Storm Chase Report

We drove about 620 miles and saw some spectacular storms yesterday.

The research community was out in force. The National Science Foundation wants to determine the effect of thunderstorms on earth's heat budget.

We began in Great Bend and Russell and set personal records for visiting McDonald's three times in one day since they have great internet. The McD's in Russell was filled with storm chasers happily checking computers and chowing down.

We decided to go north from Russell and, on the way to the storms, stopped at the bizarre "Garden of Eden" in Lucas.
And, no, we did not stop at the world's largest public toilet, which is also located in Lucas. You have to admit, the citizens of that town have an, ahem, odd sense of humor. 

The first storm was near Smith Center which produced a nice wall cloud and wonderful colors.
A wall cloud is a rotating lowering from the thunderstorm's base. It is above the utility pole.  

The entire scene was a treat for the eyes. And, yes, at right center was the iridescent green often associated with hailstorms.

But, Mother Nature wasn't finished with colorful skies. We headed south back toward Russell on U.S. 281 and captured parts of two storms with the sun setting.

After a quick dinner, we went east to Dorrance where I saw the best funnel cloud of the evening (about 1/3rd of the way to the ground, not captured on film) and a show of continuous lightning that I couldn't adequately photograph, but these should give you the idea.

Here, lightning is illuminating the hail shaft (right) that brought hail of at least 1" in diameter to Russell. They had a tough weekend with a tornado just south of town Friday evening.

Thanks to my chase partners, Sherry and Jeana, for a great time and thanks to Mother Nature for such a spectacular set of storms.

FYI: The chase was tweeted in real time. Thanks, also, to the 30 new Twitter followers who "rode along" with us. Hope you enjoyed it.


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