wednesday, may 12, 2004


waiting near pratt


splitting supercell southwest of sawyer and left split from medicine lodge storm


new lp supercell near isabel



chase log:

this day featured some of the most painful irony i’ve yet to experience in stormchasing.  the chase itself was a surprise, as for days models were not indicating the upper trough would eject quickly or deeply enough to allow for warm sector supercells.  i made a library stop in great bend, and everything i could find pointed to medicine lodge.  liking the enhanced shear and healthier cu nearer the front in the pratt area, i chose to wait there... which doubtlessly changed the entire course of the day.  three small supercells, all splitters due to smallish hodographs, developed in a short line between pratt and medicine lodge.  i initially observed the middle storm, as it was the first of the three to develop.  the structure was awesome.  i eventually ran out of room, as my storm and the southernmost storm both closed in on highway 281.  due to the orientation of the road network, i made the not-so-easy decision of heading east toward sawyer to stay ahead of things… rather than south toward medicine lodge, which would have led me to an early landspout from the southern storm and a subsequent tornado bonanza.  i didn't like the fact the fact that the tail-end storm was to the southeast of the one nearer me, and had made the decision to head south at the town of rago when the northern two storms received the first tornado warnings of the day.  as it was, my storm quickly rained itself out, and the threat of bad inflow was becoming all too real.  on two more occasions i fully committed to going east and south for tail-end charlie, but additional ill-timed coincidences and too much indecision on my part meant i’d never get there.