For the couple of days on this trip we’ve been in Nebraska, it’s been kinda fun for us as far as the local folks go. As you may remember, the VT Football team dealt Nebraska a nice blow at home in Lincoln this past season. Every once in a while a truck passes with a big Nebraska Cornhuskers “N” in the back window, with the driver giving us a dirty look. Many times when we’ve stopped, people have come up to us and talked football, constantly saying “we’re better this year, we’ll get y’all!” I guess they fail to realize we’ve improved as well, and they’ll be coming to Lane Stadium. Nonetheless, it’s been quite entertaining
What hasn’t been so entertaining is the weather. Perhaps it’s karma that Nebraska wasn’t very productive at all for us early in the trip. Today was no different. In fact, in my two years chasing, I’ve been to Nebraska three times and busted every single time. Needless to say I’m not too fond of chasing in Nebraska anymore. This blow comes after a very uplifting day yesterday as the reduced-sized chase crew moved into Missouri, looking at new models along the way. The models continued to indicate one of the best patterns we’ve seen yet, and a pretty decent pattern in general for today. Excitement reached a max when around 6 pm we read the Forecast Discussion from the NWS Omaha, which mentioned supercells with low cloud heights and rotating storm updrafts. Not only did this give us hope for tornadoes, but it gave us the impression we might be dealing with some monsters, otherwise known as wedge tornadoes. These kinds of tornadoes are rare, and are typically the most destructive types of tornadoes. To be able to chase one certainly places one in a rare class of chasers.
But alas, it didn’t happen. Instead of watching one of the premier examples of Mother Nature’s full fury, we watched some puffy cumulus clouds drift south all day, starved of the moisture they needed to form thunderstorms. We settled in early at our hotel of choice it seems this trip, Super 8, in Belleville, KS, a small town in north central Kansas near the Nebraska border. Tomorrow we’re heading east, looking to maybe chase some in central Missouri. Other than a possible shot in Iowa on Sunday, tomorrow marks our slow retreat home as we have to be back by Wednesday midday. While we all still hope we can smash one more chase out of the ball park, we at least can go home with the memory of the stellar Decatur, TX intercept, and know we were the ONLY chasers on that storm at its peak, and may have the only photographs of the possible funnel cloud the storm produced.
From the Super 8 in Belleville, KS, this is Andrew Smith wishing you all goodnight and have a great weekend.