Apr 302010

Sunday, 2 May

We chased yesterday (Saturday) in east central Arkansas and saw several supercells.  None were tornadic while we were near them.  Although, we did see a large wall cloud and an amazing beavers tail on a supercell late in the afternoon north of I-40 (northeast of Brinkley) before the main show began south of I-40 in the evening.  This storm struggled with the CAP during it’s short life.  But, for about 15 minutes it seemed to have broken the CAP and was getting ready to produce a tornado.

Overall, it was a fun chase and nice to see some beautiful supercells and lightning after dark.   The terrain was flat with not that many trees, and the road network is great.  Most of the day it looked like we were chasing somewhere in the Great Plains, no in Arkansas, which was very nice.

After dark we decided to drive to middle Tennessee to document historic flooding.  The next chase opportunity won’t be for a few days…


Saturday, 1 May

We are headed to eastern Arkansas.  The tornado potential looks big along the boundary.  The one problem is the lack of any significant CAP.  So, storms will tend to fire early and be widespread, but the shear and instability should be adequate to produce tornadic supercells.  There may even be a violent tornado if things come together just right.


Friday, 30 April 2010

My wife and I left Connecticut Tuesday evening (April 27) for an extended chase vacation.  I had my eyes on Thursday (April 29) across Kansas for the initial chase, but most of the following week appeared to hold plenty of chase opportunities.  So we got in the car and left.

After a lot of stress, driving, sleep deprivation, road constructions, car accidents, delays and pain, we finally made it to the local library in Wellington, Kansas Thursday afternoon.  There, we were able to check data and be away from the car for a little bit.  We met up with Simon and a few other chasers there as well.  I liked the dryline setup across south central Kansas and stuck with that target.  Unfortunately, the cap was just too strong and no supercells formed in that region.  Storms did fire much further north near the Nebraska border, but the low level shear wasn’t nearly as impressive as our region and no tornadoes were reported.

We ended up spending the night at a friend’s house in Wichita that night (Thursday).  I considered driving through the night to get into position somewhere in eastern Missouri or possibly Arkansas for Friday’s setup.  But the body can only handle so much and I needed some real sleep – finally.  Plus, it’s really hard to get excited about chasing in potentially hilly terrain with horrible roads and lots of trees.

Now it’s Friday evening, I’m in Norman, and I’m waiting for the computer models to update so I can decide whether I’m chasing somewhere tomorrow or not.  If I am, it’s either going to be in eastern Arkansas or somewhere in central Texas.

After that, it looks like there will be two or three days without anything to chase across the Plains/Mississippi Valley.  But by mid and late next week the European model brings a serious of troughs across the Rockies and into the Plains.  This should provide at least one good chase day, and hopefully one or two others that are decent, Wed – Fri.

That’s all for now.

- Jim

  One Response to “Storm Chasing Vacation”

  1. Good. I’m glad you guys are chasing the high risk. I hope you are able to capture some incredible stuff. . . though I don’t need to hope, Stormgasm does it all.

    Stay safe… and bring back some awesome footage to show me! :)

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