Ice Screen

29 May 2018

Today’s target area changed by around a hundred miles during the night...if only it had stayed put it would have been a very different day!

The models in the morning showed a boundary that looked primed to be the target for some interesting convective weather. We had enough time to get there for when the storms were likely to fire and there were quite a few chasers around when we got there. We stopped in to get some shots of some dramatic updrafts that signified the start of the day’s action.

Bo And Cu

As we watched the storm begin to get organised we were also keeping an eye on the storms that were taking hold to our north. On radar they were looking fantastic and the local one, by eye and by radar, was not looking well organised. It was a longshot, but we decided to have a go at getting north.

The storm we were on remained weak enough to warrant taking the risk of “core punching” it to make the fastest route north. Or so we thought. We passed our friend’s Paul and Helen who were being more patient with this storm, and waved jovially as we turned north into the apparently weak core. We passed a few more parked-up chasers and then started to see some ice falling. So far so good - a bit of hail was to be expected...then BANG a big bit hit the top of the car. Uh oh. Next clue was seeing a big splash of water as something large landed in a puddle of water by the road. Well, in for a penny, in for a pound (presumably not a phrase originally intended to be about sizes or weights of hail stones). We pushed on and witnessed more and more big hailstones hitting things. Then a couple more loud bangs on the car before the inevitable sound of ice hitting glass rather than metal. And then some more of both. We were in the hail core for about 90 seconds, and took around 10 hits to the car, including 3 on the windscreen. Fortunately only one of the windscreen hits severely hampered visibility and it wasn’t in a crucial place.

Hail Job

Now we were on the road north and needed two things. We needed the storms north to hold on for us, and we needed the storm we’d left not to become so epic so as to undermine why we’d just done this.

It was a nervous drive and we learned on the way that we’d missed the first event on the northern storms - as a very photogenic tornado touched down while we were still half an hour away. We did make it in time for the organisation of the next storm in the line to show itself. We got some decent views of it. We technically saw it making another tornado - though it was hard to make out so we don’t really feel it counts in the grand scheme of things. Still, some dramatic sights to be seen.

Dodge Storm And Tree

Storm From Car

Dodge Storm


We were cut off from ideal positioning on it as it continued east by a lack of a decent road network. We headed south then east and waited for the remainder of the storm to come to us, which, by the time it did, was a slow moving roll cloud ejected away from the dying cell. It was enjoyable if not particularly exciting.

We headed back up to Dodge city for the night, which Google maps decided a while was pronounced “Doodge” city before, when we got to Doodge city telling us to “turn right after I hop on the right” (background: IHOP is a fast-food / pancake chain). The storms had been tricky but exciting, we’d finally smashed a windscreen, and Google maps had provided some late comedy to our tired heads. Cracking day.

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

SPC 01:00UTC day 1 forecast for Tue May 2018

SPC Day 1 Weather Reports for the day.

SPC storm reports for Tue May 2018

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