May 20th Beautiful Kansas Storm Structure

Feb 26, 2012

Purdy…

Summary:
Low probability day gives us a couple small hail cores and some gorgeous back side storm structure.
Stats:
Tornadoes: 0
Hail: .50″ [dime]
Wind: n/a
Detailed Account:
A little bummed about the first day, today didn’t seem to have much chance for redemption. It was one of those days that we would not have driven out to Kansas for but alas we were already here so we decided to try. We had some lunch at an awesome local BBQ joint in Salina where we met up and chatted with The Weather Channel crew for a bit. At least they were having the same luck we were. Once done there we relocated to a large truck stop where we played our waiting game there. Today was about as low of a chance for good storms as you get so we weren’t optimistic at all.
Eventually a couple small storms went up which we ignored for awhile, but when one of the hail cores began to look potent on radar we decided to go for it. At least Brad enjoys a good core punch as much as I do so we decided to make hail our mission. We got into position on the storm and watched the hail core approach.
As it approached though we were dealt nothing but peas and dimes. A series of small storms were blowing up one after another in the same area so we just went back and forth sampling various cores. We could never find hail larger than dime size despite reports of quarters and half dollars coming in through spotter network, was I really failing at hail chasing?
The last storm in the line went up near Pratt so we just let it roll past us with again, more small hail. What we weren’t expecting was a nice treat on the back side. As the storm slipped away we were treated to gorgeous structure with great contrast in the clouds. We stopped and fired off dozens of photos and shot brief video. It was a really nice treat from an otherwise mediocre chase and left us feeling quite happy with the day. No other storms went up and this is all there was to be had, at least we made the most of it and the shots are some of the prettiest I have. I only wish I had a decent camera to capture it with. I will let the photos speak for themselves.
I love this one…I can see this on a calendar at some point.
As the storm slipped away in the twilight we began to make our way back to Wichita for some dinner. On the way though Scott’s SUV lost a wheel bearing [ironic since that was a similar problem to what mine is in the shop for] so we made sure he got back to town before we got some dinner and roomed up at Motel 6.
Conclusion:
This chase was better than the previous days chase due to its photogenic reward at the end. I was quite happy with the results given the expectations and it always goes to show you that you never know what you will get when you go out chasing.
Map not available.
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