Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Well, not so good after all

We stated the day in Holdrege, NE at the Super 8 (nice new motel with WiFi and breakfast, recommended). The data showed that the area we were in seemed to as good as any other, so we decided to stay there and continue to look at data. The desk person was nice enough to let us stay in the lobby after checkout. At about 3 PM a tornado watch was issued to the north of us up into South Dakota, but on radar the storms had already developed and looked to be messy and likely to form a line instead of remaining individual cells, so we opted to stay put. Later on we saw small cells start to develop in our area, so we hit the road south to intercept. The rest of the day was spent playing tag with various small storms in the area from south of Holdrege to south of Kearney. These storms were small and very high based, and had little if any lightning. Later on closer to sunset we did see a better storm on radar approaching Guide Rock- and a phone call to Mike Umscheid confirmed that this was a pretty good cell and even had some hail. We drove to near Nelson, NE to intercept, and viewed the cell to the west. It had a decent rain/hail core, and some sort-of-supercellular structure, but again had little if any lightning. Soon after this time we could see the tail end of the squall line farther NW, and knew our cell was doomed.

We had met up with Mike by then, and just drove east ahead of the squall line until we got to a point south of York, where we decided to go into town and eat. As we drove north the line approached and then overtook us- it had frequent lightning and winds to maybe 40-50 mph, but no hail. The anvil crawlers were fairly nice off to the east as we approached York, but not frequent enough to stop and photograph.

We ate with Mike and company in York, and then headed to Ken Dewey's house to crash for the night.

Photos here

More later on future plans.

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