Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Sunflower State - and a painful ankle

Hello! Today was a positioning day. We drove from Amarillo to Hays, Kansas. This is about 350 miles, give or take - more give I think! This was in anticipation of severe thunderstorms tomorrow across portions of south Nebraska, and possibly N Central Kansas. A strong capping inversion has overspread the Plains, and low-level moisture remains meagre by late May standards. Even so, an approaching upper system, strong low-level heating, and persistent convergence along a cold frontal boundary should initiate at least isolated convection. The magnitude of the shear suggests supercells will be possible, and with very steep mid-level lapse rates, some very large hail may develop, along with strong winds. A tornado is possible, but like recent days, it will be down to very local storm-scale processes if one can occur. Of course, most tornadoes probably develop from storm-scale processes, but on some days the wider environment can also be very conducive to tornadic development - tomorrow is likely not one of these.

As for today, though - nothing of much note occurred other than enjoying the Plains scenery, which is generally quite verdant at the moment given some recent rain.

Early in the drive, as we were getting out of Amarillo we stopped for petrol. I cleaned the windscreen and the Go Pro captured this. What was most annoying, and painful, was the fact there in front of the car, a dip several inches deep in the tarmac was present. I didn't see this, and put the whole of my not unsubstantial weight onto my left foot, which was on the edge of this dip, and rolled over on my ankle - ouch! The image below shows the immediate facial aftermath - I'm quite surprised I didn't beat the entire front of the car and windscreen in with the windscreen scraper thing, but I'm on holiday, so I'm fairly chilled out!

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