Storm Chase Log - 05/09-05/14 2002

John and Beth Moore

Trip so far. Each color represents a different day.

Thursday, May 9

We departed Paradise Valley, AZ around 11 AM. Destination Amarillo. No weather expected, and none encountered except high winds on the road in some areas.

Friday, May 10

We woke up to a cold, overcast day. Originally we expected to be chasing nifty dryline thunderstorms today. Unfortunately, forecasts were wrong. Any storms that would develop would not be tornadic. Since the next day was supposed to be a big show in north central Kansas, we chose to proceed eastward to get into position.

As we approached Oklahoma City, Matt Crowther gave us a radar observation of an area of growing cumulus NE of Wichita Falls, TX. We decided to investigate, since it was not too far away. We found a nice looking cumulus congestus which immediately decided to deflate. Our mood deflated simultaneously. We continued onward to Perry, OK and stayed at a nice, inexpensive Best Western right by the freeway.

No sun was seen all day.

Saturday, May 11

Ah... the big day for Kansas. We got data and things were as expected. We went to Salina, and storms had already formed when we got there. Tornado warnings went up, and we were very close to several of them. Tornados? No way... these storms were outflow dominant and had lots of rising scud and other cloud formations that fooled various reporting individuals. We never saw any good storm structure (the overcast didn't help). There was nothing but mush.

We finally headed towards Kinman, KS. A supercell was reported approaching that area and there had been several tornados reported on it. Just as light was fading, we stopped SE of the core and indeed it looked like a supercell. Real inflow bands. Real inflow. An updraft base. Cool! But no tornado, and it got dark, so we decided to head on out for the big show in Texas the next day.

So far, we still hadn't seen the sun since Amarillo.

Sunday, May 12

Ah... a possible big day along the Red River or further south. Woke up (yup - cold overcast) and boogied south. Chased around in grunge. All storms were behind the front, hard to see, and not supercells. Went to Weatherford, TX for the night. Stayed in the wrong motel again. Got rained on, got thundered on, got bored.

Monday, May 13

Not a prayer. Decided to go to Carlsbad to commune with the bats, and then to Roswell to commune with the freaks and aliens. Stayed at nice Best Western ($59) in Carlsbad, and made it to the cave in time to see the bats depart for their ightly flight. Pretty neat. Also ran into Storm Chase Adventures Tours and Silver Liner Tours (hope I got the names right).