Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Wednesday in Review

This morning we began our adventure from a hotel in Mulvane, Kansas.  Although we got into the hotel at 0200, we were all briefed and ready to go by 1015.  After looking at the models, we chose our target city to be Martensdale, Iowa.  We spent the first few hours of the trip closely watching the models and adjusting our target city because of the effects an extra-tropical cyclone.  While there were a few tornado warnings out of our reach, the radar was displaying some hopeful severe thunderstorm warnings.  We picked a specific super cellular storm (figure 1) that eventually received its own tornado warning.  The storms today had an average speed of 55 mph moving in the northeasterly direction, which proved to be quite the challenge as we were trailing the storms.  Also, there was heavy interaction among the storms decreasing the likelihood of tornadoes despite the SPC's 10% convective outlook.  Most of the storms of interest today happened in the northeast portion of Iowa, which was out of our reach due to time restraints.  Around 1800, the group made the decision to end our chase for the day, but not without a quick game of frisbee to stretch our legs.  The logistics team chose Cracker Barrel for a quick dinner stop.  Less than an hour later, we arrived in Lawrence, KS, our final destination for the evening.  Tomorrow is another chase day and we are in a great position for potential storms on the boarder of Kansas and Oklahoma!

(figure 1)

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