May 30, 2006 - Supercell Thunderstorm near Sayer, Oklahoma

by Sam Barricklow

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My initial goal was Boise City, Oklahoma. I had planned to turn north at Childress, drive to either Wheeler, or Canadian and then turn west. However, a supercell thunderstorm formed south of Woodward, Oklahoma and began moving due south. The storm looked good visually, so I decided to take a look. The side excursion from my planned goal farther north and west, took several hours. However, the storm produced a long lived mesocyclone, with large hail and frequent cloud to ground (CG) lightning strikes.

I time lapsed the evolution of the mesocyclone northwest of Sayer, Oklahoma, then drove to a point on the west side of town to try to capture daytime lightning.

After photographing lightning for a while, it was time to leave to get closer to my goal for the next day, which was northeastern Colorado where upslope conditions were expected to develop and support supercell thunderstorms the next day.

While driving from Sayer back to Wheeler, Texas, I encountered straight line winds gusting to 60+ mph, with small limbs and field stubble, including tumble weeds, blowing across the highway. East of Wheeler, Texas, power lines were arcing, which I reported to the local 911 operator.

I spent the night in Pampa, Texas , and left early the next morning for northeastern Colorado.


View of the thunderstorm from just north of Childress, TX
The view a little farther north
The view from a point east of Wheeler, TX
The storm on the Baron's Mobile ThreatNet radar display, showing date, time and my location when the next photo was shot.
Looking north-northwest toward the storm at the same time as the radar image above.
Looking west at a wall cloud from a road northwest of Sayer, Oklahoma
After the storm moved farther south, I relocated to the western side of Sayer, OK to try to shoot daytime lightning.


After photographing lightning for a while, I decided to leave the area to find a motel for the night. It appeared that the best conditions for supercells would be in eastern Colorado the next day, so I drove to Pampa, TX for the night.


Copyright 2006 - Samuel D. Barricklow - All Rights Reserved

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Last revised: November 28, 2008