Monday, May 10, 1999|
Chase accounts, data, maps, and photographs
Jim Eschrich --
I started off with the SPC's convection outlook giving possible development east of a line from Liberal, KS, to Scott City, KS. I figured Dodge City might be an appropriate place to set camp, so I proceeded from Lawton, OK up rt. 183. Along the trip I noticed winds were from a southerly direction, giving me encouragement. However, upon arrival in Dodge City, the winds had changed to the north so I proceeded east along rt. 54 to Pratt. Regaining the southerly winds, I set up camp and waited...
The show really didn't get started until about 5:30 when towers started building about 20 miles NE of Great Bend heading towards Ellsworth. I started North up 281 noticing a line of storms developing west and parallel with 156 south to about Larned. I wasn't really expecting any tornadic activity from these storms and would have been happy with the well developed anvil. But as luck should have it, about 5 miles away to the NE I noticed a fat thumb shaped condensation funnel coming down from the NW sector of the super cell heading in an ENE direction. I wanted to get a little closer, so I proceeded up 156 towards Ellsworth; shortly after the NWS issued the tornado warning for Barton County. The storm itself appeared to be tightening up, though it appeared not to be of mesocyclonic origin. Within a few minutes the storm formed a rope, (actually this one appeared to be more of a spider leg), and dissipated.
I continued to follow the storm hoping for another possible landspout and noticed the most spectacular display of mammatus I've seen this year. Just the way they caught the suns last hour was breath taking. About this time a tornado warning was issued for Rice County due to a strong rotation in a cell directly south of me. I headed back down 156 to rt. 4 and headed east to a couple miles west of Bushton. Looking up, (and I mean directly up), I saw the rotation. I was definitely in the wrong spot. I sat there underneath the rotation and underneath power lines to boot. Needless to say I didn't stay there. I went back west on rt 4 and watched the storm for about a half hour or so and didn't see any further development.
The storms to the north began to give way to developing line of storms to the south. It was getting dark so I headed back down towards Pratt. While driving south, I was treated to a perpetual lightning display that illuminated a beautiful anvil directly over Pratt. Just that display of nature was worth the trip.
Robert Satkus --
After looking at early morning data I was leaning towards Nw Ok as the
triple point would be located in that area. However as time went on the
winds veered somewhat and dewpoints at Gage were holding in the mid 50's.
Instability was increasing rapidly over Sw Ok With Altus reaching 81/68 by 1
pm. Winds were slightly more southerly and capes were approaching 3000j/kg I
now felt Sw was the place to go.
Bobby Payne and I headed west on I-40 so we would have on option north "
just in case ". We stopped at Clinton with congestus/tiny towers forming on
the dryline. After an hour or so things began to fizzle and it appearred the
dryline was retreating as the line of cu was a little further west. We
dropped west a bit and were surprised to see a nice anvil well to our south.
We went to Foss Ok then south and could see the updraft from afar. It looked
good and I was thinking my forecast was going to verify. As we dropped
south, new towers were trying to go up north of the storm. However within 20
minutes the updraft began to look mushy and the other towers fell apart.
Bummer. Just headed home after that.
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