Thats right, southern Kansas.
We abandoned our northern target to play the southern target. The problem I have is once Im out there, I tell myself "its only a little bit further" and I forget I have a long drive back to Chicago once its all said and done. About 2 hours into our changed plans, SPC updrades to MDT risk as we drive down there. High Fives all around and confidence is up high. But alas, no tornadoes. Another thing I know but like to deny...SPC are not the all knowing gods of severe weather. In the end our northern target saw storms as well, so the original forecast was still good. Though they were less concentrated than the south.
The sun slowly rises in Iowa and we find ourselves driving through crapvection.
We finally make it to Kansas and decide to play the waiting game around Fredonia. Iniation took place around OKC and storms quickly became severe and started racing off to the NE. They would eventually track through where we were but we were concerned they would be linear by then so the decision was made to go after them.
Starting to see them as we approach.
We got down to hwy 166 and headed west, just as the 1st storm of a bunch went tornado warned. We stopped along the highway and the CG activity really picked up, it was one of the most intense CG barages Ive experiences, 4 strikes within 100 yards of us..including one that was probably less than 30, jolted us within a minute. I wish I had the camera rolling.
Looking west towards the tornado warned storm, at a ragged wall cloud partially embedded in a precip core.
The storm started looking outflowish, and then the winds turned outflowish as well. I had very little confidence in the storm producing, so rather than staying out ahead of it I mad us at least sit to sample the core. If im not going to get a tornado, then I opt for cores.
Yea I was not impressed by that, but driving along the leading edge of the precip shaft was really neat. Like driving under a moving waterfall. We decided to stay ahead of the storm after that. The precip shaft was very well defined now behind a classic outflow feature called a whales mouth
I really like that picture. Anyways, the next storm in the bunch went tornado warned as well. It had a better presentation on radar visually, but I still wasnt to confident. For some reason I just get a feeling for when I feel the enviroment is going to produce, I get a feeling of excitement/nervousness...I just wasnt feeling it this time. The storms were all bark and no bite...but we had to stay on them...the weather likes to prove me wrong sometimes.
But it was more of the same the whole time. Whales mouth infront of a well defined precip shaft. Tornadic potential = almost zero. Although theyre still pretty to look at.
Trying difference camera settings here...shoulda tri-poded them
This one sort of confused us, it looks like there was a wall cloud back there on the 2nd tornado warned storm, but the big whales mouth along with the outflow winds were the dominant story. I knew better but at the same time, you just never know with the weather.
Awesome hail core on the 2nd storm
Well we decided to leave these storms and call it a chase, stopped for Sonics [yummy!] in Independance, KS and headed home. This will likely be the last chase of 2008, even though Im keeping an eye on the next trough lol. It felt great to be in the action of some tornadic storms again, though the tornadic potential was very brief. The intense CG action along with the brief overrun by the core made it a fun and worthwhile chase.
We met up with fellow chasers Dick Mcgowan, Darnin Brunin and others from their crew. Ive always had some respect for these guys and the shots they get in the field, it was awesome to meet and chat with them in person finally.
See everyone in 2009!
Largest hail: pea .25"
Highest wind: est 40mph.
Chased with: Danny Neal and Matt Fischer
Google Map of chase: larger view can be seen by clicking the link below it:
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