2017-05-31 REPORTS: CO/KS

Discussion in 'Target Area' started by Quincy Vagell, Jun 2, 2017.

  1. Quincy Vagell

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    The conventional wisdom the morning of this setup was to target eastern Kansas, for the greatest convective potential and outside shot at a brief tornado. Having dealt with many scenarios like this, I had a pretty good idea of how things would turn out. Instead of fighting with a narrow window with messy storm modes, I favored a far more conditional play with better structure potential. This brought me to the CO/KS/NE tri-state border area. CAM guidance was highly erratic and inconsistent with the precise location to target, but the parameter space, upslope flow component and plume of overperforming Tds led me to the area just northwest of Goodland, KS.
    kansas01.jpg
    Watching a discrete storm develop in far northwestern Kansas.

    A few cells organized in northeastern Colorado by mid-afternoon and one dominant storm evolved in far northwestern Kansas. The funny thing is that I was close to calling the chase off, when all of a sudden the storm I was on, about 15 miles north of Goodland, started looking much more interesting, at least visually. The "flying saucer" look even sprouted a brief tail cloud and it was clear that hail production was becoming increasingly efficient.
    st_francis_01.jpg
    I stayed with the storm for a while and captured a few low resolution shots with my iPhone. Not only was there quite a bit of hail produced by this storm, but CG lightning activity was especially intense at times.
    lightning0.jpg
    The storm drifted south toward Goodland into early evening, but I had a long drive ahead and ended the chase before nightfall. May 2017 was an interesting month and it was the first time that I did not witness a (conclusive) tornado in the month of May, since 2014. Some of the better structure I witnessed in the month was on MGRL risk days and the higher-end days largely did not pan out. I managed to finish the month was at least some success on a risky conditional play, but as far as I'm concerned, it exceeded the increasingly low expectations I had..

    I would not be honest if I didn't admit that it's been a frustrating chase season. If it wasn't for early season luck in March, it would probably be my worst chase season year-to-date, but I'm trying to remain optimistic. The next week or so looks relatively quiet and I could use some time to rest and regroup. I also would rather have a week off than fight with a bunch of MGRL risks, driving around hundreds of miles a day with little to show for it. That's largely what most of late May felt like.

    On a side note, the county in Connecticut in which I worked on my meteorology degree in (Fairfield) had a tornado warning on this day (they seem to average maybe one tornado warning every other year, but that's a rough estimate on my part) and an EF-1 tornado was confirmed with the storm, just over the New York border.
     
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