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May 10 - Chasing Storms in Kansas

Hello from Wichita, Kansas! 

We started the day off in Pratt, KS where it was down right chilly! It should not be chilly while storm chasing… In the morning it did look as though the best chance for storms and tornadoes today would be on the South Dakota – Nebraska – Iowa border. This was too long a drive to make for us but we decided to try to head north to the Kansas – Nebraska border to see what we could get! We headed north out of town and made it all the way to Concordia, KS but were assessing the weather situation along the way and paused in Concordia. After looking over data, we realized the northern storms weren’t performing like that day had first indicated in the morning. We did notice, however, that back in southeast KS like some instability and a good environment were setting up. 

Southeast Kansas near Eureka and Yates Center.

So what did we do? Pulled a U-turn and went back the way we came! We vectored south and east and ended up along the 54 between Eureka and Yates Center, KS. Some storms fired in our area and we followed this one storm for a while. It held a lot of potential but just couldn’t get its act together. Our going theory is that the cold front was just surging too quickly. We kept getting in and out of warm then cold air.

After watching the storms, shooting video, photographing it and hanging out with a local herd of cattle, we decided to call it a day. We headed back to Wichita, KS for the night and had a much-deserved sit down meal! It’s been nothing but gas station food, snacks and fast food for the past several days so it felt nice to eat some real food. New images from the chase today have been added here.

The day didn’t pan out quick as expected though there were several tornado reports from SD, IA, southeast OK and eastern TX. Unfortunately there was quite a bit of damage done in the SD tornado. In the end, we’re glad we didn’t make the long haul to the northern storms because the drive would have been horrendous for little to no pay off.

Storm reports from May 10, 2015 via the Storm Prediction Center.

Tomorrow is still up in the air as to what exactly we’ll be doing. Likely it will be more of a down-day or travel-day. We will reassess in the morning. The risk area from the Storm Prediction Center for tomorrow is out of good chase territory (or where we’re willing to chase) so we won’t be venturing east to the SLIGHT risk.

Storm Prediction Center's Day 2 (Monday) thunderstorm risk.

Apologies for not editing any video yet. I honestly don’t have any overly compelling video to post but I do have some pretty cool time lapse video that I would like to get around the editing. By the time we’ve been getting in at night it’s been too late and editing while on the road is… well... nauseating! Will try to get to that soon.