Sunday, September 17, 2006

9-15-06 Storm Chase

Click any of the photos below to enlarge in a new window.

We started out in Kearney and headed west on I-80 to try to intersect with a cell that was sliding northeast past the interstate. We ended up doing a U-turn in one of the cop turnouts and stopping at a rest area, as the next exit required driving under the meso and getting on the wrong side of the storm. It wasn't very exciting, structure-wise and was pretty high-based, but it did have an interesting lowering that formed very quickly. This is the storm that ended up going tornado warned after it slid north of Kearney.

(Pulled over on the interstate)

(At the rest-stop)

We then zipped over to Minden, with the thought of catching the cell behind the cell we met on the Interstate. This turned out to be a rather amusingly wrong idea, as that cell was well north of I-80 before we even got to Minden -- they were racing northeast at 45mph, which made it hard to keep up with, given the lack of northeast roads. ;) Minden is where we ran into some hail from cells the developed more or less on top of us. Buckets and buckets of peas at first, blown sideways by what I'd call a very stiff breeze. We found a hotel awning, which turned out to be useless against sideways hail. A couple of poor souls on a Goldwing pulled up in front of us and were promptly blown off of their motorcycle, which almost fell on top of the passenger. They were okay though, and once the hail stopped we helped right their bike, then headed off east on the highway.

We should have waited a bit longer though, as we ran into a fairly heavy shaft of nickle-sized hail. So, we waited that out for a bit, figuring we'd mostly missed that storm, and snapped a few shots while we did:

Rainbow in Minden.

Man, of all the places for a hailstorm!

The now severe-warned storm marches off to the northeast.

Oh, come on, one cheesy shot's allowed! ;)

We west east to near Hastings, then north to I-80 to try to catch up with the tail-end-charlie. Not a lotta luck. We did catch it on I-80, but by then it looked pretty sad. So, we punched into the rain and wind, exited the interstate at Giltner, and watched the sun set:

Good times! Not a lotta great storms, I'm afraid, but in a year like this, you take what convection you can get. Man, I missed the rain!


Anonymous said...

Would it be possible to get copies of a couple of those shots in, say, 1280 x 1024?

Anonymous said...

should have been out this way today to see the lightning show we had.

Anonymous said...

Sweet windmill shots!!!

It's still too bad about that horrible distorting 10mm you have. Oh well, someday you'll grow up.



Bucky said...

I almost laughed when I saw the windmill silhouettes, after seeing that funny Canon photochop you made a while back.

Quite frankly, I like the cheesy one the best out of all these! It really brings out the feeling of chasing.

AHHHHH I can't wait to back out there this spring. SDS is setting in.

nEo said...


It looks like big time convection is setting up for Thursday the 21st. Over 60 kt low level jet over N OK and Eastern - Central KS... Look for some very favorable shear over ERN Nebraska and ERN KS. I am in Denver, or I would be heading out to capture this. I hope you are in the area to get some good chase time.