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« Quick Update - May 18 - Chase Day 4 - Tornadoes in Central Kansas | Main | May 16 - Chase Day 2 - Thunderstorms in NW Kansas »

May 17 - Chase Day 3 - Storms in Northern Nebraska

Hello from North Platte, Nebraska! Today was interesting but tomorrow … tomorrow will be an intense chase day. But first, today:

We drove north from Colby, Kansas to Valentine, Nebraska with Chris Kridler. There were several targets today but we chose the northern target knowing we needed to be in position for tomorrow’s big chase. We met up with Scott McPartland and Dave Lewison in Valentine! Great to be chasing with them. They will be live streaming this trip (with audio) at the following link: Severe Weather Video Live Stream 

Storms started initiating and one started to grab our attention. We drifted north just out of Valentine to get a better look. The cell start to take on a supercell shape and was rotating with a nice inflow tail … then it started to go linear. We eventually left what was left of the cell and headed back south, south of Valentine. We pulled over to do some photography and timelapse of the shelf cloud which was pretty. We headed back south toward North Platte, Nebraska to spend the night and get in position for tomorrow.

Here are pictures from today: Storm Chase 2013 – May 17 – Chase Day 3: Storms in northern Nebraska photos 

I’ve also edited a videos from yesterday's chase and today found here on the video page: Storm Chase 2013 Videos

Now … on to tomorrow! The SPC has issued a MODERATE RISK for the area we were initially targeting. This is the first substantial, known-well-in-advance severe weather outbreak so far this season which means EVERYONE will be out. We will reassess the forecast tonight to nail down a target area but looks like we’ll be heading back into Kansas.

Reading the NWS Dodge City, KS WFO discussion with some very strong wording:

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DODGE CITY KS
1052 PM CDT FRI MAY 17 2013
...
NOW TO THE TORNADO THREAT -- THERE IS REASON FOR GREAT
CONCERN ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY FOR LONG-LIVED, SIGNIFICANT TORNADOES
IN AN ENVIRONMENT THAT IS CHARACTERIZED BY SURFACE-BASED CAPE IN THE
3500-4500 J/KG RANGE ALONG WITH 0-1KM AGL HELICITY RAMPING UP TO THE
300-400 J/KG RANGE AS WELL (THANKS TO THE DYNAMIC LOW LEVEL JET THAT
DEVELOPS JUST AFTER SUNSET). THIS IS A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF
POTENTIAL ENERGY BOTH FROM KINEMATICS AND THERMODYNAMICS TO SUPPORT
EXTREMELY STRONG LOW LEVEL ROTATION IN SUPERCELL
THUNDERSTORMS...INCLUDING LONG-LIVED AND STRONG TORNADOES THAT
THRIVE DURING THE POST-SUNSET HOURS. THERE MAY ONLY BE ONE OR TWO
STORMS THAT THRIVE AFTER SUNSET...BUT THE DAMAGE POTENTIAL COULD BE
GREAT FROM JUST ONE ISOLATED SUPERCELL STORM. 

Tomorrow will be an interesting day ... time to get some sleep.

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