Tuesday 31st May 2022 – Oklahoma (Enhanced Risk)

We started today in Blackwell (OK) and todays set up would feature a surface boundary which was stationery across Oklahoma and a Triple Point near Woodward. The models were showing 2 main areas of Interest, one north of I40 into Southern Kansas and the other along and near the Childress area running along the Red River, as it turned out we did both risks in the end starting with the I40 risk then dropping down to end the day just north of the Red River. After a quick lunch in Clinton towers started exploding around 3pm near and North of Arapahoe and we picked a nice vantage point to watch mainly Multi Cell storms try to get their act together, one storm did boss the action and turned supercellular, the structure was beautiful west of Arapahoe.

This Storm tried several times to put down a Tornado with nice inflow and numerous rotating funnel clouds.

Around 6pm this area grew upscale and the front started to undercut so we had to move 60 miles south to another Supercell heading into SW Oklahoma, the chase was still well and truly on and we headed down to Mountain Park to a favourite viewpoint to watch the Storm roll in at Sunset. We were treated to a spectacular Anvil Lightning display around sunset.

The day was still not over with the LLJ kicking in storms were now starting to rotate much harder as hodographs elongated in the early evening. One such storm to our South West gained a Tornado warning and we watched a few power flashes and a Tornado touch down. Success on day 1 of Tour 3.

Lightning continued to rain down as we headed east to Lawton for the night, an amazing chase day and verified Tornado near Frederick (Ok)

Monday 30th May 2022 – Kansas (Enhanced Risk)

Today was a changeover day in Denver and so is becoming normal another big risk for today. SPC had a Moderate Risk in Minnesota and South Dakota which we could not make but also a trailing dryline through Central and Eastern Kansas which was just about makeable with a mammoth drive firstly from Ogallalla to Denver to pick up the new guests then across I-70 to Salina and Wichita for an early evening dryline risk. This entailed 800 miles of travel. After getting back to Salina for around 6pm we punched through to the east side of the dryline but the views from the west were very nice with crisp updraughts and overshooting tops visible.

We were now in a position to stair step down each Supercell but it was quickly apparant something was making these storms struggle today, the first storm was hugely outflow dominant, the 2nd died as we approached it so it was all on the tail end charlie by this stage on the KS/OK border. As soon as we got into position on the SE Side this promptly died as well due to diurnal loss of heating. All in all a very disappointing daybut we had to make the trip down for the next few days risks so the hurt was not too bad. Last picture of the shrivelling supercell at sunset

Sunday 29th May 2022 – Nebraska (Enhanced Risk)

Started today in North Platte and had an Enhanced Risk in the Central and North Eastern Parts of Nebraska. SPC upgraded the Tornado Risk to 10% but as this was the last tour day we had to be in a sensible distance to Denver to return everyone for their flights home. As it turned out the risk was actually closer to Denver than we first thought which was nice. The HRRR was not actually that far off in the end See Below the prediction

We went North East to Burwell for Lunch and I noticed their was a huge Cirrus Canopy to our East and North East and this can act as a cap for storms forming, things were rapidly changing and this was becoming a watching surface obs and boundaries type of day which I love chasing. SPC kept with their 10% in NE Nebraska on the 20z Update but I knew this was almost certain to bust and our attention was now drawn to quite a unique set up that I had not really chased before, namely the post frontal moisture rich set-up. A surface Low had stalled on the KS/NE Border and was drawing in moisture from backed winds from the east over a concentrated area around Broken Bow. We quickly double backed from where we came and watched the cumulus field explode in front of our eyes around 730pm.

We were literally the first chasers on this Supercell which was anchoring on an Outflow Boundary, things would have quickly here.

We watched the storm explode into life with a low hanging wall cloud to our North West.

The Storm then raced off North East and moved away from the boundary and became a little bit more elevated in nature with large hail being reported. In fact some 5-6″ Inch Hail was now being reported in to the NWS with picture proof. Was gutted at this point that we did not call off the chase to pick up some of the hailstones as the Storm rapidly weakened after that, we headed back east after that to stay at Ogallalla and were then treated to another 2 hours of constant storms moving North out of NE Colorado to end Tour 2s trip.

Saturday 28th May 2022 – Nebraska (Slight Risk)

Started today in Chadron and the risk was in South Dakota and Nebraska but chose the southern play due to it being closer to the better Tornado potential for the day after and Tour 2s last chase day. After a quick visit to Carhenge along the way storms would fire in extreme NE Colorado and roll NE towards the Sandhills of Nebraska which is always a fun area to chase. We took the obligatory dirt roads and found a lovely viewpoint for CG lightning for about 2 hours. The Tornado potential today was almost non zero so today was all about some nice structures and lightning. South of Tryon we found a deserted road and watching the Storm drift away to the North with some stunning Mammatus and sunset colours before retreating to North Platte for the night.

 

Friday 27th May 2022 – S Dakota (Slight Risk)

After a 2 day break with no weather we were back in the Northern Plains with a small Slight Risk area over Western South Dakota near the Black Hills and North of Rapid City. SPC went with a 2% Tornado Risk but High Resolution Models did not show much promise with a couple of Supercells rolling out of Wyoming and congealing into a bowing line. Had Lunch in Sturgis and then rolled north to a great viewpoint to the west to watch the developing Supercell move in.

The Tour 2 guests enjoying the Lightning of the Approaching Storm

We tracked the Storm east a small distance before everything dissipated and our attention was then drawn to another type of Storm which was developing namely a Solar Storm with a KP5 and a large negative Bz of -11.4. I had already pre-empted the next day was going to be a Nebraska Chase so had re-booked the rooms in Chadron and on the NE/SD border we stopped and looked north with amazement.

Not a bad sight for 46 degrees north and my 2nd US Solar Storm. Guests were well chuffed

Tuesday 24th May 2022 – Texas (Slight Risk)

Started today in Lubbock and had a very firm target of San Angelo which would be smack bang on the Triple Point and got down their in plenty of time for a nice Lunch. Towers were bubbling away nicely on the boundary around 2pm.

A Storm duly erupted 15 miles west of San Angelo on the triple point and moved slowly North East before stalling and splitting. Structure was really starting to take shape now.

Structure now with Baseball Sized Hail

The Storm then encountered lot of storm mergers so we took Highway 87 south of Town and watched a brief 1 Minute Tornado drop to our West.

The Storm never gained a Tornado Warning even having 88kts of Gate to Gate Shear. I have since sent the radar grabs to NWS San Angelo and we are awaiting a response from them as other chasers also documented the Tornado. After this the main storms grew upscale into a fast moving east moving bow echo so we dropped even further south to a discrete Supercell south of Sonora for the end of the day and a finish in Junction (Texas)

Some nice Mammatus to end the day as well.

Monday 23rd May 2022 – Tx Panhandle (Slight Risk)

We started today in probably the best Hotel of the Trip in Mineral Wells and after looking at models my chase target was west of Lubbock and the town of Morton which as you will later read was not too shabby. After a lunch at Jasons Deli in Lubbock we topped off the cars and headed for Morton to watch the Dryline bubble away just over the border in New Mexico. Todays Set Up was a Surface low on the NM/TX Border and a lifting north warm front transporting in low 60’s just in time dewpoints. One good thing was the morning cloudiness which kept the temperature low at 61f. When Storms fired at 4pm the temperature at Max Heating was only 79f and this had a lot of bearing on what was to come over the next 4 hours, and also a massive thing that made this day come together was a North westward moving Outflow Boundary from early day storms down near Interstate 20 south of Lubbock.

We kept just east of 3 Dryline Storms which were fighting each other for a good 90 minutes, the Storm near Clovis was tempting especially as it stalled on what we now know was the Outflow Boundary. I stopped the car at Sudan and said to the guys we are not moving until I see another 2 radar scans as something was happening here with storm scale movements and what a decision that was to be in the end. Once I saw the Southern Storm stall on the Outflow Boundary we gunned it straight south to get onto the right side of the storm as it was now only a matter of time before this Supercell would latch and start dropping Tornadoes. We had to navigate almost apocolyptic dust storms on the way down. And as soon as we were level with the Storm it latched the boundary and dropped its first tornado.

The annoying thing for me was Morton was my target and also we need to be west or South West of these Cyclic Supercells in the drought hit areas much like the 4th May event, so I was pretty pissed with myself for being SE and not having the totally clear view. This was our view below though with 60mph screaming inflow winds making it hard to stand up at times.

The Structure was off the scale at times and we now had a 1 Mile Wide EF2 Wedge Tornado just 2 miles in front of us moving at us.

But still not as good as the view from the un dusty side from Tori Jane below

We then moved West to be just behind the Storm and took some large hail sitting in the vault area, the Supercell was now going through some strange processes as it tried to keep on the Outflow Boundary with the Occlusion now travelling SW back towards Morton. This part of the chase now became a massive thank you to Dave Ewoldt who was nowcasting for me and got us the next 3 Tornadoes from this Cyclic beast. The first he actually predicted in a field 4 miles ESE of Morton as the Tornadic part of the storm started moving back to the SE. This was a lovely white cone that dropped in the field with Power Flashes just to our North.

We continued SE towards Whiteface and witnessed another Tornado and started to see the stunning structure of this Supercell.

Amazing Structure Now

We finished the day at Lubbock with 4 Tornadoes in the bag and celebrated into the night, What a Day and just goes to show if all the ingredients come together it can change in an instant.

Saturday 21st May 2022 – Arkansas (Slight Risk)

We started the day in Ardmore and for the first time in 11 years I would be venturing east of I35 and into the Forests of Arkansas. SPC had a 2% Tornado Risk but things would go linear quickly so the plan was to target Little Rock and get on the south end of the Line heading SE. Amazingly and Luckily we stopped 5 miles south of the Tail end Charlie cell and came upon an amazing viewpoint at a Church Car Park to watch.

Storms today were not photogenic and I dont even think I took a picture worthy of the post. One thing I will say is Little Rock is a very run down place to stay with lots of street walkers and we even witnessed a break in at the Local Petrol Station and called the cops. One place I will not be staying in again.

 

 

Wednesday 18th May 2022 – SE Colorado (Slight Risk)

Started the last day of Tour 1 in Garden City and had a Slight Risk in SE Colorado which was perfect for changeover day tomorrow. Weak Upslope flow would fire of borderline Supercells but mainly Multi cells capable of some Hail and Outflow winds. Storms would become more severe when we had to leave them when they encountered better moisture over SW Kansas. We got onto the strongest storm SE Of Limon and core punched it to get in front near Kit Carson we encountered mainly quarter sized hail. Structure was quite good at times so we stopped west of Chivington for some pictures.

We had to let the core go over us just after this around 6pm as we needed to be back into Denver early tomorrow so we missed out on the 75mph moving Haboob which was raking across SW Kansas. But did manage to get some pretty pictures from the west side of the system as it moved away. Once again no Tornadoes and the 2022 drought continues with no Tornadoes now for 3 weeks almost anywhere in the US.

Tuesday 17th May 2022 – Kansas (Slight Risk)

We awoke today in Woodward and my early target was Red Cloud (NE) but after second guessing myself I ended up staying south. I was never interested in the SPC 5% Tornado Risk for NE Kansas and SE Nebraska but today would be one of those frustrating chase days you have when you have a blend of Multi Cells and Transient Supercells where storms evaporate as you go near them only for others to form where you just were. We also missed a weak landspout which we probably could have got west of my original target. This chase will not go down in the History books and it goes down as the one we have once a season. I did manage a structure shot at least just south of Scott City and we ended the day at Garden City (KS)