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Archive: That Time An EF-3 Oklahoma Tornado Chased Us All Down The Highway

May 10th, 2010 was one of those chase days that gets in your bones and stays there. A high profile, high-risk day on tornado alley with fast-moving strong tornadoes on the menu.



I chased this day with Colin Davis, Scott Kampas, and Colin's buddy Nate Williams. We left Illinois in the pre-dawn hours, lunched at the Chili's in Enid, Oklahoma, and were on a supercell thunderstorm shortly after 3:00 PM.


The storm produced a short-lived, weak tornado southwest of Wakita, nicely backlit from our position to the east-northeast.


After the first tornado dissipated we decided to make an eastward repositioning move to get some space between us and the storm before things escalated. The escalation happened immediately though, with a significant tornado skipping up and down Highway 11 which was heavily congested with storm chaser traffic.


The storm and tornado were traveling east down the highway at 60 MPH. Congested car traffic was moving at roughly 30 MPH. I didn't like the math on that, and made an urgent plea to Colin to head south at the first available option. We escaped south through very strong westerly RFD winds as the tornado passed safely to our north.


Relive the wild chase with this remastered video digitally archived from the original miniDV tape:



More images from the day:






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