Monday, April 8, 2024

Solar Eclipse 2024

 I stayed in Wichita for the Eclipse.  We were only at 89% coverage here and were not able to be outside all day.

Needless to say, I love the GEOS satellites that provide incredible images like this.

I still had my solar filter from 2017 and used it because I couldn't get another in time.

Sunday, April 7, 2024

A Quiet Chase Season So Far

 This year has been off to a quiet start.

Ah, the best laid plans of mice and men,

We have seen some precipitation, but not much luck with storms.  I remember seeing lightning for the first time in March.  The Drought Monitor is looking better, but I would like to get out of being abnormally dry.

This year has been off to a quiet start. I think I heard my first thunder in March this year.

Over Spring Break I took my youngest up to Lawrence. There happened to be an enhanced risk to the area and she was okay with chasing.

We ended up marching Mass Street then headed out to Tonganoxie. There were towers trying to go up but the cap was inhibiting them.

It had been a long day, so we headed back towards Topeka on the highway and on to Wichita.

Unfortunately, the highway is a trap and was a bad decision without a lot of exits to get off. South of Topeka the youngest shot this:

That may be the wall cloud near Alta Vista but not sure. We were distant and out of place by the time we could get off. We gave up and had a fail Shake or Andy's Concrete when we got back to Wichita.

Fast forward to yesterday. I took Thordette to KState for the open house. She wants to be a Manhattan Project sort of scientist so we toured the nuclear reactor on site.

It's not running, the glow is from the lights.

Stepping out we noticed asperatus clouds like we were under the sea.

Heading back to Wichita, we ran parallel to the developing storm. Didn't see much but rain, lots of wind, and a single lightning bolt.

My beard pennant picking up a nearly 60 mph gust.
Clouds on the highway.
A little hail off of to the left.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

2023 . . . Meh

It was a dry year with occasional rain. This may have been one of the slowest storm seasons I've seen. I've been busy, changed jobs, realized I needed to go back to a previous career and changed jobs again.  I still chased when the opportunity presented itself.  

Although it was a busy year, every post this year started with a drought monitor.  This is the monitor from the end of 2023 and most recent.  

Here is to a successful 2024 chase season.

opefully we will see more moisture in the future.


Saturday, July 15, 2023

July 14th, 2023 squall

 A little better drought map this week.  Some good rain has happened, but talk of the Death or Omega ridge finally setting up will cause a long hot summer.

Yesterday a cold front drove a squall line through Wichita that has some thunderstorm warnings and some tree damage but my area was largely spared.

June 17th, 2023 storm

 Why so quiet?

It's been so dry.  

Then about mid-June started to have moisture returning with occasional storms.

June 17th, had a rare possibility for a severe weather day:

Not too much happened until late night.  A stationary storm blew up south of Newton, Kansas and just stayed in place as a rather large squall came in from the west.

I was outside and videoed a large wall cloud just to the north of my house.  

The video captures are below.  The storm was tornado warned by radar, by the time I got into position the squall line was near and the area was filling in with clouds, making the supercell hard to see in the dark.  There was no survey I could find in the records on what this was.

Straight-line wind damage was later reported.

Saturday, April 22, 2023

April 19th Storm and Tornado

It's been a very slow spring in Wichita.  I think the drought monitor shows why.  Per KWCH (local CBS affiliate) this is the driest April in record and since only receiving 0.30 inch of precipitation, the driest since 1936 during the dust bowl.

We've had hit or miss showers with one of the last storms completely missing the Wichita area.
Last Wednesday we had a cold front coming through with a triple point but not strong humidity apparently it was enough to set off deadly tornadoes in Oklahoma, with others touching down in Kansas and Nebraska.

I was late to chase due to a get-together and watched storms develop west of Wichita.  It passed Wichita and went severe to the north. 
This picture made me ignore all of Jim Reed's rules about getting all poles and lines out of the way of the storm.
I jumped on the road and headed north. Reports of baseball-sized hail in Chase County.
Sun was going down and time was limited.

It was starting to get dark and the lightning was almost continuous.  I recorded some video to capture.
I didn't realize I captured the tornado/funnel.  When editing the video, I found it backlit by lightning.
I ended the night by pulling over and recording lightning. 

Next week there is the hope of a slow-moving storm system and some much needed rain for the area.

Saturday, January 14, 2023


Why so quiet.

Well, it's been a rather long drought.  Here is the current Kansas Drought monitor.

There is a comet that may become visible by February 1st and hope to have photos soon. Last time this one zoomed by the Earth wad the Stone Age.

My gut says there may be more than 2 storms to chase nearby this year.  That's my hope.

See you soon.