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Me and my wife were actually heading to Fort Smith to do some shopping and so this definately wasnt planned. While it wasnt planned at least I WAS prepared as I had brought most all of my gear. I tend to bring most of my gear all the time these days as I am really paranoid of seeing something while away from home and gear and not being able to do anything about it.
I first talked my wife into heading past Fort Smith and so I could take a peek at a storm that had just popped up west of there. On the way the storm actually started to show some organization and this year in western Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma thats a big deal for me! So we continued further west to Muldrow, Oklahoma and while coming into town we emerged from the heavy rain core and saw this!
You can see the nice updraft tower and hints of rotation. I guess it was more than a hint as the clouds rushing into the side of it were obvious even at this distance. We headed north from Muldrow and for the next 10 minutes or so we struggled through the mountains north of there. When we finally were able to see anything again we were right in on the storm. The updraft and wall cloud were obviously nearly fully rain wrapped and luckily we had emerged right into the only area you could still see. Almost as soon as we emerged and just before I had my camera ready a obvious funnel cloud came down about 1/3 of the way down to the ground. It did a little twist and was pulled back up. This picture below was moments after the funnel had risen back up.
The storm then emerged out of the rain core somehow still intact.
Then the rain to the left side of the wall cloud really picked up and an impressive rain foot formed.
A new wall cloud formed just to the left of the rain core as that rain core disspated.
We then abadoned this storm as it was heading into more mountainous areas in favor of storms back towards Fort Smith. We entered the heavy rain at Van Buren and as we emerged a few miles west of Alma we saw another wall cloud.
The vertical motion on this wall cloud was nice and a ill defined tail cloud formed on the left side. We then got right up to the thing since we were stuck on the interstate and at Alma we headed north. Unfortunately, the storm was a bit further south and moving more eastward than I thought so this didnt do anything except send us into heavy rain and strong winds (out of the north!).
The storm started to go linear with a outflow boundary pushing just out ahead of it but on the way home staying just in front we did see some elevated rotation north of Mulberry, AR.
After getting home and resting for a bit I got another neat surprise. A shelf cloud came over and the bottom of the shelf cloud was lower than we are.