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May 28 - Kansas: Busted, Big Time, Yeeeaaah

Hello from Topeka, Kansas!

Today was a rough day... we started the morning off in Colby, KS and headed south and east toward McPherson, KS. The setup was such that the warm front would most certainly produce tornadic, but messy storms; hard to chase. There was also a dryline set up across central Kansas and we decided that would be our play. Fairly consistently, the high resolution models were breaking out a couple of storms in and around the Wichita, KS area. 

The day progressed and storms would go up then quickly die. We couldn't understand why the storms weren't flourishing in the environment they were in. A storm started going up near Wichita and showed some promise so we stayed with it but it ended up dying. Then... we start seeing the reports out of Mitchell County, KS, northwest of Salina... big tornado on the ground. We were gutted. We had literally driven through that area and that area was forecast to be behind the front. Turns out, some of the ongoing convection had nudged the position of the front just enough that that area was in a great environment. It was too far for us to get there. So... we waited and another storm went up near Wichita and this time it looked good! It produced a wall cloud and a funnel but then quickly became linear and lost all rotation. The day was done for us... 

Then we started hearing about awful damage in and around Lawrence, KS. A big tornado had gone through the area and there was a lot of damage.

This was our last chase day of the trip and we wished it could have ended a little more exciting for us but alas, we ended on a bust. We'll be making our way to Topeka, KS tonight. We'll likely take a look at some of the damage in Lawrence then start our trek home.