Thursday, August 25, 2016

05/08/16 KS/OK Border Supercell

 A supercell weakens at sunset providing a picturesque western sky near Manchester, OK

On May 8th, I traveled to Oklahoma in hopes of catching some nice supercells and tornadoes on this chase day. It appeared for a day or two prior that this day would hold some good potential across the Southern Plains for severe weather. After spending much of the night on the road I headed toward a target near Dodge City, KS. It appeared the best tornado potential would be found along the KS/OK border during the evening. The area I was targeting featured by mid-afternoon 2,000J/kg of CAPE, 0-6km shear at 60kts, the supercell composite near 8, and dew points near 65°F. By morning, I was already in central Kansas along I-70 heading southwest toward my target as elevated convection festered for much of the morning and early afternoon. This complicated the forecast for afternoon convection to say the least. By early afternoon, I arrived in Medicine Lodge, KS as the atmosphere began to become increasing unstable. A shortwave trough was moving toward this area and for most of the afternoon it was a waiting game for convection to initiate. By late afternoon, convection began to initiate along the dry line to my southwest. I decide to target a tail-end charlie storm along the arch of convection that developed. This storm struggled initially to get organized, but eventually it did and had a nice wall cloud and decent rotation at times, but never produced a tornado unfortunately. I chased this storm along the KS/OK border throughout the evening stopping to take a few shots every so often. Unfortunately, this storm just didn't have the storm structure I was hoping for so I settled for some shots at sunset as this storm weakened considerably as it progressed northeast into more stable air. This was quite disappointing as this day held very high hopes for myself, but it didn't pan out in this area. I then booked a room at a Best Western in Wichita, KS and called it a night after a frustrating chase day. I've added only a couple worthy photos in this post below:

Supercell thunderstorm struggling to stay organized...
This storm meets its demise at sunset!

Overall, this was a tough chase day that I was quite optimistic about, but it just didn't pan out like I would have hoped. I would later storm chase once again on May 22nd in western Nebraska and I'll update with that post in the coming days.