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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.



  1. Gorgeous catch, though! At least you have something to show for the day.

    Comment by Beth — July 24, 2010 @ 11:00 pm

  2. Thanks Beth! I appreciate it. Yeah, it would have been a real bummer without this one image

    Comment by Mike U — July 24, 2010 @ 11:04 pm

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