Storm Chasing from Kentucky to Texas!
Amazing, unbelievable, and spectacular are the words that come to mind when I think about my first six days of the storm chase. We left New Brunswick, NJ on May 30 and hit the open road keeping our fingers crossed that we would see thunderstorms and even a tornado. Our first night we stayed in Shelbyville, KY on our way toward our first chase target - southwest Kentucky. The following day, we ended up at an airport to view the building convection in Madisonville, KY. The storms did not grow into towering cumulus as we hoped, but still produced some great lightning and rain shafts. In fact, one of the storms we were chasing ended up chasing us when one of the vans got a flat forcing us to pull over into Bubba's Bikeshop to let the gusty winds, lightning and pouring rain pass through.
The next few days we drove through Oklahoma and set up in northern Texas (take a look at the map) where multicellular thunderstorms formed. First off, the land in this area was extremely flat and had very few towns enabling us to see the complete structure of the building convection - something we could never see see in New Jersey. It was amazing to see for miles and view thunderstorms from top to bottom and appreciate the spectacular site! On our drive to our hotel in Liberal, KS (the home of Dorothy's house from The Wizard of Oz), we viewed the most intense and exciting lightning storm I have ever experienced! We had dinner in a town with a population of 3000 and were glued to the window watching the heavy rain, gusty winds and lightning. The employees actually had to tell us to back away from the doors for safety reasons. We drove though the storm with hundreds of acres of flat farmland on all sides of us allowing for an ideal view of cloud to ground lightning, which was so bright that it made me want to wear sunglasses!
Sunday, June 3rd, was forecasted to be a perfect set up for supercells but the atmosphere did not destabilize fast enough...ugh! Unfortunately, a ridge is moving in so we're likely going to do more site seeing than anything the next few days, but we do plan to head on up into the Northern Plains and setup for potential storms later this week. Keep posted!