March 29th Storm Chase – Bust With Brief Core Punch

Apr 01, 2012

Summary:

Stuck to target ignoring what became the storm of the day further north. Called chase near sunset as storms quickly developed. Core punched developing storm with onslaught of quarter size hail before continuing home.

 

 

 

Stats:

Tornadoes: 0

Hail: 1.00″ (Quarter)

Wind: < 58mph

 

Detailed Account:

Today was supposed to be better than the day before and with the target area being nearly the same, it was foolish not to chase. We awoke in Emporia Kansas and decided we didn’t have to go so far, so we had a much needed, relaxed morning before leaving and grabbing lunch at the Golden Corel. The setup was similar to the day before with rather weak forcing but very high cape. There was a little more shear to work with so the hope was for better organized storms. We moved north to a target around Holton, Kansas where we sat and waited for storms to form.

There were obvious boundaries with deep cu fields to our west, and we felt pretty good about parking ourselves just downstream if them. If a storm popped we would have the perfect shot. A local resident in the area came to check us out after seeing us parked in one spot. He was hostile when he first greeted us thinking we were up to no good as there have been some thefts recently, but once he learned we were storm chasers he quickly changed tones and was quite the happy fellow. I wouldn’t want to be on his bad side though.

A storm finally went up well north of we were sitting near a warm front. We contemplated making a run after it, but decided to stick to our target since the storm would cross the MO river, and I hate chasing in that area. If our boundary lit up we would have much better terrain/roads to work with. We could see the distant tower from the storm.

Same story for us though, we watched towering cumulus go up one after another and rapidly die. Lack of really good forcing and a stronger than predicted cap once again was thwarting thunderstorm development for us. We decided to move north after a few pathetic 20 dbz radar blips as our cumulus field struggled to get going.  The storms to our north also never did anything, and we called the chase and decided to head towards home. While we were en route as darkness fell, storms began quickly forming in Nebraska. The storm closest to us was showing large hail on radar, so we opted for a core punch. This brought on a minute long onslaught of quarter size hail that began to cover the ground. It was over pretty quick and we continued home, stopping for dinner on the go at McDonalds.

The storm we ignored earlier ended up being the storm of the day, with some funnel cloud and possible tornado reports. Much like the previous day though, I have yet to see striking evidence a tornado occurred, just a coney lowering half way to the ground in between flashes of lightning.

Conclusion:

Today was a bit disappointing. The presence of more shear led to a slightly higher confidence for better storms than what we were dealt. The brief core punch was a consolation prize, but at this stage of the game a minute long core punch with quarter size hail in the dark no longer yields the same satisfaction it once did. The day was a bust in my opinion. In hindsight we could have gotten on the storm of the day, but we chose to stick to our target and forecast. Had the storm of the day produced something better than it did, the day would sting allot more.

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