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2010 Chase Accounts

April 5, 2010

I chased the dryline in Central Kansas today. The cap was too strong to be overcome and nothing significant was observed. I stayed in Wichita overnight for the next days chase. 

April 6, 2010

I left Wichita this morning, and headed South where agitated cumulus began to bubble. I traveled to Blackwell Oklahoma and then West on Highway 11 to Medford. I watched towering cumulus hit the cap, then die out numerous times. After about 20 minutes, the cumulus skyrocketed and formed pileus and blasted right through the cap. This happened multiple times, but the towers were unable to survive and quickly went back below the cap layer. We observed these storms for a couple of hours and followed them NE on US 81. Eventually I decided to call it a day and head back home realizing that storms would not be able to sustain themselves. During the trip back South I observed strong storms form just North of Oklahoma City. One formed a very small hook, and within this region I observed a wall cloud with rain wrapping around it. The entire storm was rotating and had a beautiful spiral feature. After about 5 minutes the wall cloud dissipated and the storm grew into a line segment. As I continued South I observed very brief pea size hail. We continued the trip home and bumped into David Drummond and some others on a scenic lookout in the Arbuckle mountains. Nothing else significant was observed today. 

May 10, 2010

Today I chased with Meteorologist Bob Goosmann as well as friends Jeremy Wilson and Jay Urish. Today had a very high probability of large, violent and long track tornadoes. The Storm Prediction Center put a categorical High Risk centered right over Tulsa , which spelled bad news for lots of Oklahomans. We started the day sitting in Guthrie , Oklahoma pouring over forecast models. It appeared the dryline was a little further West than planned today, which was good for us since it put us in more chase-friendly topography. The warm front was racing North making dewpoints in Central and Southern Oklahoma skyrocket. We decided to go West on Oklahoma Road 33 out of Guthrie towards Kingfisher. While traveling West we observe storms rapidly form to our West and Northwest. We flew North on 81 through Dover and into Hennessey , Oklahoma . While traveling North on 81 we observed funnels drop multiple times. These funnels almost looked like little fingers, and were very high based.  We continued to race this storm by moving East on 51, stair stepping our way along. We went North on I35 then East on 412 into Perry where we observed quarter size hail. The storm we were on was moving into non-chaseable terrain and several rivers made repositioning difficult. With the storm speed we were unable to keep up. We continued to move East on 412 and watch the storm to our North where we observed a tube funnel extend half way to the ground and then disappear quickly. Again, this was very high based. We decided to drop back south and catch up with the storms further south pushing off the dryline. We took 177 to Perkins, then east on 33. We went back South on 18, where we happened to pass a deployed sticknet probe shortly after the VORTEX2 crew had placed it (Not the place you want to be after they drop the probe and try to get away from it as fast as they can.) We continued South all the way to Shawnee on I40 then followed 3 distinct supercells with tornado warnings trekking along I40. Along I40 we observed multiple wall clouds and a funnel near the town of Wilson . We continued to watch a rotating storm to our North while traveling East. The wall cloud on this storm was almost hugging the ground by this point. When we arrived in Henryetta the storms had almost lost their supercellular characteristics so we went South on the Indian Nation Turnpike. While on the turnpike a line of storms with embedded tornado warnings passed to our South. We pulled over and let the area of rotation pass in front of us while we watched the rain and wind shift directions. This was the end of our chase day. No tornadoes today and 50-80 mile-per-hour storms led to a frustrating day. It was nice to be back out chasing, maybe better luck next time.

Storm Structure in Oklahoma - Rain Free Base    Storm Chaser Vehicle and Rain Free Base in Oklahoma Left: Rain Free Base, Right: Storm Chase Vehicle and Rain Shaft

Back end of the anvil    Bob Goosmann Left: Anvil forming, Right: Bob Goosmann

Bob watching storm development    Wall cloud attempting to put down a funnel  Left: Bob Goosmann, Right: Wall cloud

May 19, 2010

Today I chased with Meteorologist Bob Goosmann. We started the day late, leaving the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex around 1230PM. We originally targeted Clinton Oklahoma, but with the dryline forecasted a little further East. We broke off 287 and went North on 81 through Duncan and Chickasha. We ended up in Guthrie Oklahoma with storms already active. We sat just South of Guthrie on I35 watching a tornado warned thunderstorm to our West moving East at 35MPH. The tornado was heavily rain-wrapped, but we could see the storm rotating and the striations. We could see the rotating wall cloud emerge from the rain and disappear back into the curtain. We went  south out of Guthrie as the hook region passed through the town. The sirens in town were sounding, but the tornado had already lifted. We measured nickel size hail, torrential rain and noticed strong winds. These winds were probably associated with the RFD. Lots of nice structure today, but no tornado. Nothing else significant was observed. 

Storm Structure in Oklahoma - Guthrie    Setting up TV equipment for the approaching tornado Left: Rotating Storm in Guthrie, OK, Right: Setting up TV camera

Approaching Shelf Cloud    Approaching Shelf Cloud - Guthrie Oklahoma Left and Right: Approaching Shelf Cloud

May 20, 2010

Today the chase was local, and it panned out well. I left home around 1245 and headed for the southern Dallas County line. I went south on loop 12 to spur 408. I passed through small hail and saw what appeared to be a very high-based and ragged wall cloud. I stopped at the split of Spur 408 and Interstate 20 and watched a tornado quickly develop. This tornado started off with a large rope / curved stovepipe look before weakening dramatically. I observed this tornado from approximately 15 miles. I quickly began to turn in reports to the Dallas County RACES net as well as make reports back to the TV station. The tornado remained a moderate rope for the majority of its life and lasted approximately 10 minutes while passing through the town of Midlothian. The tornado lifted and dropped 3 times. As it slowly moved to the East, the tornado weakened and roped out before the storm base became wrapped in rain. The tornado remained in open fields and did no damage to structures. Successful and short day. 

Tornado in Midlothian, Texas    Midlothian, Texas Tornado Left and Right: Midlothian, Texas tornado

Midlothian, Texas Tornado   Left: Tornado in Midlothian Texas

May 23, 2010

Today I chased with Jessica Trober and Dave Fick. Our target today was Northwest Kansas. We went west out of Salina on 70 and passed through Hays, and into Colby. Around 1Z storms began to rapidly become Severe. We turned around and went back East to Oakley and then South on US83  towards Scott City. Here we observed a very large rotating wall cloud to our West. The wall cloud was scraping the ground, and could very well have had a brief spin up underneath. Approximately 5 minutes later we observed a tornado near Russell Springs. This lifted and touched back down 5 times. We went North on 83 and back west on 70 to get closer to the tornado. By the time we got back to Interstate 70 the tornado had lifted. We went west to Goodland where a new Tornado Warning was issued. Here we observed another small tornado with rapid lower level rotation. The storm crossed 70 and continued to the North.  We followed it  North out of Goodland and chased a HP supercell with an embedded large tornado. We went East on 36 to Bird City and North on 27 to Wheeler. We followed this storm that contained a large and dangerous tornado for 30 miles. The storm began to lose its supercellular characteristics so we called the chase off.  We stayed in McCook, Nebraska overnight to stage for tomorrows chase. 

Me and Jessica    Jessica and I watching storm initiation in Kansas Left and Right: Jessica and I watching storm Initiation. 

Wilson shows us where to go    This is where Wilson says to go Left and right: Wilson shows us where to go. 

Jessica and I watching storm development    Tornado Lowering near Dodge City, Kansas  Left: Jessica and I, Right: Dodge City, KS Tornado

Large developing tornado near Russle Springs, Kansas    Large developing tornado near Russell Springs, Kansas   Left and Right: Sherman County, Kansas Tornado.

Tornado near Russell Springs, Kansas
    Tornad near Russell Springs, Kansas     Left and Right: Sherman County, KS Tornado. 

May 24, 2010

Today Jessica, Dave and I chased Nebraska and South Dakota. Today, once again, had early storm initiation. We traveled North on 83 through North Platte. We notice storms beginning to fire on radar to our West in the Nebraska panhandle. We flew West on 80 then Northeast on 385 towards Scottsbluff and up into Alliance. We quickly jumped onto a tornado warned storm as it passed just North of Alliance. We observed very low hanging clouds and a possible rotating wall cloud on the forward flank of the storm. Shortly after storm passage we measured 53 MPH winds and nickel size hail. We also observed a brief rotating funnel at this location. We continued to follow the storms North into Chadron and into South Dakota. We went East on 18 to stay ahead of the now bowing line segment. We eventually went South on 391 back into Nebraska and ended the chase since all the storms were linear by now. We went into Wyoming and stayed in Cheyenne overnight to stage for tomorrows Southeast Colorado chase. Nothing else significant was observed.

Jessica watching rotating scud    Dave Fick watching the storms Left: Jessica Trober, Right: David Fick

Dave Fick    We found a rest stop.. Left: David Fick after frontal Passage, Right: Jessica and I at a "rest stop"

Post frontal passage structure    Amazing sunset photo  Left and Right: Sunset Glamor. 

Funnel Cloud in Kansas
    Left: Funnel Cloud in South Dakota.

May 25, 2010

Today Dave, Jessica and myself targeted Southeast Colorado. We left Cheyenne, WY around 9AM and headed for Pueblo Colorado. When we arrived in Pueblo we stopped at the local Weather Forecast Office to discuss with the meteorologists there. Shortly after we left Pueblo storms began to fire in far Western Kansas. We shot east on US 50 through La Junta, and on to Lamar. Storms quickly went tornado warned to our North. The structure was very impressive, but the storm tops were incredibly low. We watched the storms from about 15 miles away, and observed a large tornado for about 5 minutes before it became obscured by rain. We went North out of Granada on US 385 through Sheridan Lake and Northeast onto Cheyenne Wells where another storm had just gone tornadic. While on 385 we passed the Vortex 2 armada gathering data and doing transects on the current storm. We also passed what I believe was the Smart-R DOW. While on 385 just north of Sheridan Lake we observed 2 small rope tornadoes. We continued North to race around the storm for better position. We went East on 40 through Oakley and onto 70. To our immediate south was a very large tornadic storm with a large VIL return and massive hook echo on radar. We continued East and were able to wrap our way around the NE quadrant of the storm. Here for about 7 minutes we observe another large tornado from about 10-15 miles away. I immediately sent in my observations to DDC on the NWSChat software and within a minute a tornado warning was issued containing a large and violent tornado. What a great feeling knowing we were able to help the public and increase lead time! We continued South on 283 to get on the Southeast side of the storm. We had a perfect view of the storm base and observed a large bell lowering obscured heavily by rain. The tornado had lifted and the storm quickly formed a massive shelf cloud. The storm remained tornado warned. We continued South and let the rotation and hail core pass to our North. While sitting in the southern end of the core we measured 52 MPH sustained winds and pea size hail. We had lost daylight and the storm wasn't as impressive as earlier so we called the chase off and headed towards Dodge City for the night. 8 tornadoes in 3 days ended a successful week of chasing for the 3 of us.

Quick Stop in Colorado - David Fick    Quick stop in Colorado - Jessica and I Left: Dave Fick and Pikes Peak, Right: Jessica and I at Pikes Peak. 

Jessica Trober driving us to our target area    VORTEX 2 Mobile Mesonet studying a storm near Tribune, Kansas Left: Jessica Driving, Right: VORTEX 2 Mobile Mesonet

VORTEX2 Mobile Mesonet Studying a storm near Tribune, Kansas    Storm Structure near Tribune, Kansas  Left: VORTEX 2 Mobile Mesonet Right: Storm Structure near Grove, Kansas. 

Storm Structure near Tribune, Kansas
    Strong rotating thunderstorm near Grove, Kansas Left and Right: Structure near Grove, Kansas. 

Tornado near Tribune, Kansas    Tornado near Tribune, Kansas Left and Right: Tribune Kansas Tornado

Large tornado near Grove, Kansas    Large tornado near Grove, Kansas  Left and Right: Large tornado near Grove, Kansas. 

Wedge Tornado South of Chivington, Kansas    Wedge Tornado south of Chivington, Kansas Left and Right: Wedge Tornado near Cheyenne Wells, Kansas. 

Grove, Kansas Tornado on Radar. We are the white circle    Grove, Kansas radar. We are the white circle.. Cutting it close! Left and Right: Grove Kansas Radar. We are the white circle. Cutting it close! 

May 26, 2010

Down Day.... Passed through Greensburg, Kansas and Wakita, Oklahoma... 

Twister Museum in Wakita, Oklahoma    Me posing with Dorthy from Twister  Left and Right: Twister Museum.

Jessica and I with Dorthy    Posing in front of the Wakita, Kansas water tower Left: Twister Museum, Right: Wakita, Oklahoma water tower.