I’m in Virginia, monitoring the May group’s progress from afar, while awaiting the opportunity to co-lead the second trip beginning May 30. The May team has had lots of long days and nights and little time to update the blog. Here’s a short update:
* Wednesday: Cap bust in central Oklahoma. A layer of warm air aloft did not allow storms to develop. A tornado watch was issued, but quickly lifted.
* Thursday: Storm chase in Kansas, from Pratt north to Salina area. They were on several severe-warned storms, but the storms were very murky with low clouds and rain, and showed little of the structure we seek in Plains storms.
* Friday: Very good chase of series of small but potent supercells in southern Kansas, from Greensburg area (yep, that Greensburg, the one that was wiped out in an EF5 in 2007) to west of Wichita. They followed one storm cell for about 4 hours, once again passing through the Pratt area. The team encountered a couple of rear-flank downdrafts (blasts of wind out of the back of rotating storms) and a little hail, and also viewed wall clouds (lowerings that are sometimes the precursors to tornadoes) along with photogenic supercell structure. The day ended with a spectacular sunset as the sun went down underneath storm clouds from a severe-warned storm.
Today (Saturday, 5/21), the chasers are in Nebraska as another severe weather situation appears to be developing.
— Kevin Myatt