Month: June 2011

20 Jun

June 20, 2011 – Stamford & Pleasanton, Nebraska Tornadoes

stratosigma / Blog, Storm Chasing / / Comments

Started the day in Kearney, Nebraska and picked up L.B. LaForce for the chase as his father had to get back to Michigan. We loitered around the hotel parking lot for a while, along with Rob Hurkes, while we waited for something to draw out attention.  A surface low was expected to track across Kansas, slowly northeastward and with easterly surface winds northeast of the low was setting the stage for crazy low level helicity to get the atmosphere spinning…just could the storms stay discrete?
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19 Jun

June 19, 2011 – Colorado / Nebraska

stratosigma / Blog, Storm Chasing / / Comments

I had driven from Michigan to west of Lincoln, Nebraska the previous evening and upon awaking found that I still had a bit of a drive to get to where I wanted to be for the day.  A 300mb jet streak was rounding the base of a deep upper trough centered over Utah and punching into Eastern Colorado to help setup the show for the day.  I left Seward, NE shortly after 14z and began my westward trek down I-80 towards Julesburg.
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02 Jun

June 2, 2011 – Beautiful South Dakota

stratosigma / Blog, Storm Chasing / / Comments

Ah, to be in South Dakota again! A strong trough was expected to move from the Rockies to the Northern Plains which would nudge the cold front eastward across the western Dakotas providing focus for storms to my north. Meanwhile a warm front draped from North Dakota down into Iowa and Missouri would provide a focus for storms to my east.  I opted to play the cold front as the warm sector would be flooded with ML CAPE near the 4,000 J/Kg range along with strong low level winds and curved hodographs would set the stage for a potentially decent severe weather threat.
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01 Jun

June 1, 2011 – Stockton, Kansas

stratosigma / Blog, Storm Chasing / / Comments

Convergence along a lee trough was expected to trigger scattered thunderstorms from New Mexico to Nebraska.  Southwesterly flow from 500mb up juxtaposed over southerly flow in the low levels would create an environment supportive of supercells while the large CAPE would promote large hail while large low level shear and high helicity would promote possible tornadic activity.  I awoke in Sioux Falls, SD and wished I had at least driven a little south the day before, but I spent the 31st resting and relaxing.  Anyway, I left Sioux Falls at 1340z and made my way down to my target area of Norton, KS.
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