(11 August 2011)
* *  Mike Umscheid PHOTOGRAPHY & STORM CHASE BLOG   * *

About This Shoot
Date: 11 August 2011
Location: Southwest Nebraska near Imperial, NE
Shoot Type: Storm Chase
A rather frustrating day in that it played out much differently than I had envisioned. I first drove out to Sidney, NE, leaving very early in the morning. I decided to drive north as a supercell formed and was moving southeast out of the Black Hills. This storm died, and I drove back south toward Ogallala having photographed nothing to that point. I continued south toward Imperial as storms were organizing and managed to photograph some decent lightning at sunset and shortly thereafter. Meanwhile, tornadic supercells were thriving in Eastern Cherry and Brown County in north-Central Nebraska.

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Preliminary Storm Reports from 11 August 2011

1630 UTC SPC Products from 11 August 2011

Categorical Convective Outlook

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Probabilistic Wind Outlook

Evening Meteorological Charts from 11 August 2011

250mb Chart

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Surface Chart

11 August 2011

Sun, 14 Aug 2011 23:52:38 -0500
-Beyond the Flash- A cloud-to-ground lightning flash occurring amidst a transparent precipitation area which provides a nice view to the distant northeast at a massive supercell forming over the Nebraska sand hills
(click on thumbnail for pop-up of larger image)

Thu, 11 Aug 2011 21:38:54 -0500
chase update 935pm. done chasing for the day. Decent lightning images, not much in the way of storm structure, though. beginning the ~ 4hr trek back to Dodge.

Thu, 11 Aug 2011 20:56:44 -0500
chase update 853pm. pretty interesting photographing CG lightning with tremendous Cherry County tornadic supercell in the background.. makes for an interesting image. This is fun!

Thu, 11 Aug 2011 20:38:54 -0500
chase update 835pm. finally some decent storms... nice orange and pink color here at sunset.. got the tripod set up for some cloud-to-ground lightning near Imperial.

Thu, 11 Aug 2011 19:02:09 -0500
chase update 700pm. clearly on a fools errand. Black Hills storm shriveled up and died when I was approaching it. Went south and these storms are garbage, too. WTF!

Thu, 11 Aug 2011 15:13:59 -0500
chase update 310pm cdt. About to bail on target #1 where I am at and bolt north toward the distant Cb in target #2, nice storm rolling off the Black Hills. Can be on it by 530 or 6p

Thu, 11 Aug 2011 07:21:43 -0500
chase update 7:15am. In Wakeeney. Right after I left home, photographed a storm distant south with Dodge City lights on the horizon...nice lightning illuminated Cb w/ stars
I am leaning more toward the Cheyenne Ridge play. The RUC wants to
keep development right up against the mountains west of the good
CAPE...then slowly moves stuff into the CAPE by like 03z... This is a
bias of the RUC. I think convection may form off of Laramie Range
and/or Cheyenne Ridge by 4-5pm, then roll east along I-80 corridor and
have fun with the high CAPE air 00-02z time frame. Will still head to
Imperial, be there by 10:30am or so.

Thu, 11 Aug 2011 04:06:52 -0500
Chase Day August 11: Target #1 Sidney, NE to Sterling, CO. Target #2 Merriman, NE (Cherry County). Will head to Imperial, NE and decide on which target (west or north) at that point.

Wed, 10 Aug 2011 16:44:22 -0500
...Chase Days August 11-12...
Aug 11: NW Nebraska to EC Colorado
Aug 12: Central Kansas
A very nice pattern for supercell storm photography has been underway
for several days now, and it will continue Thursday Aug 11 and Friday
Aug 12. A jet streak in the west-northwest flow aloft will nose into
Wyoming, northern Colorado and western Nebraska on Thursday setting
the stage for supercell development anywhere from the Black Hills
southward into east-central Colorado. The best area looks to be
southeast of the Black Hills from, say, Martin SD then down into
Cherry County NE in the Sand Hills. This is very rough terrain for
chasing, but the photography opportunities would be very good. A more
favorable location from a chasing standpoint would be
Ogallala-Julesburg-Imperial area and points south from there. All the
models show storms forming in these areas with very good directional
shear and CAPE 2000-2500 J/kg. I am kind of leaning toward chasing
farther south for reasons of being closer to home and also better
terrain. The NAM has been showing an aggressive QPF signal in
east-central CO off the Palmer Divide area. This would be another
area to target. I will make a final decision probably late tonight...
for if I choose to drive all the way up north, I would need to leave
by 6 or 7am. A target in eastern Colorado would allow more time,
obviously, and I could leave around 10am for that target.

Friday. The jet will be nosing into southern Nebraska and into Kansas
with a more northwest to southeast orientation. Outflow boundaries
from the previous night convection would push the effective front well
down into Kansas. It is unclear how far south this will go, but the
convective signal from all models are very good with high CAPE
available. This could be an excellent northwest flow supercell day
somewhere in Kansas. Looking forward to it! Stay tuned for updates
on both days! -Mike U