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Storm Chase 2018


May 20 - Travel & Tourist Day

Hello from Amarillo, Texas!

Today was a travel day. We did some touristy things like driving along the old Route 66, stopping in Shamrock, Texas at the U Drop Inn, and stopping at a really cool abandoned gas station/graffity lot in Conway, Texas. We grabbed dinner with friends at, what else, The Big Texan, and are calling it a night now. Tomorrow, we're likely chasing in New Mexico (desparate times...). 

May 19 - Storms in Oklahoma

Hello from Enid, Oklahoma!

Another frustrating chase day but, heck, that's the 2018 chase season for you... We started the day off in Salina, Kansas and headed south into Oklahoma to chase northeast Oklahoma area (which isn't the best chase territory). Storms were firing early and we got on the best looking storm around. It was looking very interesting, with rotation visually and on radar, but the business end of the storm was block by the rain. The tornado warned storm ended up producing some damage near our position but unclear if that was tornadic or not. Based on the way the storm and radar were looking at the time, it was likely straightline wind damage. This storm started to become outflow dominant as it moved into southeast Kansas/southwest Missouri so we ditched it and headed toward the Blackwell, Oklahoma area.

After putting around at a gas station trying to decide what to do, we decided to call it a day and head for Enid, Oklahoma to spend the night. As we started the drive there, some storms started firing west of Enid near the Fairview area. The storm started taking on a very good 'shape' on radar so we tried our best to make it there. On the way, we started seeing reports that it was an LP storm (low precipitation): those kinds of storms typically don't produce a tornado but they can be very beautiful to photograph.

We got stuck in the Enid-stoplight-apocalypse so by the time we got to the storm is was... well... evaporating. So we called it a day again, headed back to Enid, and here we are for the night. Tomorrow isn't a chase day and we'll likely spend it travelling west to get into position for Monday. We'll likely stay in Amarillo, Texas tomorrow then possibly be chasing in New Mexico on Monday.

May 18 - Storms in Western Kansas

Hello from a stormy Salina, Kansas!

We began the day in the Kansas City, KS area and continued on our journey west. We travelled west along the I-70 then south at Oakley toward Tribune. Here we got to meet up with friends and storm chase veterans Jason Persoff and Chris Kridler! We typically only get to see them when we're out storm chasing so it was great to get to chase with them today. Chris also had a new-to-storm-chasing friend with her, Alethea Kontis.

Storms were firing but were really having a tough time getting going and weren't lasting very long. We ended up meandering back north and east with storm development until we made it to the Quinter, KS area.

We set up just south of the interstate and watched the strangest storm try and take shape. It had some amazing inflow but visual looked very strange. We stayed with it, knowing that it had such strong inflow and was sitting in a favourable area. Eventually, close to sundown, we could see it start to really try. It developed a couple of wallclouds but then the business area started to become obscured with rain though, with lightning flashes, we could see it was still in there.

Storm reports via the NWS SPC for today (May 18).

Eventually, convection from the south took over and killed the storm. We had to endure a long drive to the hotel due to blinding rain but we made it here safely.

Tomorrow was looking like a northeast Kansas and southeast Nebraska day but it seems like southwest Oklahoma is also in play. We're currently looking over the models now and will decide on our location for tomorrow. 

NWS SPC outlook for tomorrow (May 19).NWS SPC tornado outlook for tomorrow (May 19).

We got in too late so I won't be posting any pictures of videos tonight.

May 17 - Travel Day

Hello from Kansas City, Kansas (yes, we're on the Kansas side)!

What a haul today... We left the Toronto area at about 6:30am ET this morning and have finally arrived in Kansas City, Missouri at about 11:30pm CT. We would have gotten here sooner but there were some delays at the border as well as at dinner (local convocation so everything was packed!). 

We covered about 1,600 km today (995 miles) and knocked the following States off the list: 

  • Michigan
  • Ohio
  • Indiana
  • Illinois
  • Missouri
  • Kansas

Tomorrow we'll continue west targeting somewhere in SE Colorado or SW Kansas, we're still looking over the models now and will have another look in the morning.  

Conditions aren't ideal for tornadoes but some things could come together. It'll be our first chase day of the year so time to dust off the cobwebs. Alright, time to get some sleep. Again, if you want to follow along with us, here are some ways:

Twitter: @daynavettese, @bradrousseau, @matt_grinter

Spotter Network: 'Brad Rousseau'

May 16 - Packing Up

Well, we've decided to pull the trigger and head out! We'll be making our way southwest tomorrow. Looks like Friday and Saturday will be chase days for us then after that, who knows? Models are fairly chaotic right now so it's tough to say... We'll continue to update this spot as we start on our journey (bright and early tomorrow!).