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 21, 2009

Chase Acct: July 20, 2009 (Central KS)

Filed under: Chase Accounts,Latest Chases,Storm Chasing — Mike U @ 12:16 pm

…The Great Bend LP Supercell…

My target from Dodge City was pretty much anywhere along a line from roughly Pratt to Larned to Hays. First I was favoring the northern end of this line, then I began to favor the southern end of this line right as I was about to leave Dodge City at about 3pm… but in the end, I ultimately decided to just play the middle — Larned. I arrived in Larned to find some towering cumulus growth from my west-southwest to north-northwest. I just decided to hang out here on the outskirts of town to watch things evolve. I called my friend Robin Lorenson who was going to be out chasing as well… she started out in Salina. Her target was Great Bend, so we were not far from each other. We just decided that since we were so close we should just chase together. We met up on Hwy 19 about 7 miles east of Larned. At the time I was most interested in the small cell trying to develop just to our northwest. We also watched with interest the aggressive cumulus congestus development to our southeast which would become the Kingman supercell. We sat at this spot for some time watching our small shower struggle against some drier air. The best pooling of upper 60s to near 70 dewpoints was farther north. A storm rapidly took nice shape on radar and we could pick out the base in the distant north. This would become our target storm so we headed north for the intercept. We took Hwy 56 northeast to Pawnee Rock then north on county roads from that point on. We stopped a couple times north of Pawnee Rock once we got a good view of the structure of this storm. It was a beautiful LP supercell! Our second stopping point along this county road was a beautiful view from atop a hill. The storm had a nice flared base, a small wall cloud, broiling convection atop this, and a wonderful backsheared anvil.

From this point on, Robin and I chased separately as she headed north to photograph from closer in while I continued my structure chasing from the south. I followed it south and east through the Great Bend Airport area south to the Stafford County line until the storm ultimately died a rapid death around sunset. What a great way to conclude my 3-day chase weekend!!

This SimpleViewer gallery requires Macromedia Flash. Please open this post in your browser or get Macromedia Flash here.
This is a WPSimpleViewerGallery


  1. Beautiful!

    Comment by jessika — July 21, 2009 @ 4:43 pm

  2. Mike,

    I am not a storm-chaser per se.. but I am a member of the Stormtrack website and an avid follower of weather phenomenom. It was with great interest that I read your Stormtrack entry for 07/20/09 because (strictly by chance)I was in the exact same area as you on Monday evening. I drove from Kansas City to Larned on Monday and had a reservation to stay at the less-than-great Rodeway Inn. (Never again, thank you very much.) I drove thru Great Bend on the way to Larned and stopped at the GB McDonald’s for a snack at 6:20pm. Looking to the southeast I certainly noticed the very impressive supercell that at the time was west of Wichita that I believe became known as the Kingman supercell. I took a picture of it off in the distance thinking that it might really make a name for itself later. I then drove on to Larned (noticing the build-ups you mentioned that were running into dry air) and checked-in to the Rodeway. After getting settled into my room I looked at Intellicast Radar on my laptop and saw that things were really popping to the NW of GB. Going outside to look, I immediately decided to retrace the drive back to GB. I stopped along the way to take several photos and also took some 640×480 movies with my Canon Powershot camera. It was indeed impressive to look at. I watched the wall-cloud for signs of rotation, but never saw even a hint of it. Be that as it may.. I got some nice photos (and movies) from a slightly different perspective than you and your friend.(Hwy 56 on both sides of Pawnee Rock) If you would like to see them just send me your email and I’ll forward them to you.



    Comment by Andrew Mackenzie — July 22, 2009 @ 1:36 am

  3. BTW.. they did sound the tornado warning sirens in Great Bend. I went into GB to buy gas just after the storm passed and found many people standing on their front porches looking up at the weather. The first gas station I stopped at had shut down for the day because the woman running it said the tornado sirens had caused her to do so. She wasn’t about to turn anything back on because she was so rattled by it all.

    Comment by Andrew Mackenzie — July 22, 2009 @ 9:28 am

  4. Gotta love LP’s! Very photogenic beings they are.
    I like the first and last shots from above. The one with the road has a nice balance between the lines that lead your eye into the storm, and storm structure. The last shot I just really like the base and that rain shaft…gorgeous stuff!

    Comment by Charles Dalton — July 23, 2009 @ 8:26 am

  5. Thanks again Charles! This was the most picturesque LP storm of the season for me I think. What a treat for the latter half of July! Hope all is well in the Pac Northwest

    Comment by Mike U — July 23, 2009 @ 10:36 pm

  6. Those LPs photos are awesome. I have never seen such a storm.

    Comment by Steve Sponsler — August 15, 2009 @ 11:14 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress