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5/18/05: TALK: Central Plains

Series of isolated cells just firing over past 10 minutes over S Central KS. Most rapid intensification appears to be cell between Marion and Cottonwood Falls, along Marion/Chase county line.
 
Time: 0734 CDT, 1934, 0034 UTC
Storms are firing up in a line, attm there are isolated from Harper, Kingman, Sedgwick, Harvey, Marion, Chase, Lyon, Osage, Shawnee counties and also very weak echoes in Butler County. Source: NWS Wichita Radar

Mike
 
Looking at the Local Storm Reports thru 805 CDT
5 tornadoes reported in Iowa (DMX)
3 tornadoes reported in Minnesota (MPX)

Mike
 
Tornado warning extended into neighboring county for Iowa storm....
Spotters continue to indicate a large wall cloud with brief tornado spin-ups, including a chaser from Iowa State.
 
Picture sent in to KCCI-tv, Des Moines, of the Iowa storm's tornado. Fairly decent sized for such a low-instability day. Looked to be just a bit larger than rope-sized.
Tornado was reported to have lasted for 10 minutes.
No damage so far.
 
I just left for a drive and could see those tiny storms from the NE side of the MO river. I hadn't looked at them on radar for a while or very often but knew they were small. I was amazed at how low the convection looked. It scared me right away because the convection looked like it was more or less on the ground. I can't think of any instance when viewing a tower from the west seeing the convection that low. The towers were barely even able to anvil though. I did look at some data early and noted the 50 knot core at 500mb over that area with 70+ approaching up at 300mb. So seeing them teared apart early in their height is not surprising. Certainly interesting. I chase about anything when it is so 'close' and didn't give much thought to chasing this day up here. Oh yes, I laughed when I read the earlier tornado report and looked at radar. That was before I headed out and saw the lowness of the convection.
 
Just received a report from Dick McGowan out in the field. He was near Osage City, KS aside a developing mesocyclone. Lightening hit power line about 50 yards away from him, and appeared to knock out power to Osage City. He is OK, but a little shaken.
 
He went right by my house then! Power was out for abt 20 min.

NWS put another SVR warn for cell developing in Olivet area. Worst hail so far is nickel size at the Melvern outlet.


JH
 
Todays tornado reports so far today:

Iowa: 10 (1 larger than rope-sized)
Minnesota: 3
Kansas/Oklahoma: 0

Today speaks the lesson of the Illinois outbreak last year. Sometimes all it takes is super-low LCLs and good shear. I am still not discounting the possibility of a tornado in Kansas still tonight, but they just dont seem to have the support for them.
 
Does it bother anyone else that the 12 hour RUC forecast from earlier today underforecast the dewpoints in northern OK by approximately 20 degrees?

It's interesting how the dewps have continued to rise all day in that area - I guess low clouds and cap didn't allow the moisture to mix out vertically as much. Couple that with all the chasers sitting in Wichita sweating with each passing hour without initiation...
 
Well, we're still trying to get Dick McGowan home in one piece. As he was sitting in his truck at a truckstop at I-35 and US75 on Osage/Coffey Co. line, cell w/ mesocyclone indicated and 2.25 " hail potential moved directly over him. He estimated wind gusts of at least 80 mph...no fun in the dark.

EDIT: Semi-trailer truck flipped almost upside down ~1/4 mile E of where Dick was on I-35. Wind was reported as "phenomenal"
 
Originally posted by Mike Johnston
Well, we're still trying to get Dick McGowan home in one piece. As he was sitting in his truck at a truckstop at I-35 and US75 on Osage/Coffey Co. line, cell w/ mesocyclone indicated and 2.25 \" hail potential moved directly over him. He estimated wind gusts of at least 80 mph...no fun in the dark.

EDIT: Semi-trailer truck flipped almost upside down ~1/4 mile E of where Dick was on I-35. Wind was reported as \"phenomenal\"

Mike: Where is he at right now???
 
Originally posted by Mike Johnston
Well, we're still trying to get Dick McGowan home in one piece. As he was sitting in his truck at a truckstop at I-35 and US75 on Osage/Coffey Co. line, cell w/ mesocyclone indicated and 2.25 \" hail potential moved directly over him. He estimated wind gusts of at least 80 mph...no fun in the dark.

EDIT: Semi-trailer truck flipped almost upside down ~1/4 mile E of where Dick was on I-35. Wind was reported as \"phenomenal\"

We were pretty close to that, North by Lake Malvern (?) a few miles north of 35 on the South side of Lake Malvern. That was intense. Wondered why the news crews were all out with the mobile trucks.

Hope he gets home alright.. That lightning was intense.

Original target was of course... Iowa. But SPC and everything made KS look so good.

--
Tom Hanlon
 
I chased with dick most of the day and i made it home in one piece. That lightning scared the hell out of me. That storm produced a wall cloud for about 1 1/2 hours at least and multiple cg's.
 
*wiping my rear* Okay i made it home. If anyone else was at highway 75, I 35 intersection around 930 i think. Let me know what your thoughts were. Got some rain at first and a little wind, then silence. Thought about heading inside, hearing Mike J. and Marcus O. telling me Meso was right on top of me(or was nearly on), but didn't take cover . Then i saw it. Wind wind wind unbelievable wind, that i SWEAR was rotating at truck stop on east side. My car LIFTED from the rear, and i could hear crunching behind me. I don't want to speculate what it was. But to say the least, the lightning strike Eric and I had 25-50 yards away earlier, was nothing compared to this. I was shaking. Couldn't see anything. Lights went out at truck stop as wind grew more intense. WTF was i thinking of waiting this one out. Should have went inside for cover. Sorry for half report here. I hopefully will post pics tomorrow and reports, although i shot mostly video. CRAZY close lightning, and mad rotating wall clouds with nice visible mesocyclone. Ran into Amos, tony, scott and others right before this happened. Nice to meet you guys.

EDIT: We all ran into I think was a tour group, of like 3 vans south of lyndon. Speculating of who it was. Anyone?
 
Originally posted by Kevin Walter
Does it bother anyone else that the 12 hour RUC forecast from earlier today underforecast the dewpoints in northern OK by approximately 20 degrees?

It's interesting how the dewps have continued to rise all day in that area - I guess low clouds and cap didn't allow the moisture to mix out vertically as much. Couple that with all the chasers sitting in Wichita sweating with each passing hour without initiation...

Kevin,

I've noticed that the RUC seems to over-mix the dewpoints on windy days -- sometimes by 10-15 degrees. You'll often see the result of this when comparing NAM and RUC CAPE forecasts. I'm not ready to call it a dry bias, but I've seen it enough this year to remember it.

I've also noticed that the RUC analyses on the SPC Mesoanalsysis page tends to underestimate/underanalyze convective inhibition / capping strength. Aside from today, when the 18z Lamont sounding had ~-250 CINH and the RUC Mesoanalysis was showing about -25, I can think of over days where the RUC mesoanalysis did a poor job (either verified through RAOBs or inferred by lack of convection) -- such as May 11th in northern Kansas, when the RUC mesoanalysis was indicating 0 CINH and VERY strong moisture convergence (strongest I have ever seen on a mesoanalysis graphic), yet it was quite obvious in the field that the cap was holding very strong as TCU dissipated and the sky cleared.

My hunch is that the two observations above are related. The RUC may be mixing the PBL too much during the day, which mixes the higher sfc Tds vertically, yet also mixes out the cap, yielding too-low surface Tds and not enough CINH. Just a possibility, however, and something to keep in mind for future reference.
 
Dick, this was an intense microburst. The storm was outflow dominant when it hit all of us, and the shear circle you saw on Barons was the couplet created by the differential within the area of the sudden downdraft. We saw it too, when it increased to "80 mph" (whatever that means in Baron's-land), but it wasn't associated with a mesocyclonic rotation at our location.

Good to meet you too. What a wild core, eh?

Originally posted by Dick McGowan
*wiping my rear* Okay i made it home. If anyone else was at highway 75, I 35 intersection around 930 i think. Let me know what your thoughts were. Got some rain at first and a little wind, then silence. Thought about heading inside, hearing Mike J. and Marcus O. telling me Meso was right on top of me(or was nearly on), but didn't take cover . Then i saw it. Wind wind wind unbelievable wind, that i SWEAR was rotating at truck stop on east side. My car LIFTED from the rear, and i could hear crunching behind me. I don't want to speculate what it was. But to say the least, the lightning strike Eric and I had 25-50 yards away earlier, was nothing compared to this. I was shaking. Couldn't see anything. Lights went out at truck stop as wind grew more intense. WTF was i thinking of waiting this one out. Should have went inside for cover. Sorry for half report here. I hopefully will post pics tomorrow and reports, although i shot mostly video. CRAZY close lightning, and mad rotating wall clouds with nice visible mesocyclone. Ran into Amos, tony, scott and others right before this happened. Nice to meet you guys.

EDIT: We all ran into I think was a tour group, of like 3 vans south of lyndon. Speculating of who it was. Anyone?
 
Amos,

I had no radar......just eyes at that point. Flipped a wal mart truck on it's side but the semi faced the opposite direction it was intending on going. Will post pic. Yes, very wild core, I am not a huge fan of chasing what I can't see, especially when I am in the path.
 
Ah, my mistake. I assumed when Marcus told you the meso was on top of you, he was looking at a shear circle on Baron's, which was almost on top of us (just north of us moving southeast so we were clear of that too). Those indicators seem to appear for any large wind differential, including outflow along the gust front, microbursts in the core, and of course true mesocyclonic rotation.


Originally posted by Dick McGowan
Amos,

I had no radar......just eyes at that point. Flipped a wal mart truck on it's side but the semi faced the opposite direction it was intending on going. Will post pic. Yes, very wild core, I am not a huge fan of chasing what I can't see, especially when I am in the path.
 
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