May 21, 2011

May 21: Convective Initiation Soon....and Giving Up Too Soon

Here's a shot of the developing cumulus field north of Wichita at 3:30PM CDT.  The cumulus were making initial attempts to develop.

And they explosively developed, as we watched, just west of Emporia, KS.   But,  during the 45 minutes or so we watched...the anvils became diffuse, the radar presentation was not convincing, so we decided to drop south to our overnight location in Perry, Oklahoma, since our initial target on Sunday appears to be the Red River area around Wichita Falls TX.

Alas, the storm, as it approached Topeka in northeastern KS became an intense supercell.  As much as we can make of it from the radar information, it must have crossed over a boundary, because it really suddenly developed a hook, and had Tornado Vortex Signatures consistently for the next hour.  Some video we were able to see indicated some very well defined funnels associated with it.   I'm trying to communicate with some colleagues who stayed with the storm to see what kind of tornadoes (and if tornadoes did indeed occur).