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2011 Chasecation

Chasecation Day 7 – The Long Trek North

It looks like tomorrow and Monday could be severe weather producers up in the Nebraska and South Dakota, so we’ll have to make our way north from Abilene, TX today and into tomorrow. The goal for today is to get into central/northern Kansas, going as far north as possible. LCLs are a bit more favorable in the northern Risk area, which will help in getting storms rooted to the surface during the evening hours, allowing for the possibility of seeing a tornado.

Chasecation Day 6 – Get that See Text!

The original plan was to take a tour of the SPC and other places in Norman, OK before setting up for this weekend’s storm activity. However, with the See Text area added by the SPC in Texas for storms that should pop up this afternoon/evening, we have decided to head down that way to see at least some storm structure. Saturday looks like another down day until we get into the more favorable pattern next week.

Chasecation Day 5 – Down day in Oklahoma

We’re in Blackwell, OK for the time being as we wait for the storms activity to pick up this weekend. While the wait has been long, it might pay off well as the first half of next week could be one of the nicest systems to chase in 2011. A slow-moving upper-level trough will hang around the Four Corners region for several days, which will hopefully produce 3-4 consecutive days of severe weather and tornadoes over western/central TX/OK/KS. It’s a very nice setup in prime chase territory, and I would be surprised if we came out of next week without any tornadoes on film.

Today we’re going to make a visit to Wakita, OK, which was made famous after the movie Twister. Afterword, it’s back to Blackwell for another night.

Chasecation Day 4 – Recapping Yesterday’s Brush Fire

While on our way to Ellinwood, KS yesterday we spotted a sizable plume of smoke and went towards it. It turned out to be a decent brush fire, which had a couple of brief firenadoes and a good amount of visually-striking smokenadoes.

Here is a video of the brush fire and smokenadoes:

The smoke was prolific enough to show up on radar as well:

Thanks to Ian for pulling the radar loop from WUnderground. Today’s plans are still pretty much up in the air… a couple of things in mind, but nothing set in stone yet.

Chasecation Day 3 – A Day in Kansas

Right now we’re in downtown Wichita after a great lunch with Mike Smith and Guy Pearson of WeatherData. We’ll hang around the area a.bit more before heading into Ellinwood, KS. Another down day tomorrow, with a small chance of dryline activity at the end of the work week.

Chasecation Day 2 – Finally got some sleep!

As we head into the Wichita, KS area this evening, I’ll take a quick look back at earlier. I plan on posting these in the morning, but yesterday just sucked in terms of sleep, feeling out of it, and just being on the road for 21 hours straight, which kind of made me want to just collapse on my bed and sleep… so I did. After a long night’s sleep, we all got up and lazily prepared for the drive up to Wichita.

Though exhausting, we did see a nice shelf cloud around mid-day yesterday along I-40 in Arkansas just west of Memphis, TN. Here’s a couple of screen grabs from the video I took:

Tomorrow we will meet with Mike Smith, CEO of WeatherData, Inc. for lunch, and we’ll make a quick trip up to Ellinwood, KS for some “heh this town was named after one of my ancestors” things.

Chasecation Day 1 – Welcome to Central TN!

A dying MCS gave us a nice greeting in the early daylight hours heading through central Tennessee… some asperatus clouds appeared on the horizon:

Still on our way to Arkansas where we will hopefully be able to get after some tornadic cells as 2000 J/kg CAPE and good directional shear near the frontal boundary provides a somewhat favorable atmosphere for development.