North Central Kansas
I had a lot of concerns with this day from the get go. The shear profile was really screwed
up with a veer, back, veer look. After talking with my chase partners the night before, we
agreed to chat again early in the morning of the 26th to make a final decision as a 5:30
am departure would get up to our initial target area of Smith Center KS which would be
very near the triple point. At 4:15am Joel and I decided it would be one of the damned if
you do, damned if you don't days so we got a hold of David and Mark and headed out for
Kansas. Morning convection over northeast Kansas left a strong outflow boundary from
near Manhattan KS up to Beatrice NE. With already screwed up shear, the outflow
boundary would end up killing the day as the EML wasn't strong enough to hold the good
instability and a group of splitting supercells ignited mid afternoon and chewed up all the
good CAPE which should have been in place for the dry line and warm front triple point to
work with. Hats off to the HRRR which nailed it this day. Too bad we were already 5
hours into an 8 hour drive at this point.
Mickey D's in Concordia, KS just south of the warm front. We literally had just enough time for a
quick lunch before the first storm went off on the outflow boundary down by Manhattan. Those
storm threw off another outflow boundary which headed west towards the dry line which was
sitting almost stationary just east of Russell KS to Smith Center KS line. At this point we were
hoping for a miracle in the squeeze play warm sector. Heck, we have hardly had any thunder up
north this spring so we were happy just to make the trip.
We headed east of Concordia on highway 9 as a cell started to develop south of Clifton near
the warm front. The cells were moving almost due north.
How the day would play out time and time again. Splitting supercells with BOTH splits heading
north up and over the front. We expected this with the steering winds running perpendicular to
the warm front and not parallel. We needed a cell to spin hard when it crossed if we had any
shot at a tornado today.
After getting on several supercells which turned out just to be hailers, (we did see 4" stones on
the side of the road near Waterville, KS) we positioned ourselves just north of Hanover, KS to
watch the only cell we had seen all day which looked like it had any chance at all. These
storms were ingesting rain cooled air from the south and east which pretty much killed our
chances of a tornado but warm front miracles can happen.
Mark Eaves, Joel Lampe and Mark's friend, Shawn, watch on as the cell tries to spin on the
boundary. Joel's expression pretty much tells the story for the day: frustration.
Pretty good example of the cells from the day. Elongated bases and storms which just looked
cold from the get go.
One and done. As fast as it formed, it was gone. It tried to spin for a couple of minutes but as
soon at it went over the warm front, it got blasted by 50 degree air from the east and northeast.
Show over for the day. We monkeyed around with some of the cells to our west on the dryline as
the warm front continued to slowly lift north but nothing of interest occurred. Now it was time for
the 8 hour drive back. Not how we were hoping the season would start for us, but it has to at