January 22, Emergency management meeting in Lyons Ks.
I attended my second Em. mang. meeting with the NWS and media, representing KSAL radio. This meeting was a lot larger than last year, especially the NWS offices. There were folks from Wichita, Dodge City, Topeka, Hastings Nebraska and Goodland Ks NWS. Also new to me this year was TV folks from WIBW Topeka. Topics of interest to me were an addition to the risk outlooks put out by the Storm Prediction Center, and some changes maybe coming in the NWS three tiered tornado warnings. It seemed that there was lots of speculation and uncertainty with all this so I'm not sure how it will shake down. Also, the subject of the dastardly storm chaser came up again. Em. Mngt. folks have no love for storm chasers at all. The well has been poisoned. One manager (I think it was the Sumner Co.) abruptly and proudly stated that his law enforcement was going to escort all storm chasers OUT of the county when seen. As I was formulating a rejoinder to that comment, Scott Roberts from KFDI radio took the mic. and looked at the Em. Mnger. and stated "I guess you mean me, since I'm a storm chaser". Silence for a while as that thought sank in. Then the Em. said "I didn't mean local media". And there it was. Here are some of my points and ideas from all of this. 1. Yes, there are storm chaser problems with traffic conjestion when there is one storm in a large area. But this happens in one county once in several years. 2. Half of the problem is undisiplined storm chasers from out of state, trying to get a million dollar shot for the nightly news. The other half of the problem is the county's own locals, who come out to see what they can see and have NOOOO idea what they are doing. I witnessed this April 14 2012 around Salina. 3. Good storm chasers rely on Spotter Network and have ham licence and report what they see. Em. mangt. folks don't know them so rely on their own spotters instead overlooking valuable input. Most seasoned storm chasers are probably more experienced than local spotters are in my opinion. Storm chasers need to stop at the county law enforcement centers and become aquainted with county officials. Also, storm chasers are usually first on scene when weather disasters occurr. A lot of them help out as they can until county officials can get set up. 4. If regulation for storm chasers comes, it will overwhelm law enforcement and keep them from doing the jobs they need to be doing. You will regulate the good storm chasers out of the county while the rouge chasers will still come through the cracks. These are my thoughts. I also see differences in approach to severe coverage from east to west across the state. Eastern Kansas has different issues than the open western half of the state. Another hot topic was using sierons to warn of wind without tornados at lakes where boaters and campers are. I say it's ok as long as it's the lake area being warned. I'm not in favor of blowing the seirons on towns for severe thunderstorm warnings unless there is a cat. derecho coming. I also had great conversations with Larry Ruthi of the Dodge City NWS and the WIBW TV guys. Todd P. from KSAL sat in on this meeting which I think, gave him insight on the warning process objective as well as current thinking from all who work together to save lives from severe weather.
Storm chaser convention at Denver.
Liz and I attended Chasercon last weekend. The convention theme was remembering Tim and Paul Samarus, as well as Carl Young who lost their lives at the El Reno Ok. tornado. The convention was sold out (over 400 attendees)so I got to see many friends as well as making some new friends. I showed video (Bennington tornado) for the first time at video night and that went well. Pictures below.
There was a empty table with 3 chairs set up in honor of Tim, Paul and Carl.
Many of the presentations this year stressed safety in honor of Tim's group.
Picture of Dr. Greg Forbes of The Weather Channel and me posing in the venders room.
Another presentation stressing safety.
Liz helped the Hill's at the registration table Friday and Saturday.
Picture of friend Tom Dolan in front of his booth.
One of the presentations featured the tornado at Bennington.
Not all presentations were serious. Here, Tim Marshall begins his presentation as sharknado.
The oldest living storm chaser, Dave Hoadley from Virginia.
April 2, severe thunderstorms within a severe watch.
SPC had central Kansas on the edge of a slight risk outlook for the day, mainly for hail. I watched storms break the cap on the Kansas/Oklahoma border region as I was rushing to Salina for choir practice. During choir, new elevated storms erupted southwest of McPherson, moving northeast. I left choir and picked up spotter E. Ernst and we headed down I-35. As we were intercepting the McPherson storm, more storms popped up around Lyons. Soon severe warning came for the McP. area storm but we decided to go to Lindsborg to get in front of the intensifying Lyons storms which was moving northeast. Lightning and rain began as we set up one mile west of Lindsborg. The storms seemed to intensify, then decrease then intensify again. During a decreasing phase, pea sized hail fell around, suprising us. Another strong cell moved over and we received hail up to nickel size. I made info calls to Wichita NWS about the hail. Then a severe warning was issued for southeast Saline county for the storm that had just passed over us. We followed, driving through quarter sized hail in the Lindsborg city limits. We tried to keep up with the warned storm taking highway 4 towards Gypsum. We encountered hail completely covering the highway west of Gypsum, leaving tracks on the road. I gave more info reports to the NWS as well as KSN TV. No time during the warning did KSAL do any live coverage. We decided to end the chase as the storm was still ahead of us and moving into Dickenson county. We could not keep up. That was all the severe warned storms in central Kansas.
April 12, severe thunderstorm warning McPherson & Rice counties within a severe thunderstorm watch.
SPC had central Kansas in a slight risk outlook for this day. Temps were in the low 90s with a dew point of 58 with stout south winds. This day was a high cape high cap type of day---all or nothing in a way. I really didn't expect too much but kept a close eye on the dryline and sky conditions. At around 4:30 time frame the Wichita radar showed the dryline real well---southwest from the Salina area and east from Salina forming a triple point just north of Salina. I had noticed some buildup of the cu. north of Salina and sure enough a storm developed. Soon a severe watch was issued for central Kansas stating possible large hail and strong winds. The storm moved to Clay Center and was severe warned as large hail was reported. Then other storms erupted down the dryline southwest of Salina. These storms strengthened so Liz and I took off in the pickup to intercept. A severe warning was issued for Rice and McPherson counties moving northeast so we drove to northwest of McPherson to set up. I conferred with NWS Wichita, as well as spotter E. Ernst who was northeast of our position. KSAL went live coverage which E. Ernst and I gave reports---not much was happening as the storm was weakening with the setting of the sun. The warning was then dropped, KSAL's coverage ended and we went home.
April 27, Severe Thunderstorm warning for McPherson county.
SPC had central Kansas in a slight risk outlook for this day with emphasis on large hail. At 5 am., the weather radio woke me with this warning for quarter sized hail with the storm moving north. Experience tells me that storms usually don't move exactly as the warning text says. If this storm did, it would move into Saline county and KSAL would go live coverage on it. I grabbed clothes and equipment, jumped into the truck and took off to intercept. Further texts on the storm had half dollar hail reported at "Mac." so it looked like Saline county would get in some of the action. As I closed with the storm, radar showed it to be moving more north northeastward. 7 miles west of Gypsum, I drove under the now weakening core that had only pea sized hail and soon the warning was dropped. No more warnings were issued for central Kansas.
May 7, severe thunderstorm warnings in a severe watch.
SPC had a slight risk outlook for central Kansas this day. Storms somewhat unexpectedly broke out along/in front of the dryline from Wichita to Salina. The worst began in the Wichita area. A severe watch was issued from Oklahoma to Salina stating hail and damaging winds. I drove to Salina then south on I-135. The storms had about made it to McPherson flying north-northeast. I charged south and talked to Kody who was behind me. I had him go to Gypsum while I went to the Roxbury area to get in front of the storms. Driving east to Roxbury, I encountered blinding dust, kicked up from the outflow northwest of the storms. At Roxbury, I had nickel hail falling with small tree branches flying. I called the NWS Wichita about this and they extended the warning into southeast Salina county. They also extended the warning up to Abilene. I made a call to KSN, giving Dave an update at this time. KSAL went live coverage which I joined in. I repeated all I saw at Roxbury as well as what was happening at Gypsum. Looking at my laptop radar, I also stated that the brunt of the storm would hit Abilene, especially south Abilene and east of Abilene. Reports of heavy wind damage came in from east of McPherson as well as large hail. The warning for Saline county was dropped as the storms moved swiftly to Abilene. Kody called from Abilene stating large hail laying about the town. This made me feel real good because in the past, we've not covered southeast and eastern Saline county/western Dickenson county very well and I think I gave Abilene 10 minutes to prepare for the storm's arrival. I drove to Salina and ate supper with Liz after she got off work. Kody called stating storms erupted in a line from west of Ellsworth down south of Great Bend. Soon severe warnings were issued for Ellsworth-Barton and Rice counties. I set up on highway 141 north of Kanopolis lake and let the line move in. Vivid lightning and a tiered shelf cloud was observed looking west towards Ellsworth. The line moved over me with no severe criteria observed. A warning was then issued for Saline county. After talking with the NWS and KSN, I joined live coverage on KSAL again, stating no severe weather encountered. Kody was at I-70/Brookville rd. and saw no severe either. The warning was dropped and I went home to find a nice rain had fallen at my home place.
Picture of hail Kody picked up in Abilene. I was glad to have given them a 10 minute heads up.
Picture looking north towards Abilene of the storm that dropped golf ball hail in town. According to radar, there may have been much larger hail just east of town. Kody's picture.
May 11, thunder storm warnings/tornado warnings in a tornado watch.
SPC had part of central Kansas in a moderate risk outlook with a 5% tornado parameter. A cold front was projected to move into central Kansas during the evening with a warm front lifting into southern Nebraska. Dew points were around 65 for the first time this spring. I got home from church/new grand child around 3 pm. Already scattered storms were ongoing from Dodge city through Hays. SPC issued a tornado watch for west central to central Kansas. My Pastor wanted to chase with me so I called him to come out. We left west bound on I-70 around 4 pm. We first targeted a storm moving in the Hays area as it was severe warned and had an radar appendage on it's south side. Many storms had this feature but most could not develop strong "hooks". We pulled off '70 at Russell and watched the Hays storm both visually and on radar. It weakened, then a warning was issued for Russell/Barton counties for the next storm down the line. (It seemed that most storms lost their severity when they crossed I-70). We drove back east on '70 to Wilson, then turned south to get in front of the next warned storm. We set up on the Ellsworth/Barton/Russell county line jct. and viewed the storm to our west southwest. A wall cloud suddenly formed on the rain free base, showed lots of changes and a couple of times produced small funnels. It seemed that most all wall clouds we saw this day did what this first wall cloud did---fought outflow and was undercut. Within 12 to 15 minutes the storm went from a wall cloud to a flat rain free base. Then a storm was tornado warned for the Rozel/Larned area to our distant southwest with a confirmed tornado. We flew down to highway 4 then west to Hoisington. Driving into Hoisington, the low coolant light came on. We stopped at a Dollar General and I got a gallon of coolant, added it and we took off south to try to clear the storm to it's east that was moving between Great Bend and Hoisington. It was still tornado warned. Five to six miles south of Hoisington, we ran into increasing hail and rain. I was hoping to "thread the needle" and still get east of the potential tornado by continuing south. Now, hail was roaring down, increasing to quarter size. I realized this was not going to work so we turned around and flew back to Hoisington, then back east on highway 4 to get ahead of the storm. The tornado warning was dropped but a severe warning was issued, extending up to Ellsworth. We finally got out of the forward flank rain and hail on highway 156 and pulled off to study structure to our south and west. Again, there were interesting inflow cloud features but the rain free area seemed under cut. This storm weakened as it neared I-70. A severe warning was issued for eastern Ellsworth/western Saline counties for the next storm down the broken line. Brookville was in the path of this storm. KSAL went to live coverage which I joined in. We set up southwest of Brookville and let the storm approach. Again a wall cloud formed on the rain free base, south of our position but waned as it got under cut again. Brookville got spared the core of this storm as it lifted north of the town so we headed north to see if there was hail on the road. We ended up at Crawford and Brookville and found no hail. At this point, I was close to home so I took Pastor back to his truck so he could go home as the storm in western Saline weakened (as it neared I-70). While we were heading home a tornado was sighted near Sterling in Rice county moving more east than north. I figured the storm would weaken like most others did this day but the warning was extended to McPherson county with sporadic sightings. KSAL was still in live coverage so I flew south on I-135 towards McPherson. As I closed into the area, tremendous lightning, (mostly in cloud) was observed. There were reports of tornados in the McPherson area but I couldn't see any power flashes due to the continuous lightning that had a bluish flash to it. Three to four miles north of Mac. I could see a funnel/wall cloud to my southwest. This I reported live on KSAL and I continued to close with the town but at a reduced speed. I stopped along the highway shoulder and put on my strobe light. The air was warm with a easterly direction and all was surreal with the city sirens blaring in the background. I continued slowly south intending to get off at the 56 exit. I saw what I thought was a rain shaft just to my southwest . I leaned my head out the window and looked up and saw a cloud base lowering spinning. I crossed the medium and scooted north to clear this danger when the wind whipped a few seconds from the east then roared out of the west. After about 60 seconds the wind let up but heavy rain fell with some hail. All the town of Mac. had lights so I knew what I saw was weak but still hair raising. I attempted to speed dial KSAL on my phone but in the darkened truck I hit KSN instead. I was somewhat confused by KSN answering drowned out by the roar of the rain hitting the truck but got it straightened out when Dave took the phone. I gave him a quick report then dialed KSAL and gave my report. Todd P. wanted my to check for damage in McPherson. I found none except the train crossing arms were down and lights were blinking everywhere. I even drove southwest of town to check where a tornado was observed and found nothing. I gave my last report to KSAL and got home after 11 pm.
Picture of the radar image of the second storm we got on in the tri-county border area looking west southwest.
Same place as above looking out the window. The lowerings changed shape rapidly and briefly extended to a funnel, then disappeared as it was undercut.
Cloud base looking south from around Claflin. The tornado warning has already been dropped with this storm.
June 13. My admin has had problems for a few weeks and my server has gotten me back on line. I've been on some chases for severe but no tornados. I'll try to catch back up in the future.
June 14, storms in northwest Kansas, a chase with my sister.
Spc had a moderate risk outlook for Nebraska, with a slight risk for Kansas. Capping was an issue as the upper support lagged so that the main show happened after dark. Spc issued a tornado watch for north central Kansas through Nebraska. Kody was stationed in the Lebedon area of northwest Kansas where the only storm erupted in Kansas during the daylight hours. My sister Jo came out and we headed west to the Hays area hoping that the drtyline would erupt south of Kody's storm. Nothing happened there so we headed north and joined Kody in the Smith Center area where we watched a LP storm that had very interesting moments as it moved into Nebraska. Earlier, on the storm before this one Kody captured a landspout tornado and got good pictures of it---a fine catch for him. We got home at around 11 pm. and now severe warned storms are moving into central Kansas so I'll go back out.
This was the storm (low precip) that we were targeting as we closed up to Smith Center Ks. Here it showed a small wall cloud. It would cycle and do this every few minutes but did not tornado. The first storm of the day did tornado (a landspout) then this storm formed to the southwest.
A little later, the storm formed a beaver tail pointing southeast that was cool. We could see evidence that the whole storm was rotating.
There must have been a lot of vorticity in the area as the white detached scud cloud formed a rope funnel.
My sister snapping her own pic of the rotating storm to our north as we watched from Smith Center. She is fighting aggressive cancer and I wanted to score a tornado this day. The rotating LP storm was a consolation prize.
After moving into Nebraska, the storm ramped back up in intensity and rotation. Darkness was near so we headed back home so I could prepare for the squall line moving into central Kansas.
A radar image of our storm in southern Nebraska.
June 14/15, severe thunderstorm warnings in a thunderstorm watch.
I got home from chasing in northwest/north central Kansas. About 20 minutes later the weather radio sounds for a warning for Ellsworth county. I was back out the door and on my way to I-70 west. I could see a well defined multi tiered shelf cloud just to my west. Just east of the 156 highway exit on '70 I was buffeted by strong winds as the shelf cloud passed. I made my first live report to KSAL, then turned north off of I-70 into Lincoln county. I encountered severe wind gusts with heavy rain. I broke into live coverage to warn drivers on I-70 about bad driving conditions due to the storm. I glanced at my laptop radar and saw a stronger storm west of Ellsworth. I turned around and headed to Ellsworth via highway 156 to check on conditions there. I then made live reports from Ellsworth, Carnerio, Brookville and north of Brookville of non severe conditions. This time the severe winds were both north and south the Ellsworth through Salina corridor, and little damage occurred in my area. The warnings were dropped at 1:15 am. so I went home. Earlier in June, we had two episodes of squall line severe winds passing through central Kansas. The first storm moving through at 4 am, supprised me as very severe winds came out of the back end of the line and caused structure as well as tree and power line damage to Salina and area. Then around the first week of June, a squall line caused tree damage from Ellsworth through Salina. I made live reports on both storms to KSAL and to the NWS Wichita.
July 7, heat burst/wind.
Spc had us on the edge of a slight risk outlook today. I was cutting wheat and watching the clouds around central Kansas build. several isolated storms developed then merged or faded depending on where they were. At 9:30ish the winds ramped up from the southwest (around 50 mph) and the temp. increased---a heat burst. I made info calls to the NWS Wichita and KSAL about what I saw and we'll see what the rest of the night will bring.
Picture of one of the storms that went up around the farm this evening before the heat burst came in.
August 9,severe thunderstorm warning in a severe watch.
I got home from vacation and 1 day later we were back in the severe business. SPC had a slight risk outlook for central Kansas for the evening hours highlighting wind damage possible. I watched the radar as storms built in northwest Kansas and Nebraska. In the evening a storm popped up west of Concordia along an arc of towering cu. from east of Salina northwestward to south central Nebraska. SPC issued a thunderstorm watch for most of central Kansas. I began watching a storm in the "arc" in the Smith Center area, moving southeast. Also a line of storms was moving east from western Kansas towards central Kansas. While watching the smith Center storm (with super cell status) I realized the Concordia storm was moving southwest, slowly gaining strength! Animating the radar, I saw that the "Smith" storm was cyclonic, while the Concordia storm was anticyclonic!!! The storms finally merged between Minneapolis and Beloit with the cyclonic storm absorbing the southern storm. At this time I gathered my stuff and drove to Ada Ks. and set up. The storm turned more into a east/west line moving south showing lots of scary looking scud underneath. A severe warning was issued for Lincoln co. just to my west so I backtracked towards Lincoln. I started sending info calls to the NWS Wichita as I went. I set up just east of Lincoln as the storm hit. Then the storms out west moved in and merged with the local storms just west of Lincoln. The whole group of storms merged into a north south line and moved east. I encountered heavy rain and winds peaking at 50 mph. I sent more info to Wichita and then recorded an account to KSAL warning drivers on highways 18 and I-70 what to expect. When played, my piece sounded bad because as I recorded it I wasn't sure if the announcer would intro my recorded piece or not which he didn't and I didn't intro my account. At least additional info went out of KSAL which hopefully helped drivers be aware. I drove through the storm all the way home then the warning was dropped. We got 1.4" of rain.
Aug. 17, severe warnings in a severe watch.
SPC had a slight risk outlook in Nebraska, but not in Kansas. Severe storms erupted in northern Nebraska during the late pm. moving southeast, then forming a large scale wind event. Storms also formed in northwest Kansas and moved easterly. At around 7 pm. the northwest storms weakened some as the large storm cluster in central Neb. kept charging southeast. At 9:15ish as I was eating supper, the weather radio alarm sounded for a severe watch. Then about 10 minutes later, it toned again for warnings for Russell and Lincoln counties. Like a week ago last Saturday, the Nebraska storms merged with the eastward moving Kansas storms. I drove up I-70 to K-14 exit and set up. A shelf cloud passed over with a 45-50 mph wind gust, then periodic wind gusts to 40-50 mph. I fed info calls to the NWS Wichita, and KSAL. The warning was extended to Saline county and KSAL went live coverage. I made live reports of conditions where I was---nothing severe. As the storms moved on, the warnings moved with them and around midnight Salina was clear and I went home.
August24, storms and microbursts.
There were no outlooks this day. The temps were high 90s which is perfect for microbursts. I like to chase this situation as any decent rain cores will have great rain foots. Storms built between my house and Salina so I grabbed the cameras and shot pics below.
A extended rain foot with subtle curls. The whiteness is from the sun low west shining on the rain turning it white like hail. All pictures taken looking due east.
Aug. 31, severe storms in severe/tornado watches.
This day was well advertised by SPC several days in advance with a slight risk and hatched hail/large 5% tornado probabilities. I felt that southeast Nebraska would be under the gun as stronger mid level winds were progged to pass over. I came home from the Brookville Labor day celebration and grabbed a nap before things started to pop. I woke up to find a tornado watch from Mitchell/Ottawa counties on north into Nebraska with storms erupting along the front from Russell to Beloit into southern Nebraska. I loaded the truck and headed west on I-70, then north towards Lincoln as the Russell storms died from the cap. Passing through Lincoln northbound on highway 14, I targeted the storms back building from Beloit. Then I saw a tornado warning for the Beloit area based on radar so sped to the Lincoln/Mitchell county line and set up. If there was a tornado, it would be embedded in intense rain around Beloit and I wasn't driving into a HP mess. I could see some striations due north where the warning was centered and even this was hard to see through the haze/rain. Soon though, a puny wall cloud formed in front a rain area southwest of the Beloit HP super cell, but lasted 10 minutes. The next cell back built to the southwest and formed another small wall cloud that lasted around 10 minutes and disappeared. Around this time the temps at Salina and Russell was around 100 which I think helped kill the wall clouds. There were no noticeable RFDS with these wall clouds either. The storms exhaled and threw a gust front southward and damaging wind reports came in. Severe warnings covered Lincoln and Ottawa and Cloud counties. Also there were severe storms from Russell southwestward moving east. I drove south to highway 18 then east and watched the storms weaken to my north. A severe watch was added to the southeast of the tornado watch with the western storms moving in. They stopped just south of I-70 and became heavy rain producers with many flood reports came in from Ellsworth through Marion counties. My internet provider died as well as my phone which would not charge so I went home as KSAL did no live work this evening. Again, no tornados in a 5% forecast area. The other thing interesting about this day was the intense radar echo from the Beloit area after the tornado warning was dropped. Reports of 2.5" hail and flooding rains came from the Beloit area, a very nasty storm.
Picture of the building towers around and north of the Russell area taken as I left home. These eventually "anviled" and died.
First wall cloud if it fits the definition.
A little later this formed southwest down the line of storms.
Storms becoming outflow dominant with detached wind clouds.
Sept. 9, severe warnings Lincoln county.
SPC had a slight risk outlook for central/north central Kansas. Around 6 pm. a tornado watch was in effect from Mitchell/Cloud counties on north into Nebraska. Many scattered storms developed from La Cross to west of Concordia. I drove to Lincoln then to Vesper then north to get in front of a warned storm moving into Lincoln County. There was a rain foot with this storm and dust blowing up from it. I encountered no severe in this area and called the NWS Wichita talking about the micro burst I saw. A second storm followed the first warned storm and I positioned in front of it. This time I had pea to almost dime hail as the storm passed over. I gave the NWS another info call on this and dropped down to I-70 and saw no other storm warned so I went home.
Sept. 18, severe thunderstorm warnings, Ottawa and Saline counties.
There was no outlook or watches issued during this episode. Both the NWS discussions and the short term models showed a probable line of elevated storms erupting through central Kansas during the early morning. Around 1 am., I was awakened by the weather radio tone for a warning for Mitchel/Cloud counties. I went back to bed as these storms were out of the area/fringe of KSAL. Around 45 minutes later, the radio toned for a warning for Ottawa/northeast Saline counties stating large hail at Minneapolis moving southeast. I got my stuff and drove through the forward part of the storms on I-70. I set up at Niles exit (where I would be in line with the heaviest part of the storm) and went live to warn drivers on I-70 about the low viz from heavy rain. I tried to call the NWS Wichita to pass information but couldn't get them to hear me. I went live on KSAL whenever they interrupted regular programing. I drove back to Salina as on radar the storms weakened. Suddenly the storm intensified south of Salina and the warning was reissued. I drove south on I-135 to the Menter exit and set up. This time the storm weakened and stayed below severe criteria. A note on the storm north of Salina as I drove by. There was a large bowl shaped lowering that looked suspicious but I know the storms were elevated so tornado chances was low. The lowering was where flooding rains were occurring. Also Minneapolis had huge hail like 3" in diameter. Pictures I saw it looked like dime hail fuzzed together into large chunks.
Sunday, Sept. 28, trouble coming.
Wednesday looks to be active severe day for southern/central Kansas. Bulk shear to 60 kt. and dews in the mid 60s with a lifting warm front/dryline. I LOVE lifting warm front scenarios so we'll see when Wed. gets here.
Oct 1, a neat chase.
This day was well advertised in advance. Only the highest tornado outlook was shifted to southeast Kansas out of central/south central Kansas by SPC. They kept the slight risk in for central Kansas. I worked all afternoon with a contractor burying a water jacket line for our new wood heating system. Around 5:30 I took a bath to wash off all the dirt. The only action storm wise was east of Wichita through western Missouri. At 6, I looked at the radar and saw that a storm popped up north of Salina. I grabbed my "stuff" and took off to Minneapolis where I drove under the western edge of the storm. There was only heavy rain and no hail. I decided to follow this storm east as it was basically the only storm in the area. I drove east and stayed south of the storm. My blacktop road turned into a mud road so I off-roaded it down the road to hell as I kept pace with the storm. The storm was high based but had interesting structure from time to time. Finally I made it to highway 18 where I joined Kody and we followed the storm to 15 miles west of Junction city before darkness ended our chase. This storm waxed and waned as it moved along and was never warned. Still, it had rotation some of the time and was photo genic. Pictures below from this nice little chase.
I snapped this picture of the storm as I was leaving my house. Looking northeast.
Picture of maybe a RFD cutting in. Looking north northeast.
Cool structure illuminated by the setting sun.
It is getting dark. Storm is just northwest of Junction City and strengthening again. Looking due east down highway 18.
December 14, the lightning flashed and the thunder rolled.
An intense upper low passed almost right over us last evening. Just after dark storms moved through with temps around 57 and a dew of 52. I stepped out on our porch to see if there was any rain and two ground shots hit a mile to my east. Needless to say, kind of cool for mid Dec. Earlier, a tornado was reported in Harper co. in south central Kansas in the late afternoon. Now,(Dec 15 6 pm.) on the back side of the low, the wind is northwest at 25 sustained with 36 degrees.