03/08/06 Reports: Central / Southern Plains

Jan 15, 2006
Well all i can say is I TRIED!, i picked Atchinson KS for my target, and god forbid i let my dad do the scattered on the trash route ill apologize and i know he will understand im a chaser lol..... I got the 300 residental homes done and it was cold and rainy, i left about 11:30pm i got to Atchinson KS around 1:45 or so, OMG! the gas station in Atchinson KS, was empty on the pump i was on and about 4 other people were pissed also we were standing there watching the dial go slowly i got about 84cents worth gas i was so frustrated so i went to another station just before the Hwy 73 to Hiawatha KS exit. I got my tank filled and was debating wheter or not to go south to the tornado watch, i didnt like all the cloud cover and i didnt see alot of developement off south i saw some weak storms to my Northeast and well i stayed in Atchinson KS till the tornado watch was cancelled for Brown and Atchinson County KS, so i said what the hell its march its warm i like seeing these kinds of clouds during chase season so i messed with this load of crap convection of weak thunderstorms in MO, at the area of Orgeon, Maysville Stanton, was the main thunderstorm to the Northwest of my position, at this time it was producing penny sized hail, i saw pielus cloud/cap i think thats what its called on the very top of the thunderstorm and although severe warned i didnt think it would get its act together and do no more then penny size for hail... Well i said the heck with it and wanted to head home in BUST mode, then i hear over Wx Radio the main thunderstorm wich was now in the Wayne Co MO , area was producing walnut to golfball sized hail , i was pretty close to the storm it had an ok updraft and i wanted to give chase so i did ... well i so badly wanted to core punch and get hail action my dad even though im 21 said if i hail the car out my ass is GRASS! so i said ok he wins .. but when it comes down to it my truck has 200,000 miles plus on it YEP still runs good but has an oil leak and is not dependable in long distance chases lol... i figure ill get rid of my truck and buy and drive the taurus GOOD MILEAGE!!!!!!!!, anyways illl cut to the chase sorry for blabbing on i gave chase to the storm and got off on 36 West headed east then got off of Hwy 69 north (Albany MO exit, i was listening to wx radio and storm was moving east to northeast at 40mph so i decided to take from Bethany Mo ( Hwy 136 East too Unionville at this time hail was being reported with the storm but it was quarter sized anyways i could blab on about hwy's and roads i took so illl shut up here's some pics











Fun Chase huh lol was it worth it??? for March i guess but i could of said Screw it all thogether hope some of you got something worth chasing today... ?[/img]

[Edit by Stu Robinson to correct Date format]
Gainesville, TX

This was my very first chase and I realized that I had no good equipement, don't know how you all do this, but it was a great time! I only had about 4 hours I could spend chasing, so I headed out of Denton, TX at 3pm. My target was Gainesville. I pulled into Gainesville around 3:40pm and nothing was going on anywhere- Just grey skies. I called my Mom out of all people who lives in Hawaii and recruited her to help look at radar so she could guide me to storms (she actually did a good job).
At around 4:30pm I decided to head west towards Wichita Falls, TX to intercept fire storms and then ride them back to Gainesville. Driving west down 287 I met my first cell. I was out of position and got stuck in it. Tons of CG's, wind, and their was a large hail shaft to my south. I pushed through just as the cell crossed over 287. By now the sun was going down and I couldn't see much structure. I did hear the fire dept on the scanner say they were reporting to a call from someone that was hurt by hail? I never saw or heard any reports of hail that would be that big though. When the storm reached Gainesville it had pretty much died out. I sat in Gainesville until around 7:30pm and decided to head home because I have 2 young kids and a wife that hasn't seen me...
Not bad for the first time out. I learned a lot, but don't know what I'm going to do about it all. The best thing I could come across is finding someone with experience and letting me learn from them on the road (doesn't everyone new wish that?)... We live in Argyle, TX so I watched the cell I was chasing head into S. OK and then new storms fire back towards Wichita Falls. Thought we'd get something here overnight, but nothing really come through! :cry:
I'll be at it again though...
The curse of Mickey and Shane

The curse of Mickey and Shane

Shane Adams and I chased together yesterday. I got up at 7:00 am and took a quick look at the current data and noticed two areas that I would be willing to chase, Eastern Kansas and Southern Oklahoma into North Central Texas. I liked the southern target better due to better instability.

So I got up, got around, and sent the children off to school then headed over to Mr. Adams house to see if we agreed on a target. We normally work off the same wavelength when it comes to targets and either target I would have gone too but I was strongly leaning towards the southern target. Lucky enough when I got there he liked the southern target better, just as I did. It makes things a lot easier when things are agreed upon. Lol.

Anyway, we had plenty of time to spend watching the elements come into place and sometime between 1 and 2pm we left Norman and headed south. We agreed to stop in Ardmore and get some data and see how things were unfolding. While doing so we ran into yearly convergence (chaser convergence that is) and talked a little with Aaron Kennedy, Nick Wilson, Gabe Garfield, and many others whom I apologetically do not know.

While sitting around, Shane noticed something leaking onto the parking lot from under my hood. My car was leaking oil. GREAT! I had my oil changed at Wal-Mart last Thursday and I had just assumed they didn’t put the filter on tight. We took the car to the Wal-Mart in Ardmore and with a little push and tug I got them to check it out. Sure enough it was the filter and they replaced it for free. No leaks now.

After our little detour we went back to the Micro Motel and watched the radar for initiation. Sometime between 4:30 to 5pm we noticed a few cells starting to develop to the west of us. We watched it for a few scans to make sure it would hold it’s own before heading back up I-35 to Davis where we could intercept the cell. It held it own and we headed north to Davis, but by the time we got there the cell had started to dissipate and that “dissipatingâ€￾ trend followed us all the way down to Gainesville, Tx as we tried our hardest to intercept a number of cells to our south.

By 6pm the sun has already started to set and visibility was limited. At this point we were on a cell that was just crossing the Red River into Oklahoma. We were on hwy 30 about 10 miles west of I35. This cell had looked descend, but once again once we got to it, it was done and started dissipating.

Now by this time all hope was gone for seeing any daytime activity, but there was one hell of a cell in Texas, just to the south of the cell we where on. By the time we arrived back to I-35 the southern cell had a fly eagle appearance (somewhat) and almost looked like the beginning of a hook. I was getting excited at this point. The path would take us to Gainesville, TX. However, a few scans later and just as we arrive in Gainesville guess what? Yep you got it! It started to dissipate. Everything else on the radar looked like crap and we just threw in the towel at about 7:30pm and headed back home.

All in all it was a fun but frustrating chase. Can’t say I am satisfied with the past two days but at least we had the chance and gave it everything we had. Bla bla bla…

Re: The curse of Mickey and Shane

Originally posted by Mickey Ptak
The curse of Mickey and Shane

By 6pm the sun has already started to set and visibility was limited.

The path would take us to Gainesville, TX. However, a few scans later and just as we arrive in Gainesville guess what? Yep you got it! It started to dissipate. Everything else on the radar looked like crap and we just threw in the towel at about 7:30pm and headed back home.

Sounds like my chase day.

I went solo up 287 from Ft. Worth to just SE of Henrietta, TX and parked at a hilltop picknic area to watch the sky and radar. Boredom set in and I drifted up just north of the OK border and picked another observation point.

Within 30 minutes, cells started firing SW of Graham, TX and were heading NxNE. I 'high-tailed it' down to intercept these.

By the time I hit Jacksboro, a cell to my due North exploded with a 55dbz core. I cruised up TX148 to intercept that cell from the SE. While pulled over about 2 miles south of the storm to watch it develop. It had nice, developing inflow bands and was trying to get some rotation going. Unfortunatly, a developing cell to the SE cut off this cell's inflow.

While I was stopped of of TX148 another chaser blew by me at ridiculous speed for the road conditions. Whoever you were, be careful!

I then headed east to Bowie and SE toward Decatur to intercept the 'tail end Charlie' of the line that had developed to my SW.

This cell also became VERY hot, but rather negligibly organized. Got to see some impressive CG and dropped some of the heaviest rain I've ever experienced.

By this time, it was pushing 7p and I headed for the house.

No 'big stuff' to report, but not a total bust. Got most of the way through my Stephen King book on CD, gave the new equipment and software a thorough shakedown, saw some cool small towns, wildlife, and countryside. Hey. I was out of the office and alone for an afternoon.
Decided to chase the dry line push in East Central Kansas vs. the low in NE Kansas. Cirrus blanket snuffed a lot of insulation and degraded the overall svr chances. I basically chased the push as it headed east around 5:20ish. A cell managed to fire in Allen Co and headed NE. I intercepted it north of La Cygne on 69. The sun peaked out right at sunset and illuminated the cell in a brilliant shade of orange. Visibility was crap but was able to capture a few mammatus and a decent sunset. A full report with pictures is written at http://chasethis.blogspot.com/.
Similar story as Mickey's... Sat in the Microtel parking lot in Ardmore for about 4 hours, watching convection pulse. We were close to biting on a cell that developed west of Ardmore and heading towards Davis (same on Shane and Mickey were on), but I was hoping for a more friendly-territory chase and, with the dryline still to the west, we figured that storm would overun the instability axis and convergence area. We watched the storm in north TX meander along, but didn't think we'd be able to make it down there before sunset. So, we sat in Ardmore until about 7p before packing it up and heading back home.

Well, we then sat in the McDs parking lot and waited for our food... it took about 25 minutes, and they were certainly weren't busy. :roll:
Had an nice backyard chase yesterday in Grinnell, IA (Central IA). Had Severe T-storm warnings for at least 2 straight hours.
Had storms dropping pea to dime size hail for almost 3 consecutive hours. Hail drifts were almost two feet deep and most streets were pretty much hail rivers. Constant lightning for the entire duration of the event with a number of extremely close CG's. I tried chasing the storm in Southern Poweshiek County that had a persistent radar-indicated meso, but the visibilty was less than 1 mile with thick fog during the daylight hours, so that didnt go very well. Overall an interesting day considering that NWS Des Moines barely mentioned small hail at all and SPC had us at the cutoff of the 5% chance.
Rich and Ryan Thies and I chased a couple shallow "storms" over to the cold side of the boundary from north of St.Joseph to south of Bethany MO. All of us joked that we could actually count the raindrops as we watched directly under the updraft base near Rosendale (Andrew Co.). Very little lightning was observed as these small "storms" rocketed northeast. The storm structures were very shallow and resembled fat wet towers with little if any glaciation. Pretty quickly it appeared that the all of the good moisture was scoured out...looked like NW Missouri got strongly dry-slotted ...so pretty much a solid bust for chase#1 of 2006.
A good LONG dry run, I discovered what I need for May. I was split at first and tried to position myself to blaze north or south on I35...Im still not sure if the decision I made was good or not. I blazed north, late, and got into KC right at rush hour! First time in the town I pulled out my Atlanta experience to navigate and try to get east and then southeast of KC to catch the cell that appeared in far east OK. Then it got dark and I gave up, nice mammatus just before the sun set. I ended up waking a friend of mine east of St. Louis and crashed at his place for the night.

I left Manhattan about 12:30 on US 24. I jumped around I-70 all the way until I was close to KC, then headed to Bonner Springs, where I stayed in a parking lot for half an hour trying to find evidence of the low. Find out I had the east edge of it pass me and the tornado watch was cancelled everywhere to the east. Since going south would give me more time, I headed through the southern end of the 435 loop.

I ended up getting 'tapped' on my rear bumper by an overzealous semi (I will withhold what state it came from). I say tapped because I had no damage from it, but it scared me for a while. I get off and fill up at a gas station on the MO side, collect myself, and head to US 71. Scattered construction, but I was ahead of the low. I kept going until I saw a traffic jam, then called it quits, since this thing didn't look like it would do anything and I had it with the traffic.

I was in the right position if anything fired and my intuitions were right, so I'm alright with no storms to show for it. My decisions were true, even though all I saw was whatever circled the low.

Oh well. I have three months left before I start work in Arizona, so I still have opportunities awaiting.

Another note: the NWS offices in TOP and EAX did a good job on the weather radio updates.
Kanani and I left Amarillo at 9am heading towards Wichita Falls. Once there we noticed the winds were still somewhat SSW so we knew the dryline was east of us still so we continued down 287 to Decatur. That way we would be east of anything that fired and Kanani could have some of her beloved Jack in the Box since we dont have one at home. We pulled into the Best Western to eat and borrow some wifi to get some data. The WxWorx was showing light precip west of us but nothing substancial. After about 30 minutes we had 1 cell that finally showed some promising convection so we headed west towards Graham. From there we were on the SE of the storm so we worked up hwy 16 then east on 114. The updraft had nice structure and even though it was somewhat high it was what I consider surcae based convection. It was beginning to put down alot of CG when another cell formed on its SE side and started to cut it off. Another cell formed to our south and rapidly became the dominate storm. We headed into Jacksboro and then continued SE on 114 getting onto the SE side of this storm. The lightning the entire time was extremely intense with CG's every few seconds and alot of flooding in Jacksboro. The updraft and base were incredible with good signs of rotation and a nice wall cloud and inflow tail. The WxWorx was showing a flying eagle signature with a small hook starting. It was getting close to dark but we stayed with this storm heading back into Decatur and then NE on hwy 51 towards Gainsville. The lightning finally started to die out and then the storm followed suit. It was nothing but a rainmaker by the time it got to gainsville. We saw a few other chasers/spotters near Jacksboro and then up towards Gainsville but only a few and nobody I recognize. After this storm it was dark and any promising convection was way SW near Abilene so we called it a day and stopped again at Jack in the box then headed home. As we entered Wichita Falls we had quite a bit of lightning to our west and SW so gassed up quickly and kept trucking west to get out of the way. About an hourt later we were hearing reports of baseball hail and possible tornados in Clay county just east of Wichita Falls. The big show was beginning but it was dark and we were exhausted. Why couldnt it be 4pm?? We saw lightning all the way back until we reached Childress.

I will post some pics once Kanani downloads them off her camera later today. It was a very long chase at 845 miles and 16 1/2 hrs on the road but still alot of fun.
We got a late start (Graham Butler and myself) and ended up having dinner in Graham, TX. Waited around about an hour for the real show to start when what I guess was the storm of the night in North Texas formed to the southwest. We met up with it at Olney when it was tornado warned and tried desparately to keep up with it, which we did ok until we hit the massive hail paths that were so deep on the road you couldn't see the stripes! Biggest hail observed on the ground was 1.75". Some of these hail paths were 2 miles wide! After that is was a lost cause due to it moving so fast and it crossed the Red River we gave it up. It was nice to see REAL RAIN again, some hail and some pretty good lightning. Got home this afternoon after crashing out in one of my favorite roadside parks between Wichita Falls and Seymour. We did see another chaser later on that had some video of a possible tornado from that storm. It was in the lightning flashes but I am pretty sure it was one looking at the video, albiet a brief one.

As a side note, those annual orange and white striped "spring flowers" are already popping up all over the highways of north Texas, so watch yourself chasing down there this year <AGAIN>!
I'll make this brief as we busted like everyone else. Michael, Tony L and I started the day in El Dorado, KS from the day before in SC KS, we blasted east and north and ended up in Leavenworth, KS where we saw great looking turkey towers get shut down by the cirrus shield.

On the way back thru Denver at midnight in the snow we caught this massive wedge on the ground! Just kidding - this was a steam column from the city power plant billowing up into the cloud deck above. Man I want to catch a tornado in the worst way!


I started off the day heading for the warm front. I stopped in Lawrence for data at about 1:30 and decided that the dryline would be my best bet, so I turned around and drove back to the South. I sat in Iola, Kansas and watched a tower go up for about 20 minutes before it showed up on radar. I followed the storm for about 30 minutes before it collapsed. This was followed by several more storms that went up along the dryline, but nothing ever really got going. It was a fun day despite the weather not cooperating. I was chasing with Jay Cazel and Eric ? which made for good company. They were also kind enough not to give me a hard time for making them drive to NE Kansas only to turn around and drive back because I was second guessing the forecast.
I chased the storm from St. Joe all the way into se IA. Shortly after Bethany MO it finally got its act together. It was quite hard getting good views ahead of it. Hell it was hard ever being ahead of it.


The storm with two beaver tails as it crosses into IA.

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