Nebraska Hailbows

17 May 2018

Last night’s attempt at some night sky photography didn’t go too well as the lake we chose to camp near was swarming with mating mayfly and I was most definitely not getting out in that. They were everywhere. In fact, it makes my skin crawl just remembering how many of them there were flying about. It was such a shame, as the moon was a thin sliver and the lake would have provided a fantastic reflection for the billions of stars visible out here. A little deflated, we found ourselves a nearby Walmart to stay instead.


On the plus side, we woke to blue skies, birds singing, coffee only a short walk away and we were pretty much in position for the day’s risk. A short drive up the road and we were in one of our favourite parks where we could idle the hours away until the storms (hopefully) started to fire in the area. 


We waited quite a while, almost tempted by some earlier storms further north, but we held where we were hoping to be rewarded with better storms down here. A run and some lunch later and the towering cumulus was starting to build. For a while though there was nothing more to see than a line of high based rain clouds. There was very little in the way of structure as they drifted north. I had a snooze and after a quick chat with a local sheriff who stopped to check us out (number plates from a State other than the one you are in can sometimes trigger this) we headed further north in the hope the storms may become a bit more invigorated.

We filled up with gas at Sidney, Nebraska and by the time we’d finished chatting with the attendant, the storms were starting to look a little better! We drove to keep ahead of the main shelf but when it showed signs of weakening we u-turned and drive straight back through it for the fun of it. So often we try to stay out of the storm's path that it’s quite easy to forget how much fun (and scary) it is to actually be in one!

Wavy Davy

After emerging the other side we decided to pull over and watch as the sun set and the storms drifted off leaving beautiful hailbows in their wake, only to then be treated by 3 more vigorous updrafts passing overhead, one after the other, pumuling us with hail, surrounding us with intense cloud to ground strikes and generally freaking me out sufficiently to put my hands over my eyes and bury my head pretty much until it was all over. It was amazing fun!





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

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

SPC Day 1 Weather Reports for the day.

SPC storm reports for Thu May 2018

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