June 6 2009 Cap Bust

Mar 05, 2012

Well, you cant win em all.

Summary: Cap bust. Even several days before this chase the cap worried me, temps between 850 and 700 were brutal…but it was in between to better looking setups so it was a gamble worth taking. Targeted the opposite end of the state. Met up with lots of fellow IL chasers and were joined by a few celebrity chasers from around the country as well. Spent the entire day taking over a Wendys parking lot and got a nice tan. The cap held and not even a rain shower developed. We called it a day around 8pm and a group of us went do dinner just south of Omaha.
Stats:
Tornadoes: 0
Hail: 0
Wind: 0
Lightning: 0
Rain: 0
Number of chase vehicles in the parking lot counted at one point: 16
Lesson Learned: When a cap bust seems possible, bring some form of entertainment such as bean bags.
Detailed account:
Not much to write. We woke up from our amazing hotel in North Platte and headed for our target city of Beatrice. En route we decided to shift the target a little further north based off model guidance to Nebraska City. Once there we met up with fellow chasers Skip Talbot, Brandon Sullivan, Mike Brady, Jesse Risley, Ben Holcomb, Scott Bennet, Brad Goddard, Chad Cowan and so many more I cant remember [sorry!]
It was hot out…temps pushing 90….we sat around talking, shooting the breeze, and monitoring the weather. Nothing would happen though. We sat in a Wendys parking lot and took it over for 5 hours. It was a cap bust but at least it was spent with allot of good company, we all enjoyed meeting some new faces and chatting about anything and everything.
I like to think of these as character days, not every setup will produce and like it or not, a cap bust is part of chasing. To expect storms every time is foolishness and days like this really test a chasers commitment.
Once we officially gave the chase to the cap, a smaller group of us…me, Danny, Skip, Brandon, Jesse, Mike, Brad, Ben and Scott went out to dinner near Omaha. We got a hotel in nearby Council Bluffs, IA.
Once the cap cooled off around midnight storms blew up as fast as they could blow up, and we were at least treated to some thunder, lightning and even some pea size hail.
If you find yourself asking…what is a cap? A “cap” is basically a layer of warm air which resides above the surface that can acts as a “cap” on the atmosphere, storms can only develop if the air keeps getting cooler the higher up you go [also referred to as a lapse rate.] So when a layer of warmer air exists a storm will develop and hit that layer of warm air and can no longer rise, and will die.
A cap is not all bad though, you need SOME capping in order to keep storms isolated, if there is no cap storms will fire everywhere. Forecasting a cap is just one of the many challenges that adds to forecasting, it can severely complicate an otherwise awesome setup. That is the simplest way I can explain it…to learn more see the links in the education tab.
Conclusion: Not much to say. A cap bust happens, it was nice to be spent with great company and made the day that much easier to cope with.
No google map since there was no chasing.
Some pictures of us all in parking lot milling about:
Storms did try, but hit the cap and could not get much higher than this.

FAIL.

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