Two days on the road finds us in Beatrice Nebraska. Long days of driving put us rolling through many small towns after dark, making it much more difficult to discern details of each town. Many times I hope for daylight runs through these same towns in order to experience more of them without the limits placed by darkness. Saturday marks our first day of chasing potential. The potential for strong storms is low, but big fish are never caught unless you cast your lure into the water, which is what we will do on Saturday. For the storm chase each year, I find I need storms on a routine basis to focus my attention on the tasks at hand, and not on those things back home far away. Last year I missed my son Ben throwing the opening pitch at a Salem Avalanche game, and this year my wife told me I missed his two triples on a Thursday evening game (the Blacksburg Cubs). So I need the storms to help soften the blow from being so far from home each year.
Hopefully, tomorrow (Saturday), we will get our crack at bat: the environment certainly doesn’t seem likely to support the type of severe storm events we are here to forecast and observe, but some potential is always there. Storm-environment interactions on a scale that cannot be sampled can lead to a more organized storm than previously thought. If there is a stronger cell out there tomorrow, we simply need to find it. I’ll end with a running math problem for Mrs. Deven’s second grade class (my son Ben’s class): day one we travelled 450 miles, and day two 637 miles. How many miles are we away from Blacksburg? More to come later, and hopefully a storm report. -Dave