2/26/98 Chase Summary by John Moser


From: John Moser (jstorm@TFS.NET):
Subject: First Chase of 98', not bad...

Well, at first I thought today would be a banner day, the low over western
Kansas was strengthing rapidly and moisture was advecting north into
eastern Kansas, just a few miles from home, a great area to chase. My chase
partner and a friend of his arrived at my home at 17Z to decide where to
go. We waited two hours and decided to bag the day altogether. There was
just no evidence of the instability that was forecast and moisture was not
advecting as far north as expected. However, at around 20Z I left work to
go pick up my son and I noticed a few small towers going up and the sun was
out, temps quickly reached the upper 60's and the dewpoint was 52. I
brought my son home and quickly got into my chase vehicle and headed west
to a position just east of Hiawatha Kansas. At 22Z I approached a
developing thunderstorm just east of Hiawatha on route 36. The storm was
rapidly winding up, I shot some of the best footage to date of a developing
storm. The lighting and visibility was incredible for February!

The storm was moving NE at 40mph, keeping up with it was no easy task,
especially with only north and due east road options. At 23Z the storm went
severe as it entered Holt County MO, dime sized hail and wind gusts of over
50mph were reported. I abandoned the chase at the Missouri river, no bridge
in my vicinity, (Jay, it happened again!). This same scenario happened last
year in the same location. We were chasing a severe storm and could not get
to a bridge in time to catch the thing, we need more bridges!

All in all a great first chase. The storm did have rotation for a short
time, it was the only one that went severe in the slight risk area and it
was a chase that took 2.4 hours and only 94 miles round trip. I was able to
shoot 32 minutes of video of this storm, the time lapse was real
impressive. I am not sure it was considered a "low top supercell" but the
features were unusual to some degree. There was a pronounced back shear,
rear flanking line, somewhat of a knuckled appearance near the pseudo
anvil. The "anvil" blow off in the forward flank was very wispy in nature.
If this was a low topped supercell can anyone on this list offer their own
observations of similiar storms? Or if anyone else chased this one please
let me know.

All in all, a great first chase. Lets hope for more..

Regards
John


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