Monday, May 20, 2013

Chase Day #1: May 20, 2013
Starting Point: Whitewater, WI
Ending Point: Joplin, MO
Mileage Traveled: 669 (Trip Total: 669)

We started out in Whitewater today around 7 am. After a quick weather briefing lead by Dr. Frye we loaded the vans, did a quick group picture and were on the road by 8 am. Our target area for the day was to get to northwest Arkansas/NE Oklahoma/SW Missouri area somewhere near Joplin, Missouri. We were hoping the storms that would be developing in central Oklahoma area would arrive about the same time we did in that general vicinity.

After a quick lunch break and check of our forecast in Springfield, Illinois we continued our way towards Joplin. A few hours after lunch we started to get some reports of tornadoes hitting the Moore, Oklahoma (a suburb of Oklahoma City). Once we got through Springfield, Missouri and were trying to decide if needed to adjust our target area the news out of Moore, Oklahoma was not encouraging. We decided to adjust our target area slightly to the north of Joplin due to timing of the storms we could reach by darkness. We headed towards Lamar, Missouri and did intercept a tornado warned storm. We witnessed some scud clouds (picture below by Bryan McConnell) and a possible funnel but due to the heavy rainfall with the thunderstorm our view was obscured.

We tried to intercept another cell south of Joplin but did not get there in time. We drove back to Joplin to get dinner and determine where to stop for the night. While eating dinner the sun came out and we were treated to a nice sunset and some good lighting on some mammatus clouds (photo below by Andy Courtney) on the back side of the storms that had just passed through the area.

We determined after a long day of driving that Joplin was a good place to stay and puts us in a good spot for tomorrow. We are trying to catch up on the news from Moore and rest up for what looks to be another interesting day for the Great Plains tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Those are great photos! I love that you're doing this blog. I'm still bitter Dr.Frye had to do this after I graduated. ;-)