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« Chase Day 12 - Gust Outs & Rainbows (May 28) | Main | Chase Day 10 - Bust but Steak (May 26) »

Chase Day 11 - Structure, Hail & Lightning (May 27)

Wow ... Eleven straight days of chasing plus two driving days ... We're exhausted but it has been an amazing trip. Today we started off in Kearney, Nebraska where we woke up to an SPC risk of MODERATE and 5% tornado risk. We were targeting closer to the Nebraska/Kansas border rather than further north. 

Our initial target area was Phillipsburg, Kansas but we decided to split the difference and hang around in Holdrege, Nebraska and wait for storms to initiate. Once they started to initiate, we noticed they were formed a messy line fairly quickly. The cells further north (too far for us to catch) showed some good structure before being swallowed up into a massive line of messy thunderstorms. We noticed a few cells were forming and remaining isolated closer to our original target in Kansas. We started the drive down but the cells just couldn't get their act together. We pulled over and took some structure shots which were beautiful. 

We decided to stay in Hays, Kansas for the night which would put us in better position for tomorrow (May 28). On the way to Hays we were treated by a great lightning show and we were all preoccupied filming it when we realized ... What are we driving into? We checked the radar and there was only broad rotation on it, nothing serious, but the hail marker was indicating larger hail. We pulled under a gas station overhang when the hail came but it never got bigger than quarter size. Scott and Dave headed up the road to try and find some bigger hail but, again, it wasn't bigger than quarter. 

We're now in Hays, Kansas for the night. The Weather Channel's "Great Tornado Hunt" crew is staying here as well. We'll be heading into Oklahoma tomorrow for some chasing. We haven't chased a single storm in Oklahoma this year. Last year was pretty much all in Oklahoma so it'll nice to be in the state.

I apologize for the lack of video. We haven't had any down days so the only time I can edit is when we get into the hotels at night (which is usually late) or when I'm not driving (but I do most of the driving as Brad does the navigating/forecasting/nowcasting). Also the amount of videos and pictures I can upload to the website and Youtube is highly dependent on the internet and we've had horrible internet at the hotels we're at.

So goodnight from Hays, Kansas!

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