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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!"

April 10, 2011

Storm Chase Account 9 April 2011 — Southwest Kansas

Filed under: Chase Accounts,Photography,Storm Chasing — Mike U @ 9:48 pm

April 9th was a chase day for me close to home (within an hour and a half drive of Dodge City).  I had a pretty good feeling that at least one severe storm would form along the dryline in Kansas, and thus opted to make this my chase target versus a long, expensive, and draining drive to chase storms in northwestern Iowa.  There were numerous tornadoes observed by many storm chasers up in northwest Iowa on April 9th.  There were not as many storm chasers in Kansas on the 9th, and as a result, I managed to get some more unique images of storms.  Unfortunately, there was only about a 15 to 30 minute time frame where the storm I chased revealed some photogenic scenes, so I tried to take advantage of the opportunity.  The storm was a marginal supercell storm that produced up to golfball size hail as it tracked northeast from Greensburg to Stafford, Kansas.  I first intercepted the storm when it was in its formative stages south of Greensburg — viewing it from the distant east near Belvidere.  The storm was moving rapidly northeast at 40 to 45mph or so, which is not the type of storm chasing I like to do.  I knew this coming into the chase, though.  It was along the Hwy 54 corridor around the Cullison area when I photographed some brilliant scenes just as the sun was beginning to set.  Crepuscular rays were very prominent both downward and upward in direction at points.  After the sun set, however, the good photography opportunities diminished, especially considering the main storm to my north was not getting any better in overall structure and whatever structure there was — was being masked by other convective development to its west-southwest.  I decided to stick a fork in the remainder of the chase as I headed north toward through northwestern Pratt County.  A word to the wise: If you really like the adventure of traveling on thick sand, then drive through the Pratt Sandhills Wildlife Area northwest of Pratt — otherwise, avoid at all costs!  Especially when storm chasing.

1 Comment »

  1. Great shots, Mike. Beautiful.

    Comment by Dann Cianca — April 17, 2011 @ 8:06 pm

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