Thursday, March 22, 2007

Post #13 3/21/2007 Chase Report

I just got back from my first chase of the year. Jon M and I headed out to Hays Kansas tuesday night. Upon reaching Hays, we settled down and waited for the new SPC day 1 outlook. The new outlook completely removed all tornado potential from our target area. This was troubling to us but we trusted our instincts that there would at least be some decent storms. I guess we saw some decent storms but as far as tornadoes go, the SPC forcast had it nailed down. We woke up to a better SPC outlook that upgraded to a 5% tornado risk. This gave us some hope so we headed northeast to Hebron Nebraska. We waited and waited for initiation and upon seeing a bullseye of forcing hinting at convective initiation on the 300mb spc mesoanalysis, we headed east to Beatrice Nebraska. Upon reching Beatrice, the storms had already fired well to the north. We headed in that general direction with the confidence that new storms would fire to the southwest. New storms did fire and we soon found our selves heading due west towards Crete and Dorchester. We found our way to the southernmost or "tail end charlie" storm. It was rather high based but remained discreet for quite a while. Supercellular characteristics were observed including a decent clear slot, a sloppy beaver tail inflow, and occasional rotation. After the storm went linear and night fell, I headed out for my first attempt at lightning shots. The storm was producing very little cloud to ground lightning so I attempted to capture bolts in the updraft tower. This was only partly sucessful due to the fact that I dont have my cable release as of yet. I was doing 20 second exposures so too much light was getting in after the lightning flashes. This made the bolts appear very dim and insignificant. Either way, I feel I can take good lightning shots now with a cable release that will let me close the shutter as soon as the stroke occurs. After only a few minutes of shooting, low clouds moved in and obscured my veiw of the towers. Yesterday was not a good day for photography but below are some of my only keepers from the day.

Edit: This is a shot of some pretty cool lightning that also was very faint. This is highly cropped and edited to make the lightning visible just for shits and giggles.

Got one through a break in the low clouds, very faint. Also very faint but decent I suppose.

Cool mammatus in the anvil. I wish I would have got this like a minute later when the sun was brighter.

Linear appearance early on.

Somewhat of a clear slot I guess.

Decent inflow, shot blurred by camera shake.

Not a bad chase, we managed to get to a pretty decent storm and see some supercell structure. We also found an awesome micro-brewery in Lincoln Nebraska. This will probably be my last chase for a while unless the timing is right so that I can fit something in between school and work. The GFS is showing a potentially potent setup next week and the SPC extended outlook is also highliting the possibility. Hopefully the timing will work out and I will be able to get out. Anyway, untill then, back to work and money saving and hopefully a lightning storm around the Denver area sometime soon.

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