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,
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May 30, 2006

Chase Trip 2006: Day 7- Southwest KS (photogenic sunset storms)

Filed under: Chase Accounts,Chase Trip 2006,Storm Chasing — Mike U @ 7:57 am

Jay, Stacie, and I left Lawrence around 1pm and headed for a target area around the Hutchinson-Newton vicinity. We met back up with Rob, Mitch, and Jon in South Hutchinson at a roadside historical marker at the intersection of Hwy 96 and 50… where we awaited convective development in our target area for quite awhile. A large multicell complex of storms had developed well to our south near Alva, OK which was about 80 miles from us. We decided to forego this in hopes of development closer to our west.

After becoming increasingly impatient, we decided to drop south as the towering Cu to our immediate west and northwest just weren’t doing much. We intercepted a small complex of three storms in northeastern Pratt County, two of which were right-left split members that broke off before we got to the area. The left split which was moving just west of due north…was the healthiest of the three. We headed north through Langdon after we drove south about 20 miles…then back west. The storms just weren’t all that photogenic as observed from the east. We decided to get west of the storms and shoot the backside of them as sunset approached.

The left split soon died, but we were rewarded from our decision to move west…as the sky from north through east through south was very photogenic with beautiful mammatus and a golden wheat foreground. This is why I love Kansas! I had a very unique sunlight ray phenomenon (called an anticrepuscular ray) that lit up the eastern horizon in a vertical triangular column. It was extremely impressive and I was fortunate enough to capture this with nice foreground.



After hanging around here along Hwy 50 in Stafford County, we decided to continue west back to Dodge City. A new storm was developing just west of us which began to take on beautiful colored structure. The colors were just incredible! I couldn’t believe it.

_DSC3506.jpg _DSC3512.jpg

We stopped again to photograph this little storm… then headed west some more before stopping one more time to photograph the Cumulonimbus looking back to the east after sunset as these new storms were becoming better organized.


This morning, Day 8, we are in Dodge City. Stacie’s last day was yesterday, so she had to begin here drive back to Fort Worth this morning. Jon, Rob, and Mitch are at the Super 8 here in Dodge and Jay’s here at my place… It’s been storming here in Dodge since about 5 am. A lot of rain and thunderstorms in western Kansas this morning.

It’s still unclear where we’ll be heading today. I’m liking Southeast Colorado upslope by early this evening. This is subject to change, however.

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