High Hopes, Low Convectivity

23/02/2019 Posted by admin

Yesterday was a very promising day which was a pleasant surprise, as all the models were suggesting the highest threat of severe weather would occur today on May 19, 2011. We started out in North Platte, NE and headed south for our original destination which was Dodge City, KS hoping to get an idea of where the storm may fire up for the next day…then we saw some cloud tops on the satellite that were impressive off a trough of low pressure in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado that were headed closer to Woodward, Oklahoma. It was there were we thought we might intercept the storm that was headed north east. Once arriving there, we decided to drive to where we saw a large clearing on the satellite. This would provide more solar radiation (sunshine) that could enhance our instability helping to develop stronger supercells. We saw some impressive towering cumulus, but nothing got going because their was also a cirrus veil (high cloud cover) that developed as the jet stream picked up some upper level moisture and dragged it SW to NE and brought in a big hinderance. It was described to me by Dallas Hicks as turning off an oven when you are seeking convection.

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We did however meet up with some storm chasers from all over the world and got some great interviews with them about everything from hotel stays, to road food, to the most powerful and lethal tornado of 2011 April 27 Tuscaloosa, Alabama. This was an incredible interview that will run in a set of feature stories on Global Regina in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

We also had a very funny thing happen to us. We stopped for gas in Buffalo, OK and Greg Johnson said to me “ok the gas is pumped, we are ready to go”. I said “I need to use the restroom.”..it was my time to pay for gas and I walked in to gas station to the restroom, walked out and back to the car without paying! At this time we noticed that the storm chase team for The Weather Channel TV show called “Tornado Hunt” was driving by with their Doppler truck and we thought it was a great idea to follow them closely because we were heading towards the same cell. We were speeding down the road when all of the sudden a state trooper pulls us over. I thought it would be for speeding for sure. When he approached the vehicle he tells us he’s pulling us over because we never paid for our gas in the last town we just drove through!! I apologized to him and asked him if I could call the gas station and work something out. I asked him if he would mind taking $65.00 US from me and dropping the money off to the gas station and he said yes! The next thing you know we are interviewing him about a large EF5 tornado touched down in Greensburg, KS. Great interview. Stupid move though still-I will make sure I double check with Greg about who has payed for the gas at each stop:)

The best part of the day was by far when the first tornado watch went up around Buffalo, OK for the area we were expecting the storms to fire up. It was an exciting feeling to feel like there was something very real about this moment. I cannot imagine what I will feel like when I hear a tornado siren going off. That must sound so erie and must be quite scary. I will let you know because I’m pretty sure I will hear some today. Here is a look at the forecast. Looking good, the SPC ) storm prediction center has put out a tornado probability of 10% so far… We will be heading to Wichita, KS. From this location we can either head towards Enid OK or Salina, KS from this location to intercept these potential cells.


Also here is a link of Greg Johnson talking about yesterday’s chase in the hotel last night.杭州桑拿按摩论坛tornadohunter.ca/tornado-hunter-blog/2011/5/18/day-3-vlog-storms-brewin-for-tomorrow.html

Til next time here is a photos taken by one of our storm chase team members Vanessa Neufeld. Stay tuned for a video that will posted about yesterday’s chase day!

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