Sunday, 22 May 2011

Amazing chase day!

The day started overcast in Salina, Kansas, but the sunshine soon developed. We left our hotel around 11am and headed north to I-70 before heading east. We stopped for lunch at a Subway at Maple Hill. We spent a couple of hours there awaiting convective developments as the atmosphere continued to warm. Convection started to bubble to our west by late afternoon and we headed just south of town to see a developing couple of cells to our south. We watched these for 15-20 mins or so before heading back to the Interstate. We didn't want to be on the north side should these cells become supercells.

We continued eastwards until we reached the junction with highway 4, just west of Topeka. We dropped southwards and then parked up to observe two updraughts: one to our WSW and one to our NW. The southern one looked more interesting, and it wasn't long before marble sized hail began to fall. Then it got towards ping-pong size and we decided to drop south out of the core. Twin wall clouds were to our west, and so we stopped again.

The southern wall cloud looked more interesting and we managed (not especially wisely) to let it pass right over us, with funnels forming at times. The RFD started to kick in more and as the wall cloud moved east of us, the rotation became more concentrated.

Further funnels developed at times as we criss-crossed through Topeka to the north before heading east again. We saw some minor tree damage in southern Topeka, probably from the RFD.

We continued east on highway 24 towards Perry with a new wall cloud taking shape to our east. At least one of the funnels was reported as a tornado during this time - before we fully claim our tornado we'll have to check other reports, etc, to see at which point it touched down, as we weren't close enough to see touchdown.

We ended up heading north towards Oskaloosa. We watched the storm move east, now outflow dominant, with other storms producing frequent lightning to our north.

We booked a room in Lansing - I think it was the last one left at this hotel! We ate dinner at Applebee's - other chasers were there too - I think it was the Twistex crew.

Got back to the hotel and picked up the phone to ask reception what the Wifi code is. Decided to check welcome pack one more time first so put phone back down. A few seconds later the receptionist rang to say had I dialled 911 - I said no. However, the police had to come along anyway! I explained to the officer that I'd not touched any numbers - he was fine with it. Now I'm not going near that phone again!

It was a great chase day - we placed ourselves pretty much exactly where we needed to be.

Video will have to wait until we check into a motel with a faster internet speed to upload!

1 comment:

  1. Nice one Paul! I can't wait to see the photos!

    LOL, the dreaded 911 mistake strikes again!

    I hope you guys are having a great time - stay safe and good luck for the rest of your trip.