Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A Short Glimpse of a Tornado

Day 10 (number got a little off on previous posts): Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Chase Day near Meade, Kansas
Beginning City: Childress, Texas
Ending, City: Goodland, Kansas
Total Miles Traveled: 555 for the day, 4482 for the trip

Written by Megan Matheus and Grant Francis

The plan for our tenth day on the trip was to drift northward from Childress, TX, and reevaluate in Pampa, TX. The models showed an almost equal probability for storms to happen in southwestern Kansas or in western Texas area that we had been chasing in for several days. I think most of us hoped that storms would happen to the north so we could chase in a new area after being in Texas for many days in a row.

Kansas looked probable for storms when we evaluated around 11:30am, so we continued northward to Liberal, KS, arriving around 1:00pm. A cell was firing just outside of the city, so we followed it for about an hour. However, another cell just thirty miles north of us looked more promising, so we decided to change course and head north. We drove through Meade, TX, and started northward. Just as we left town, Dr. Frye pointed us toward a lower part of the storm cell. When we crested a hill we saw a large funnel on the ground: our first tornado! It occurred around 5:15 pm Central Time near Sublette, KS, about 15 miles from us. It likely did not hit anything, especially since it was on the ground only briefly. But it was an adrenaline rush to see one!

We got to see some good hooks form on several supercells in the region, and we got good pictures of text-book wall clouds and supercell thunderstorms. It was a very successful chase day. We finished the day with a long drive to a hotel in Goodland, KS, which is in the northwest corner of Kansas. Due to a late arrival to the hotel all we have is the write up for now. We will try to update in the morning before we head out with any pictures.

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