Sunday, May 27, 2007

Day 2 May 27, 2007

Today is Scott's birthday and all of us were in a good mood in the morning. Scott took some scotch mints and pretended they were hail... he put one under the windshield wiper and another one in the coil of one of the whip antennas... and then he dragged that mint up alongside of the antenna and popped it in his mouth! Nice breakfast, loaded with plenty of fiber! Of course Ben was around to film all of this.

I had downloaded some forecast models last night... it looks like we will be going on our first chase today in western Nebraska. SPC put out a slight risk for western Kansas and southwestern Nebraska. The indices seemed to be much better in Nebraska, so I chose that area as a target. In the morning, I asked Ron where he thought we were headed today and he said straight west, into western Nebraska. I thought that was pretty cool that both our targets matched perfectly. We could see some dryline storms today, but the risk of tornadoes seems pretty low... all the storm relative helicity seemed to be located in southcentral South Dakota.

A few days out, after Monday's potential setup, doesn't look so good for the rest of this week until the weekend... a ridge is going to be building into the plains. I guess we will have to do our sight seeing then, but that is okay... next week it looks like the ridge moves out and a couple shortwave troughs will be going through the southern plains.

In Council Bluffs, we ate a quick lunch at Dairy Queen. I had to have my brownie earthquake. We continued west on I80 to western Nebraska. Scott saw the Tornado Intercept Vehicle on the right side of the road, parked off the road.

On the way, Ron mentioned the Baron picked up rotation couplets on some storms that developed near North Platte. Mike loaded the SPC outlook page on his laptop... SPC had shifted their slight risk a bit more north into Nebraska. A tornado warning was also issued. As we neared the target just west of North Platte, there were two storms side-by-side... one to the south and one to the north. We could see the hard knuckles on the north storm and some mammatus from the south storm. Scud from the second storm was starting to curl from the outflow of the north storm. We then saw a wall cloud trying to form... it had a small inflow tail. We decided to get closer and took a road that went north. We pulled off the road and took some pictures and video. By now a new inflow tail formed, pointing in a different direction... from the south instead of the north. A small wall cloud that kicked up a bit of dust was all that could be had, but it made for some good pictures. The storm had lost its rotation according to the Baron.

After that storm fell apart, we debated about intercepting the southern storm but figured we would not see anything because we would have to go through the precip core. It looked like a garden variety storm anyways, so we decided to head back to North Platte. We saw the TIV once again... this time it was getting towed! We heard it was some mechanical issue with the TIV. We celebrated Scott's birthday by having a nice delicious dinner at Perkin's. I mentioned that the sun was setting and would make for nice mammatus pictures, so we went outside after placing our orders. The sky was filled with mammatus. Not really the hard classic looking mammatus; these were more wispy looking, but still beautiful looking. A partial bright rainbow appeared, adding final touches to the scene. I took some nice images.

Tonight we are staying at a Super 8 in North Platte, preparing for Monday's severe potential.

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