Target Area: Colby/Goodland, Kansas
Chase Area: Colby/Scott City, Kansas
Observations: two supercells, golfball-sized hail, lightning, several rainbows, three deer, and one pheasant
Distance: 835 miles
Time: 15 hours
Chase Team: Jeff Makowski, Dean Narramore, and myself
SPC Convective Outlook: Slight Risk (Click to see SPC products, data, and storm reports)
Chase Setup: A strong shortwave trough was moving southeast through the Pacific Northwest. The associated surface low in southwest Canada and lee troughing downwind from the Rockies promoted south to southeast surface flow over western Kansas. Dewpoints were in the mid-60s in western Kansas with MLCAPE values between 1000 and 1500 J kg -1 in far western Kansas. The 0 to 6 km bulk shear was around 50 knots in northwest Kansas.
Chase #23 - Northwest Kansas (before)
Chase Log: We drove out to far northwest Kansas for the second time in three days. At first we just saw a lone cell south of Goodland, and headed after that one. By the time we got to the storm, we saw another one to the north (actually there were two to the north, but the northern one was a bit too far north). The middle storm started to look better, so we took a gamble and went after that one instead.
Our storm turned into a gorgeous supercell; it was actually one of the prettiest ones I've seen. The back side of the storm was also beautiful, as the crisp convection was so white and there was a nice rainbow coming out of the storm into a yellow wheat field.
We chased the storm from Logan County into northern Scott County, where we tried to get out ahead of the storm again but got hit by the RFD wrapping around and nailing us with golfball-sized hail stones. Somehow the car did not even get a scratch, and we waited by the side of the road until the storm passed.
After the supercell crossed the road, we drove on and saw some quarter and ping pong ball-sized hail laying in a sadly destroyed corn field. At this point we the storm was dying, so we headed up to Grand Island, Nebraska, where we stayed the night in anticipation of our chase in Minnesota the next day (though we thought we'd only be in South Dakota).