Day 6 - Slightly Moderate

24 May 2012

We awoke to find the Storm Prediction Centre (SPC) had updated the risk to a "Moderate". We were in Fremont, in east Nebraska and the storms were set to kick off early, however a plan to set off early was hindered by over-sleeping. Somewhat late we made a rapid escape (via a quick breakfast) and headed for the moderate. Today this was a mere state away!

The X is where we started the day and the arrow denotes our route into the moderate.

It's surprisingly hard to go in any sort of diagonal line in the US. Almost all roads are in a grid of vertical or horizontal orientation. Quite a difference from the UK where north south, or variants, are easy, but east or west are always hard work. The other element to throw into the mix is that the larger roads aremuchfaster than the smaller local roads.  There's rarely any traffic jams in the mid west (I think we've hit about 2 in 20,000 miles) so direct routes versus much longer routes via bigger roads aren't easy to judge. Stop me if this is getting too riveting...By the time we arrived in the area the storms were well under way but we were happy with our position, slightly ahead of the cold front in Cedar Falls, Iowa, at the tail end of the system that had developed. A combination of strong and well positioned upper level winds (the jet stream) and fast mid-level winds made for some potent storm motion - up to 65kts (75mph).The first storm we picked seemed to have a relatively discrete structure. As all the storms were merging to a lesser or greater extent, finding anything with discrete structure seemed like a bonus. We headed into it from the front and, although the mid and upper level features of the storm weren't visible to us, we had some great views of its underside.

So we headed south in the vague hope of finding somewhere to park that might involve us getting hit by another storm, but sadly we had to make do with a beer and, to our delight, some of Walmart's famous "Cheesy Bread" that had so far eluded us. All in it had been a great chase day and we felt happy with how we'd played it, and what we'd seen. With Cheesy Bread found as well, the only thing missing was a mothership supercell spawning a few tornadoes! But that's (hopefully) a story for another day...

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 2012

SPC Day 1 Weather Reports for the day.

SPC storm reports for Thu May 2012

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