May 21, 2009

05/21/09: To the Good Land (that is, Goodland, KS)

Today's pattern suggests a bit of a focus for rotating storms in northwest KS today, but the "ifs" are really problematic. The mid-tropospheric winds have weakened, but the surface easterly flow should yield reasonable vertical shear values....however, not quite phased with the highest dew points (about 30 miles out of phase). Nevertheless, we are here to chase potential storms, so we will shortly drop south from Ogalalla, Nebraska into that area.

Yesterday, the marginal moisture at lowest levels had the effect we expected. We did indeed get rotating storms....two supercells that we witnessed, albeit with high bases. The cloud base rotation was quite evident in the swirls where theupdraft was centered. We also saw VORTEX2's armada....over 40 vehicles...quite impressive.

The upcoming pattern does not look good for storm researchers. I am liable to leave the Plains earlier than I have ever in previous chase years. Thom is leaving on Sunday, and Scott and I are liable to try one last play in Texas early next week

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