Green Sky Chaser

5 May 2007 Chase Log


Target Area: St. John/Greensburg/Medicine Lodge, Kansas

Chase Area: St. John/Greensburg/Pratt, Kansas

Observations: two tornadoes, three wall clouds, at least nine funnel clouds, several supercells, lightning, a deer, and a few pheasants

Distance: ~600 miles

Time: 15 hours

Chase Team: Car 1 - Ryan Surrage, Hin Pang, Esther White, and myself; Car 2 - Joe Daron, Gemma Ebsworth, Duncan Geere, Lorna McLean, and Jayne Reveley

SPC Convective Outlook: Moderate Risk (Upgraded to High) (Click to see SPC products, data, and storm reports)

Chase Setup: A deep upper-level trough was located over the Four Corners' region. A broad region of low pressure was situated over the western High Plains with a frontal boundary stretching from northern Nebraska southwest into the west Texas Panhandle. A dryline stretched from southern Nebraska southward through the central Texas Panhandle. Dewpoints were in the 60s to near 70 ahead of the dryline. MLCAPE was between 1000 and 3000 J kg-1 in central Kansas. 0 to 6 km bulk shear was between 50 and 60 knots.

Chase Log: After spending the night in Dodge City, Kansas, after chasing the Greensburg tornado on the previous day (see chase log), we headed out to chase the same area southeast of Dodge. This day was so chaotic between seeing countless supercells, witnessing multiple funnels and debris clouds, dodging hundreds of other chasers and roadblocks from the previous night's tornado damage, I really don't remember a whole lot from the day. Not to mention we were still all in shock from seeing the Greensburg tornado and damage, so we were just running on adrenaline and not as in to the chase as we might normally have been.

This was my first high risk chase day; the day started out as a moderate, but the Storm Prediction Center upgraded to a high risk by the 13Z outlook. A line of tornadic supercells quickly formed from southwest to central Kansas, and we carefully navigated around storms, damage, and roadblocks.

Early on in the evening, we saw a funnel cloud above a brief debris cloud just north of Pratt. Not long after this, we saw another funnel cloud above debris cloud (not fully condensed, and very brief) just south of Stafford. There were many other tornadoes this day, from the west Oklahoma/Texas border up into South Dakota and Iowa, but this is all we saw before heading back to Oklahoma.

This was the last chase I went on with this year's Brits (with the exception of Esther and Hin), and the last chase I went on in 2007.