June 22, 2013


Initial Target
Storm Intercepts
Norfolk, NE
2 miles E of Brookings, SD 11:41 AM 6/22/2013
2 miles S of North Platte, NE 10:17 PM 6/22/2013
Arcadia, NE
0 mph


Second day caravanning with TIV. Late start leaving SD due to mechanical problems so targeted Norfolk, NE area where convergence and parameters looked best along stationary boundary. Waited in Norfolk as convection failed to form so retargeted developing cell near Lexington, NE. Intercepted near Arcadia, NE just as small, sub severe cell evaporated due to capping. Headed to North Platte to position for the next day's chase.

Crew and Equipment

Chase partners: Sean Casey, Jonathan Williamson, Nick Nolte. Equipment: Canon 60D, Canon t2i, Canon EFS 10-22, Canon EF 50mm, Sony HDR-xr500v..




Our second day out with the TIV looked to be a pretty modest day across the northern plains. A stationary boundary was draped across Nebraska with moderate instability and modest westerly flow aloft. The best play looked to be across eastern CO and western NE where upslope flow would result in the best lift for storm development. We were up early to make a long haul west out of Brookings, SD where we had spent the night, but quickly discovered that there was a problem with the TIV. What was more than likely caused by running over debris in the road from the previous, Sean discovered that a bolt had been knocked loose from the undercarriage of the TIV. We were sent across the street to a hardware store to get a replacement, and then Sean spent the next couple hours trying to work the bolt into position underneath the TIV. It was an akward position and difficult to do by hand laying underneath the vehicle. Sean finally got it and we were rolling. The delay would limit our chase range for the day, however, so we decided to retarget for Norfolk, NE and play an area with decent moisture convergence, and clearing along the stationary boundary.

Sunset Cap Bust
8 miles WSW of Arcadia, NE
8:15 PM
We arrived in Norfolk by early afternoon under a high cumulus field and muggy air. Rows of cumulus were moving and thickening on the visibile statellite loop so we were hopeful for storm initiation. We were joined by fellow Illinois chasers Adam Lucio, Lorraine Mahoney, and Alec Scholten who happened to also be chasing in the area and stopped to say hi. After awhile, it became obvious that we weren't going to get initiation at our current target as the cumulus field started to thin. Meanwhile, a tiny cell had popped more than 100 miles to our southwest along I-80 in central Nebraska. it looked like the only play that we could possibly reach so we went for it. We started stair stepping our way southwest across the state making for this tiny, sub-severe storm. I rode shotgun in the TIV with Sean driving, Jon and Nick following behind us in the van, and Adam and crew not far behind as well. It took seemingly forever to snake our way down to the storm. I was biting my nails hoping we wouldn't miss the show in the couple hours it took to make the drive. The cell just sat there in almost a steady state, however, barely moving and not growing in intensity any. It was as if the cell was still in its early initiation stage, but lacked the lift to mature into a storm. When we got down there we were greeted by a high based turkey tower that was putting down a smattering of rain. The storm evaporated before our eyes into nothing, more than likely choked to death by a rather stout capping inversion. It was the only cell in the area too, and with the sun setting that looked like it was going to be our chase. We were looking at eastern Colorado for an upslope play the next day so we decided to make for North Platte for a room and dinner for the night.


This was one of the most lackluster chases of the regular season. The "cell" we wound up intercepting could barely even be called a storm, and it evaporated just as we got to it, having driven almost the length of Nebraska for the intercept. Our intercept was on the way to the next day's target, however, so if anything we were able to reposition and thus the day wasn't a total loss. There was a photogenic tornado on this event, however. One of the upslope storms in western Nebraska put down a photogenic landspout near Dix, NE. Only a handful of chasers were on it, however, as there were lots of other cells in the area among which the chaser crowd was scattered.

Lessons Learned

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