Never stop driving

14 June 2016

After yesterday's disappointment in the spectacular storms of Colorado that never were, we set off to the other side of the Conus in the hope of better storms from what was looking to be a good set up in eastern Kansas through to Missouri and Iowa, which was about 8 hours away. We had ticked off 4 of these hours last night but unfortunately the 1am SPC update hadn’t looked good with the risk shifting further north due to some convection that was moving into the risk area, overturning the atmosphere which would potentially and negatively impact the severity of the storms in Kansas tomorrow. Oh well, sleep a while and then reassess in the morning is what we usually so in such situations.

Such we did and so the morning came. We woke early and there seemed a bit more hope. Yes, the target was still quite far north – Minnesota in fact, but by waking early, already in the car, we were ready to commit to the drive, and commit we did. Pretty much for 12 hours straight but unfortunately always being 2 hours out of touch of the action. The storms did fire and somewhat annoyingly all throughout the day our target towns saw beautiful storms pass overhead with tornadoes reported.

We continued driving north but after realising it wasn't going to happen we took a time out in a Walmart in Vermillion where a bit of retail therapy helped. Donning the new 'lucky' t-shirts, we reassessed the current state of things. We seemed to be in a good area for something still to happen in the post-frontal environment and a few cumulus around us were looking quite agitated. Shear and CAPE - the all-important ingredients were in place and there was an outflow boundary from the storms we never caught that may give us some much needed lift, but the CAP was too strong and although they tried nothing was able to freely convect.

So, instead, we headed west where a few cells had popped up in Nebraska. One was severe warned for a time, but by the time we got there, a decaying cell was all that was left. It was very pretty though and we let it pass overhead and got rained on a lot, and cheered at a few little hailstones that hit us, before we were under clear skies again.

Decaying cell

Boom

After this, the cell went on to create the most beautiful sight at sunset and at this we called it a day, deciding not to drive up into Montana which had once potentially been on the cards. The set up just didn't look strong enough and the forecast storms after midnight wasn’t appealing. A further 12hr stint in the car for storms in the dark just didn't seem feasible. A motel and a chill out was the preferred option and perhaps we'd be lucky with something in The Dakotas over the next few days.

Sunset storm pano

SPC Day 1 Weather Outlook as at 06:00UTC (01:00 Central Time the night before)

SPC 01:00UTC day 1 forecast for Tue June 2016

SPC Day 1 Weather Reports for the day.

SPC storm reports for Tue June 2016
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