Monday, June 27, 2011

Chase Log - 6-20-2011

Incredible chase day with my friend Roman Totten - ended up with 3 tornadoes, (bringing my total for the year to 21!), and were within a hundred yards of a beautiful cone south of Elm Creek, Nebraska.

Left Peoria at 5 AM on 1.5 hours of sleep after spending the night before at Wrigley Field watching the Cubs get embarrassed by the Yankees, and drove to around York, NE. Once there, we re-evaluated data, and kept watching a beautiful supercell on the backside of the low in NC Kansas.

To our surprise, a PDS (Particularly Dangerous Situation) tornado watch was issued for our area...surprising because these types of watches are normally saved for high risk days. I wish I had time to do some synopsis of the environments for these chase days, but that'll have to wait for winter...

We kept heading SW towards the storm in NC Kansas, as reports started to stream out of multiple large tornadoes on the ground at once. As we got close enough to see the storms' structure, I decided to target the storm developing off of the first storms' outflow boundary. This proved to be the best decision I would make all we kept up with the storm heading north to the I-80 corridor, an area of rotation became apparent, and a beautiful tornado dropped!

Big day for me already, as this was the closest I'd ever been to a tornado of this size, but we followed it up with a long-distance sighting of a gorgeous elephant trunk tornado, and then a short lived rope (that we didn't get video of) to end the day!

Didn't get back home until a tad before 5 AM - almost 24 hours straight. Work the next day was absolute torture, but for what was probably the last chase of the season, it was well worth it. Sucks to have missed the epic tornadoes near our original target of York, but it worked out just fine.

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