Month: May 2011

30 May

May 30, 2011 – O’Neill, Nebraska

As I was about to check in to my hotel the night before this day, the front desk clerk informed me that she needed to go break up a fight. She then proceeded out the front door and began yelling at someone. A few minutes later she came back in and mentioned she would need to call the police. And so began a great stay at the Rodeway Inn in Grand Island, Nebraska.

Anyway, loud air conditioners and crappy wifi aside, we would begin the following morning feeling pretty good about our location. For the start of the day I chased with Brandon Sullivan, Connor McCrorey, Evan Bookbinder, Scott Bennett, Robin Lorenson and a few others.

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29 May

May 29, 2011 – The Lincoln “Super”cell

Another one of those marginal setup days.  A dryline draped across Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma into Texas was supposed to become a bit more defined during the day and push eastward providing potential focus for isolated thunderstorm development. The question mark was how long storms would live once they pushed off the dryline, as the warm sector was pretty well capped. That would be a question we would see answered in spectacular fashion.

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28 May

May 28, 2011 – Colorado Upslope Attempt

This would be my first attempt at chasing upslope in Colorado.  Admittedly, my knowledge in this area is very lacking.  While I’d read up on things like the Denver Convergence and Vorticity Zone, what I knew beyond that, as far as Colorado orographics goes, was limited at best.  The previous day, sweating my ass off in Southwestern Oklahoma, I noticed forecast models showing southeasterly surface winds in Colorado and figured, hey this might be a good opportunity to go after that 2% colorado tornado threat.

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27 May

May 27, 2011 – Baking in Southwest Oklahoma

Spent the 26th as downtime in Springfield, MO.  The 27th was one of those conditional days where most wouldn’t make the drive, but if something went up you’d kick yourself for not going there.  Luckily for me, I was still on vacation, so I had nothing to lose.  A massive 130kt jet streak was plowing across the nation, unfortunately, it was up near Nebraska/South Dakota where the lower atmosphere was pretty worked over from the system that plowed through on the 24th through 26th.

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25 May

May 25, 2011 – Ellsinore, Missouri Tornado

Day 2 of back to back high risks from the SPC.  After our bust in Oklahoma the previous day, I was solo this day.  I awoke in Springfield, Missouri and my early morning forecast dictated that I needed to move east a bit.  Winona, MO was my original target as it had several road options.

Storms were already firing ahead of the front as I drove east on US-60.  I figured with quick storm motions I would need to get east to give any discrete cells time to develop.  After sitting in Winona for a bit I decided to head north to Salem to attempt to get a look at a tornado warned cell in that vicinity.  As I approached town the cells to the north had started to become less discrete.  It was at this time I decided to head back south to a better environment and where cells that were firing were remaining separate.

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