Andy Cole's Stormchase blog

Back on the plains in 2019 to share in nature's spectacle

Chris’ 2019 blog, Day 6: Let the Carnage Commence

This is why we’re here!

We were on the road at 06.50 for a 6 hour drive through North Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and finally Nebraska to see what teases us to be a (some) some beautiful storm(s).

Today’s SPC forecast – the central western side in Nebraska is our initial target area

Arrived in Ogallala in West Nebraska with nothing interesting brewing other than some visible convection to our North West. As we drove we could see a couple of storms forming albeit with a high base, symbolic of lower than ideal low-level moisture. The area has CAPE and shear and moving towards higher dew points so seemed promising. We continued towards Scottsbluff and stopped near Broadwater to observe and wait to see if she grows into a supercell.

Despite being POS, Andy was keen to get the camera out after two days of nothing

We moved on towards Alliance, a town made famous for their Stonehenge replica made out of cars where we watched the storm grow in intensity and develop rotation.

The storm started to look promising despite still being very high based

Despite the high base we got excited at the rotation and the fact it was moving into an area of higher dew points.

However, it was moving to an area with little or no road network. Pick the phrase; fortune favours the brave, you gotta be in it to win it, dare to be great etc. We fired up google maps and found a route we thought would work through the flooded Nebraska flats. Halfway through it turns out Google’s interpretation of a road is more similar to a normal persons footpath and completely out of signal so we couldn’t renavigate or keep an eye on the storm. Our bolshy approach failed and, tail between our legs, we backtracked through the storms rain.

When we refound signal the storm had broken back up into a POS but being behind it gave a nice view of the rainbow…

A nice rainbow looking at the back of the storm

We headed north, east and then south to get around the area that had defeated us taking a shortcut to chase a storm brewing over Ogallala. As the sun dropped over the incredible rolling Nebraska plains we gave up the chase and were treated to a glorious electrical storm ‘lightening’ up our drive to the AmericInn for the night.

An anvil crawler – one of many amazing strikes

Miles travelled in the day: 729

Total miles driven: 2,121

Supercells seen: 1

Tornadoes seen: 0

States visited: Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska

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