March 27, 2004

Butler / Custer City / Thomas / Okarche, OK Tornadoes

Chase Account by: Scott Blair

Chase Team: Scott Blair, Jason Politte.

I departed Monroe, LA Friday afternoon and arrived in Weatherford, OK at 3am Saturday. Jason Politte and I targeted an area from Elk City to Clinton, OK. By 12pm, we intercepted our first supercell south of Elk City, OK. The cell displayed intense rotation at times with one well-defined white funnel. We continued to follow the storm up towards the Butler, OK area. A tornado warning was issued as we took a gravel road northward towards a developing wall cloud. The first tornado was produced at 3pm, a beautiful translucent rope, southeast of Butler. We were located one mile southeast of the tornado.

*** Butler, OK Tornado. The tornado lasted a couple minutes under good contrast. ***

Jumping ahead, we encountered golfball sized hail associated with the RFD after the tornado lifted. We took another road northward out of Custer City and stopped just in front of a rapidly rotating wall cloud. As the RFD and associated hook neared the road, another tornado developed in close proximity of our location. The tornado was about four miles north of Custer City and lasted for about a minute. As we flanked the supercell along a northeast road, a brief tornado with vortices on the ground developed near Thomas, OK.

*** Tornado observed four miles north of Custer City, OK (first two images). A brief tornado later developed near Thomas, OK. ***

We eventually broke off the cell near Hitchcock and moved to intercept a newly developed supercell near Weatherford. The supercell provided excellent strucutre towards sunset. The storm became more organized as we followed the cell to south of Okarche where we observed our third tornado of the day. The storm provided an unusual display of tornadic activity with a large pointy funnel and a smaller, more laminar horizontal funnel stretching to the south. A fantastic early season chase.

*** Excellent supercell structure was observed along I-40 east of Weatherford, OK. Tornado observed just after sunset near Okarche, OK. ***

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