Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Stormy Wednesday

A humid airmass across the UK, along with patchy June sunshine, an approaching upper trough, and various convergence zones, has allowed numerous showers and thunderstorms to develop across England and Wales, specifically from Wales to E Anglia. With some orographic assistance, central Wales has seen the most numerous lightning strikes.

With the steep low-level lapse rates, any vorticity along convergence zones/outflow boundaries could well get ingested and spun up into a brief funnel or weak tornado. To that end I have issued, on behalf of TORRO, a convective discussion - see here.

So, if you see a funnel/tornado, let me know!

Thursday, 4 June 2009


We're back home now safely - the trip was fun, and although we didn't see any tornadoes, we saw some great storms, and had a laugh along the way!


Just a note to say we got home OK yesterday - spent today sleeping and recovering from the jet lag!

It was a great trip - although the storms were not the type we were after generally, we still saw quite a few storms, and had a laugh along the way!

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

At the airport

Now at Denver Int Airport - just waiting around for our flight now. Brief excitement a few seconds ago as screams echoed out across the concourse - a woman screaming, "Get him off me!" - it really sounded like someone was being stabbed to death. However, it was actually someone being cuffed by the cops, perhaps on suspicion of nicking something from a shop.

Still, it did sound horrific for a second, and most people sat in the eating area where we are got up for a look. Helen has just returned (it wasn't her being nicked), and heard nothing!

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Time to go home!


We're just about to leave our motel in N Platte, NE, for the final push to Denver, and our flight home!

North Platte


We're now in North Platte, Nebraska. Although it's 1.34am, we're still up, sorting out our cases ready for the flight back home tomorrow.

A decent last day's chasing

Our initial target of Hebron, Nebraska, worked out rather nicely. Storms fired to our south, in Kansas, in some very hot and unstable air. Mid-level cloud had suppressed convection around our area, but the clouds moved away. A storm quickly developed just to our SW, and before it had even started precipitating it was rumbling away. We spole with Rocky R and Charles E from Cloud 9 tours.

We let this develop, and then once it started precipitating, we headed into it to briefly sample the core. There was some pea sized hail in there.

We then headed back to the east, and started seeing the Vortex 2 armada passing us. After a while, we got into a good spot, with the original storm to our west (having briefly shown some nice structure). The storms to our south were pushing a strong gust front up from the south, and this was beginning to cut into our storm's updraught. This looked very pretty, and for a brief time I wondered whether we might get a brief spin up during the cell merger, but this was not to be. The storms were pumping out CG lightning every 20 seconds or so, to our SW.

After 15 mins or so, the approaching rain/hail core forced us to head east, although it overtook us around the town of Fairbury. Some pea to marble size hail fell, with frequent lightning, and it was pretty dark.

We then headed north, and got out of the storms, before turning east. We paused for a quick break in Crete, before moving to the east and letting the core move over. This brought fairly strong winds and torrential rain, as well as some close CGs.

We then booked our motel rooms for the night, in North Platte, and are now heading west on I-80. There are still 191 miles to go! Then there's another 230 -ish miles to do tomorrow, to Denver. However, we don't have to be there until 5pm or so.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Last chase day ahead!

Morning! We're still in Lincoln, NE - the storms kept going past 3am local time, so plenty of coffee required this morning!

We look to be in a reasonably good place for today's action - we need to be along or just north of a stationary front, and this seems to be fairly close by.

Matt has taken some great lightning shots, including a number yesterday.

See his Flikr page

Ian has also taken some great shots:

Partial success!

Well our punt on Nebraska partially paid off - we got some nice storms, and they were severe warned for a time. High based storms were the order of the day, and they were highly tilteds/sheared, and perhaps supercellular for a time.

We headed east to follow them (after checking into our motel in Lincoln, Nebraska), and ended up just over the border in Iowa. We parked up and watched various storms develop very close by and then move away to the ENE. These produced some very nice lightning.

We eventually headed back towards Lincoln, but a new line of storms developed to our north, spewing out almost constant lightning. We stopped and watched these for a while.

We eventully got back to Lincoln, and this line of storms weakened. However, as I type this, a new line has developed to our north - out of our north facing motel window, lightning is almost constantly flickering!

This image shows our position (in the red circle), and the line of storms to our north, just a few mins ago.