High Plains Drifter

disclaimer:  "The meteorological views/forecast thinking expressed are those solely of the author of this blog
and do not necessarily represent those of official National Weather Service forecast products,
therefore read and enjoy at your own risk and edification!"

July 24, 2010

2010 July 21 SW Nebraska storm chase

Filed under: Chase Accounts,Storm Chasing — Mike U @ 10:57 pm

I left Dodge City shortly after 3:00pm for a target around Colby, KS where a warm front was lifting north into northwestern Kansas.  When I left, the first storms started developing west of Oakley, and I thought I would be in business with a nice storm to chase and photograph  through the evening.  It didn’t turn out that way as the initial storms never matured.  More storms formed near McCook which also failed to materialize.  The most organized storm was a left-mover that was moving fairly quickly due north toward North Platte, and since it was the only game around worth following, I went for it.  By the time I reached I-80, though, the storm was still some 50 miles away to my west… still moving north, and after driving north about 10 miles north of Gothenburg on Hwy 47, I realized that this was a fool’s errand, especially considering the increased low stratus cloud cover ahead of the storm in the sand hills.  I abandoned this and headed back south… aimlessly wandering about southwest Nebraska in dire hope of photographing something of interest in the sky.  It wasn’t to be until I reached McCook.  I had thought about staying in McCook for the night as I had thought there would be a chase potential the next day (Thursday, July 22) in western Nebraska.  I looked briefly at the new model solutions and decided to just give up on this chase as well as the next day and head on back home.  Before that, though, one storm was producing some decent, but infrequent staccato cloud-to-ground lightning.  I didn’t get any of the staccatos captured on camera, but did manage one and only one cloud-to-ground flash, as you see below.  I started the drive back home after this storm weakened shortly after this image and got back to Dodge about 2:30am or so.


July 21, 2010

Chase update 7/31 756pm

Filed under: chase mode updates — Mike U @ 8:21 pm

This chase is not heading out how I had hoped. I had abandoned the Sand Hills area, and heading back south. There are too many storms developing now. At this point I just hope for some decent lightning or something around sunset which is coming up here in about an hour. Again, this is not turning out how I would hoped. But never the less, there’s storms onto the west. Maybe I’ll get some lightning and do not do this in the future, some marginal storm structure or something. There’s a lot of weak storms at this point. More later.

[ Transcribed by MyCaption ]

Chase update 620pm july 21

Filed under: chase mode updates — Mike U @ 6:27 pm

Looks like I am heading for the hills, Sand Hills that is. Dealing with left moving dominant storms, and I’m going to drive towards Lincoln county and try to get some storm photography near sunset as a storm’s approached Sand Hills. More later.

[ Transcribed by MyCaption ]

July 15, 2010

Images from 2010 July 14 SW Kansas storm chase

Filed under: Chase Accounts,Storm Chasing — Mike U @ 11:35 pm

Severe storms formed along a weak cold front across southwestern Kansas on July 14th.  I targeted the Scott City, KS area and was hoping to see a landspout tornado from the first storms that developed, however that did not occur as precipitation loading was too much in the first big storm near Scott City and outflow dominance prevailed quickly.  I followed this storm to near Garden City then went after another more isolated storm near Johnson, KS.  Another small storm formed near Ulysses at sunset which provided amazing warm hues and I managed to capture a lightning flash from this small storm amidst the amazing colors.  This was a fun little summer storm photography shoot!







July 14, 2010

chase update 7/14 8:15pm cdt

Filed under: chase mode updates — Mike U @ 8:19 pm

currently photographing nice tall cloud-to-ground lightning flashes
near Johnson, KS. It was a fairly successful day of storm photography
despite storms being way outflow dominant (not a surprise given the
environment). Will be in “lightning photography” mode until the end
and hopefully some nice colors here in a bit at sunset… then back to
Dodge for my first midnight shift.

Outflow dominant storm near Scott City

Filed under: chase mode updates — Mike U @ 4:30 pm

July 13, 2010

Cumulus leading to storms later?

Filed under: chase mode updates — Mike U @ 3:46 pm

I decided to make a run at this "no risk" outlooked area of northicentral kansas where there is mesoscale convergence from Hays to east of Hill City KS. I am in Plainville where it is a blast furnace 104 degrees and a dewpoint around 70! Its a nice clumped cumulus field here but will it lead to anything exciting? Models say NO but what will the real atmosphere say? Stay tuned

July 6, 2010

4th of July fireworks celebration in Dodge City on the 5th

Filed under: Photography — Mike U @ 3:25 pm

Since it rained on Sunday night in Dodge City, the 4th of July celebration with the city fireworks was postponed to Monday night the 5th.  At the last minute, I decided to photograph city fireworks, but decided to give a distant panoramic perspective a try.  I drove south-southeast of town and looked in the direction of the remaining astronomical twilight.  There is a pretty good perspective of Dodge City from some higher elevation areas south of the Arkansas River a few miles south of town.  The two images below are probably my best from the bunch… single frame images that were pano cropped in Lightroom 2.



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