Sub Severe Storms in Nebraska May 27th 2012

Oct 22, 2012


Chased marginal setup again only encountering sub severe storms with sub severe hail and mediocre structure.


Tornadoes: 0

Hail: .75″ (penny)

Wind: < 40mph


Detailed Account:

Not entirely sold on the setup, I bit on it only because it was a weekend and I was desperate to get something great out of this year. Departing for Nebraska with a “you never know” mentality, I knew storm mode would be a problem with rather meager shear profiles, the low level turning was there, but not much else. Speed shear and good deep moisture was lacking, but there was instability. Another one of those narrow window for tornadoes before the whole thing goes linear type chases. The target brought us to South Central Nebraska where we met up with quite a few chasers. I had my stream running and a local who lived nearby recognized the gas station we were stopped at and actually left his house to come say hi. I thought it was neat to see that people actually pay attention to that when it is in their local area.

Storms finally blew up and the chase was on. One particular storm was all by its lonesome back to the east, and a whole mess of storms was going up to the west. I figured the east storm had the best chance at remaining isolated while the stuff to my west would line out so I bolted back east to catch the storm, always a tricky way to chase, but storm speeds were on the slower side which made it possible.

Back-side structure as we approach.

As we got closer we could see the hail shaft illuminated by the sun.

I must have been wearing my storm repellent because as we began our core punch from behind the storm rapidly weakened and faded into nothing. By now the storms to the west were pretty linear as I had suspected and I was not sold on a tornado, but they did show large hail on radar so I went into core punch mode, though an unfavorable road network made that hard. One storm slipped by us and we could see a pretty cool rain foot in the distance.

We caught the next storm and let it roll over us, with nothing more than sub severe hail and hardly any wind. Once that was done we made a jog further west for some more linear storms in hopes of large hail, but there was none to be had. We called the chase just before dark and headed to an Applebees for dinner where we were treated to a nice lightning snow and a decent meal.


Same old, same old. I am beginning to hate 2012 and question my sanity for chasing such marginal setups but I must keep trying. You cannot win if you don’t play. One of the earlier storms had a reported weak tornado, but I never saw pictures or video which leaves me to believe nothing was really missed. There were some reports of really large hail so it would have been nice to get into that though.


Red circle shows area where cores were encountered.

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