderstorms moved east across Oklahoma which created a beautiful shelf, and I was underneath it giving me a very interesting perspective.  To see more photos and get updates,please "like" my Facebook page. 

Last Updated on Saturday, 01 June 2013 20:02
05-18-2013 Rozell, Ks and 05-19 Wellington, KS
Written by Sean Ramsey   
Tuesday, 21 May 2013 15:55

Here are some shots from Saturday's chase north of Kinsley, KS near Rozel.  I'll get a chase log posted soon.

This image is from south of Wellington, KS on Sunday.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 May 2013 21:18
Moore Tornado PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sean Ramsey   
Monday, 20 May 2013 19:05

My heart and prayers go out to everyone affected by today's tornado and especially to those families who had loved ones who lost their lives.  I saw the wall cloud turn into a tornado, and watched it as it evolved.  Please keep Oklahoma in your prayers this evening.


Heres a shot from the tornado quickly after it touched down.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 May 2013 07:42
Lawton, OK 04-17-2013
Written by Sean Ramsey   
Thursday, 18 April 2013 18:34

Of the two cells that began the day I chose the closest to my position to begin with, which was the northern cell that passed through south of Hobart. After chasing it for a while to the northeast there was no way I could keep up with it so I moved south to the second cell which was the first cell to go through the Fredrick/Lawton area. Then another cell was developing to the west of that one and I chose to move towards it figuring there would be a lot less traffic (I was right). I had a straight shot to the storm on Baseline Rd then it inexplicably turned from paved to dirt/mud I had to wait on it south of Indiahoma. This was the second cell that ended up going through the Lawton area. I then moved north to follow this storm and got into blinding rain on a north/south road south of Elgin so I had to sit and wait for the storm to pass before I could move northward. On the way home, I went through Chickasha and downtown power had been lost and dealt with flooding...somehow I made it through that. Quite an eventful day even though I didn't see any tornadoes.  Here are a few pics to start with, I have more that I have to weed through and will get them posted in a couple of days.

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