I started this day off a bit pessimistically but thanks to Randy Cooper's agreeing to meet me here in Bentonville and split the gas costs I decided to head out. On our way to our target (Clinton, OK) we picked up another fellow SevereStudios.com storm chaser, Denton Sachs. On our way down things started to look bleak. Storms went up early in Texas and a severe thunderstorm watch was issued but we stayed valiant and instead of dropping south we held our course for our original target.

We made it to Clinton and stopped for lunch and waited and waited for stuff to fire but once again it was beginning to look bleak for us. The SPC has written down the risk for our area only putting a "see text" over us with a less than 2% chance of tornadoes and what towers did start to build would quickly collapse and fizzle out.

The after getting some gas and goofing off we took sight of a most welcoming sight well off in the distance. It was a updraft tower! A very robust and quickly maturing one too! We quickly took action to mee the cell as it raced out of the Texas Panhandle and into Oklahoma. Once in position to intercept we watched the storm form a far as it moved towards us. Under the rain free base we started to see a nice horse shoe shape begin to develop. It was about this time that we started to see a lot of motion under the updraft and began to question if we were just seeing turbulence or rotation. As the storm drew closer and closer we zoomed onto it with my Canon XH-A1s and it quickly became clear we had a lot of violent rotation in the base of the storm. I immediately phoned it into the local NWS office and kept my eye on the storm which went on to produce a very nice cone funnel that stay halfway from the ground for about 15 min. I reported this funnel both via phone and spotternet. The funnel then vanished only to then be replaced by another funnel and while I was on the phone with the weather service for a 3rd time this new funnel touched down.

The tornado was now on the ground and was quickly gaining strength and moving quickly in front of us off to the NE. After taking note that there still was not a warning on the storm I submitted another spotternetwork report of a tornado on the ground which it had been now for a good number time. The warning then popped up shortly after words.

All the while this had been going on I had been guiding my live streaming camera to follow the tornado and storm and entrusted Denton to watch my Canon (the camera that shot this video) as it was on the tripod and away from my car. Once the stream was secure i started to bounce back and forth from my jeep where my stream was coming from and my HD cam. By now The Weather Channel had picked up my stream and was starting to broadcast it on national TV. (By the way SevereStudios.com hosts my stream and you can view it by going to http://www.severestudios.com/livechase )

We followed the tornado as it raced across the country side and did our best to keep both cameras on the storm while Randy started to shoot stills and I did live phone-in's on the weather channel.

Once the tornado dissipated we stopped on the side of the road to film the hail and really for a day with little chance of much happening it was a great day to start off 2010 as it was the first tornado chase of the year for me.

To license this footage or for questions about it please contact SevereStudios.com at 1-866-WX-LIVE or send an email to Info@SevereStudios.com or to bart@severestudios.com

This footage was filmed with a Canon XH-A1s and is available in full 1080i 30fps HD.

Source: Awesome Hammon Oklahoma Tornado in HD! (03/08/10) (Youtube).

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