CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Saturday, May 16th
We hit the road early this morning, saving our weather debriefing for the car so we could head south to Dodge City, KS.
As we continued to drive through Kansas, models became more favorable for activity in SW Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle. In no time a tornado watch was issued for a broad area of Texas and Oklahoma.
We spent much of the day in the car driving, tracking, and chasing.
By early evening, we began to see slight rotation from a supercell in Elmer, Oklahoma. We pulled over onto the side of the road to study the structure. In less than 5 minutes rotation picked up, a wall cloud became visible, and an enormous tornado touched down a little less than 3 miles in front of us closing in fast.
We ran to the car, hit the road, and drove north of the storm. As we hurried to our next location, baseball sized hail slammed into our van, denting the exterior and smashing our windshield.
We made it a safe distance from the tornado, got out of the van, and watched the tornado churn through Elmer. Large hail became visible within the supercell, showing a beautiful aquamarine color.
As the tornado continued to move in our direction once again we hit the road. Large hail, 70+mph winds and heavy downpours continued for another 45 minutes. As we drove west to investigate other tornado warned areas, we encountered a semi truck run off the road, multiple cars pulled over, and road signs at a 45° angle from wind damage.
I'll post more updates from today's tornado as they come in on my Facebook page: Kaitlyn McGrath Live 5 News