sunday, june 22, 2003




chase log:

my brother came down for a stormchasing vacation, so to speak… and miraculously, the upper pattern was quite active for so late in the season.  we passed on the 21st’s event in the dakotas as it looked too marginal.  june 22 looked downright interesting.  we targeted the town of genoa, nebraska, but got suckered north and thus were way out of position for the storms that fired near grand island.  we reached the updraft of our target storm about 7:20… 15 minutes too late for the only tornado the storm would produce.  the storm itself was slow-moving with a propensity to backbuild, which made things tricky despite the updraft’s path directly along a major highway.  though undercut by outflow much of the time we observed it, it tried hard a couple of times: at 7:36, with a rapidly forming funnel cloud; and around 8:40, with strong sustained inflow and a moderately rotating wall cloud/large funnel.  some claim the latter feature produced a ground circulation, but we were very near it and could not confirm touchdown.  a hailstone recovered in the town of aurora broke the all-time record for diameter and circumference: 7 inches and 18 ¾ inches respectively.  ironically, this was one of only a couple chases of 2003 where i maintained ideal position and encountered no hail.  my ridiculously good luck in 2003 with regard to being able to chase when i want to chase ended on june 24… when my brother flew back to north dakota, i went back to work, and 67 tornadoes touched down in eastern south dakota.