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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!"

June 18, 2005

ChaseTrip Day 13: The Last Hurrah in SW KS!

Filed under: Chase Accounts,Chase Trip 2005,Storm Chasing — storm300 @ 8:11 pm

Jay Antle and I ended our 2005 chase vacation on a good note. We intercepted 3 supercell thunderstorms near the Southwest KS-Eastern OK Panhandle border on Thursday 16th. We left GLD and decided to head down to DDC for a mid-afternoon data stop. Midday short-fuse composite (weather.gov/ddc/short.html) was pointing at far NW OK area south of DDC right along the state border for several hours… and it was based of this information that we pretty much committed to heading south of Dodge. Hard towers went up to our SSW through WSW by the time we got to Dodge. We stopped by my place for data real quick, only to find my damn cable was out. So much for that idea… we had to get back on the road.

We targetted the storm with a developing overshoot southwest of Englewood. We had to punch through some marginally severe hail, but after emerging on the south side we had a great view of the supercell updraft base along with a western supercell updraft over Meade County. We watched these two storms from a high spot on US283 right along the state line (maybe a mile south into OK) for a good while. Our eastern storm was becoming increasingly stretched out/linear and outflow dominant, yet producing Softballs near Ashland to our northeast.

We had northeast outflow winds at our location, but what was interesting was the fact that the winds were actually fairly warm. These winds became more easterly and ESE as the southeastern Meade Co. storm to our northwest began to really crank. A very organized wall cloud developed… classic blocky one at that… with relatively modest rotation… nothing violent, however. We let this action approach our location from the northwest…and the wall cloud itself began to take on a liberty bell appearance on the downshear side with great upward motion. Transparent rotating rain curtains were developing signifiying the presence of a "radar hook" and a classic clear slot developed.

Stacatto CGs then began bolting near us (deja vu of June 12th in Kent Co. TX) and we had to get back in the car. Rotation increased further and we did get a persistent pencil-shaped funnel looking almost due west… probably a couple miles south of the state border north of Knowles. This funnel was in the right spot in the occluded wall cloud with wrapping rain curtains. In my book, based on recent events in Trego County 6/9 captured by Jim Leonard on I-70 (rotating rain curtain invisible multi-vortex tornado) this was probably a weak tornado… I’ll leave it to Jay to review the video.

It didn’t take long for the storm to gust out with small dust foots and the like. We also heard of the tornado reports near Knowles that Rob Satkus mentioned after the storm had "gusted out" and believe these were only gustnadoes/dust foots and nothing

Based on the evolution to outflow dominance, we decided to head west on 64 to catch the Sublette-Tice tornadic supercell. It also gusted out somewhat, however, it developed excellent supercell updraft structure once again as it approached our location near Forgan, OK.

This would be the last supercell intercept of the chase, and a close to one awesome chase vacation that included tornado intercepts from Montana south to Texas.


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