June 19, 2018
South Central Nebraska

Nick Nolte / Blog, Storm Chasing / / 0 Comments / Like this

This wasn’t really an expected chase day for me. I knew storms were expected to form across eastern Colorado but it was a regular workday for me so I wasn’t expecting to go anywhere.

When the 1300z update came out from SPC in the morning it extended the 5% tornado risk area into south central Nebraska. This caught my eye and I kept an eye on things throughout the day.

SPC 13z Day 1 Tornado Probabilities

By 19z a tornado watch was in effect for eastern Colorado and a couple hours later a severe thunderstorm watch was issued for Northern Kansas and south central Nebraska. By the time I got out of work there were a couple of clusters of storms. One was southeast of Grand Island, the other to the southwest.

Hastings radar at 22z with location marked in Grand Island

One of the cells in the southwestern cluster had a tornado warning and I figured traveling west towards that would work out better than trying to catch up to the eastern complex. As I drove west the tornado warnings continued to be issued for the strongest storm of the complex as relative velocities were showing a pretty decent couplet.

Hastings radar showing reflectivity (left) and storm relative velocity (right) at 2239z

My plan was to get off I-80 near Shelton and head south and try to get in in position in front of the storm. I drove in between a couple cells south of Campbell and eventually stopped to take some photos of the stronger storm to the west.

This was the only photo I took of the storm as it closed in pretty quick from the west and now I had to deal with rain on a dirt road that was deteriorating quite a bit. Luckily I made it to US 136 west of Red Cloud just as the road was getting almost impassible from slick mud. I didn’t see any of the tornadoes that were reported but I did find some quarter sized hail. I got off the dirt roads just as the heaviest rain set in and called the chase and began to head home.

Chase Recap

Grand Island, NE @ 19/2204ZGrand Island, NE @ 20/0120Z03 hours, 16 minutes


Chase Map

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