Storm Team Coverage Recap

Our storm chasers have brought you live coverage from the field over the past few days and we are going to recap the trip for you. On day one, the team started out in Wichita Kansas but then they decided to head west because of better conditions. While eating lunch the team noticed a storm firing to there southwest, so they headed back towards Wichita. The storm eventually weakened as it moved to the east so the team decided to leave the storm and continue to the west once again. The team continued west until they decided to set up shop in Pratt Kansas. While they were waiting for the storms to fire, a thick layer of clouds built into the area. They noticed there was clearing to their west so they continued in that direction. The team drove through the town of Greensburg on their way to Kinsley, and they were quickly reminded how much power a tornado has. Once in the town of Kinsey, the team noticed storms firing to the north so they decided to head in that direction.  They stopped just to the south of La Crosse to watch a storm that looked to be organizing into a super cell. While they were watching the storm, the national weather service issued a severe thunderstorm warning on the same storm. The team then went into action and placed themselves right in the path of the storm. As the storm moved into town, it started raining moderately with pea size hail. As the core of the storm moved over the team, that was when golf ball size hail started to fall on them. As the storm passed over them, they continued following the storm to the southeast where they then saw a brief spin up tornado. They continued following it but eventually called off the chase as it became dark and the cell started to weaken. They then went to northwest Kansas in the town of Colby to position themselves for Monday’s chase.

On Monday, the team left Colby Kansas and decided to go to the town of Burlington Colorado. While in Burlington, the team was looking over their forecasting data and decided that it would be good if they went south to the town of Cheyenne Wells Colorado. This is where the team spent a few hours waiting for the storms to initiate. While waiting they noticed a storm to their northwest that was developing so they decided to go after it. While driving to this storm, the national weather service issued a severe thunderstorm warning. The team followed the storm into the town of Bethune. They continued following the storm to the northeast for awhile before stopping on a country road since the storm looked to be weakening. As they were watching the storm move away from them, the team noticed a strong inflow going into the storm. They then got a report that there was a reported tornado so the team rushed back towards the storm and got back out in front. The storm pounded the team with heavy rain and marble size hail and continued to the northeast, but never produced another tornado. The team then called off the chase after the storm moved passed them as night was setting in. The team then decided that they would travel to the east to stay in Salina Kansas to be in place for Tuesday’s chase.

On Tuesday the team woke up and decided that their target area would be southeast Kansas, so the team left Salina and headed south towards the town of McPherson. The team stopped in McPherson to evaluate the current conditions and to have a quick bite to eat. While sitting in McPherson, they noticed that they should head a little more south, so they decided to go to the town of Newton Kansas. The team spent a few hours in Newton waiting for the storms to develop. While waiting the team was evaluating if they were in the right area, but they then noticed a clearing near Emporia Kansas, so they then decided to leave for Emporia. As the team was waiting in Emporia, they noticed storms building to the west of their location. They then headed to the west, and as they did, the national weather service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for their target storm. The team intercepted the storm which produced heavy rains and marble sized hail. After the storm moved pass them, they then chased after it, but the storm picked up speed and eventually the team called off the chase for the day.  The team was glad to bring you live reports from the field over the past few days and they are looking forward to the next chance they get.

Zach Sharpe

My name is Zach Sharpe. I am the president and forecaster for the Iowa Storm Chasing Network. You can find me on Twitter @Stormchaserzach and on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/stormchaserzach/

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