Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Went running this evening with my nephew, Clay.

Knew the storms weren't severe so I thought I'd take him along.

There were some low hangers and scary looking clouds though. This storm was pushing severe levels but warning were canceled quickly.

I think that this tried to do something, but failed. It was fun to watch, tried to drawn in some moist air.

I don't thing the season is a complete wash. We are in a "dry spell" for tornados, but we will have to see what June brings.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Chase 5/15/09

Well NOAA said something was going to happen, and the Vector 2 people were in town. If you don't know what Vector 2 is, turn on the Weather Channel. You'll know them like a cousin in less than an hour.

I left work on time and headed home. The radar signatures looked interesting to say the least. I got home and noticed the mammatus clouds overhead. I found this strange. I'm used to seeing these after a storm, not before.

Then the sirens went off at 5pm.

We headed out West, the storm was producing something . . . too many reports gave too many different things. Unfortunately, there was a ton of rain out there.

On the highway, I took this. There was a strange lowering to the middle of the cloud base.

Things were getting progressively stranger. We stopped off at the dump and shot this:

Lightning was striking very frequently out of this storm. A lot higher average than my last several chases combined.

We went to Ridge Road as the storm was closing on in Goddard.

I believe that the center was dropping a ton of rain and hail.

We went towards Kellogg next. As I said before there was a large amount of lightning in this storm. As we got closed to Kellogg the lightning seemed to glow almost purple and growled as it struck.

They were still calling this a wall cloud when we neared Kellogg. I though it looked like it was trying to develope into a shelf cloud like another large precip. storm I picked up years ago.

When we got to Kellogg I was half expecting the aliens from Independence Day were going to be pushing through the clouds and attacking the River Festival.

I thought the clouds looked like they were holding a lot of hail, so we moved South.

The storm started to hemmhorage rain and hail and let me to belive it was dying off.

We kept going South then turned East to avoid most of it.

We ended up in Rose Hill and the sky turned to this (trust me sometimes it's easier to show the pictures than describe it:

Just a wierd, weird night although very active. The only confirmed tornado was in the Texas Panhandle.

Friday, May 15, 2009


Chased lots of rain but got some interesting pics.

This is the "wall cloud" over Goddard.

Coming soon . . .

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

051309 storms

Watched the cold front pass over Wichita on Radar right before I headed home from work. Thought I might get a little chase in.

Storms started to initiate in Emporia and I thought they might slide on down the front to east of Wichita. Took care of a couple of things, looked out to the East and figured, I better get out there.

Clouds were looking promising. NOAA (National Weather Service) said that if the storms could break the strong cap (Cap or Capping Inversion) - A layer of relatively warm air aloft (usually several thousand feet above the ground) which suppresses or delays the development of thunderstorms. Air parcels rising into this layer become cooler than the surrounding air, which inhibits their ability to rise further. As such, the cap often prevents or delays thunderstorm development even in the presence of extreme instability. However if the cap is removed or weakened, then explosive thunderstorm development can occur.) that we would have some explosive results.

Take a look at the middle column. Notice how everything looks like it's topped out, but yet you have a powder puff pushing through?
This is what happened:

I guess it couldn't break through. It tried, but then the entire band collapsed.

I gave up on the storm and went home. Only to find out later further down south that the storm produced tornadoes in Cowley County.
I hate chasing squall lines anyway.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Last Friday 5/8/09

My daughter woke up crying. Not a strange thing in this household for a teething one y/o to be yelling at 4am. Between her howls, I heard thunder. The National Weather service warned of big storms very early morning.

I hit the weather radio and started listening to the warnings. So far just hail, but the talk the day before said up to baseball size. I got up.

The lightning outside strobed. It was flashing so quick there seemed to be no wait for the thunder. Then it hit. The winds didn't seem too bad. I could hear hail on the roof but it sounded small. KAKE said that the hail was approaching 1 & 1/2 inches near Kechi. I was thinking, inch and a half hail doesn't tink, it thuds.

Then it got ugly. The storm created a large gust front that spread out and hit Burton, Towanda, and El Dorado with very high winds.

Damage reports started coming in. House on Webb and I-254 lost it's garage. Storage shed in Benton blown over. The Towanda Grain Silo . . . gone.
I have a friend who lives in El Dorado that had a tree fall on his house. One of the limbs went through the laundry room. They are ok. My friend, I'll refer to as Brian Prime said one of the trees fell and landed 40 ft away from it's snapped trunk.

Remember, tornados aren't the only weather that kills people. They are predicting more bad weather tomorrow (Wednesday the 13th) and Friday, May 15th. Stay aware.

I was in El Dorado this evening looking at Frontier Refinery. The sides of the storage tanks are puckered. I bet that wasn't the only thing puckered during this storm.