June 18, 2019


Initial Target
Storm Intercepts
Pratt, KS
Goodland, KS 11:56 AM 6/18/2019
Kearney, NE 9:50 PM 6/18/2019
0 mph


Marginal, subtle supercell play in central Kansas. Targeted afternoon supercells near Pratt, KS area. After lackluster chase, went north to meet team the following day and along the way surveyed damage outside of Tipton from previously chased May 28 EF2.

Crew and Equipment

Chase partners: Jennifer Brindley Ubl. Equipment: Sony AX100, GoPro Hero 4, Samsung Galaxy S9.




From my morning chasecast email discussion:

"Day 1 Today: Openly admitting I was not considering the Kansas play at all until this morning. Earlier runs had an MCS moving through the area in the morning and I thought a general severe risk off of that would be about the extent of it. SPC is highlighting a circulation being induced by the storms tracking through central Kansas. Discrete supercells are forecast over the area later this afternoon. There is substantial disparity on some of the high res model outputs, however, and the evolution of this looks complicated to me, so I'm a little surprised to see the relatively high tornado probs. I do like the HRRR solution, the usual goldilocks solution. Thermal axis and elongated surface low setting up in southwest Kansas. Looking for a southeast moving storm off the nose of this around say the Pratt to St. John area by mid to late afternoon. Low level flow actually looks decent for a tornado, with some decently backed winds off the nose of that low, a bit of a low level jet, and a nice little speed max of westerlies of the midlevels. NAM NEST on the other hand, pushes the elongated low much further northeast toward 70, and initiates an MCS ahead of it and another behind it down 70. Not at all your ideal chase case so lets root for HRRR.

Negatives: Upper level winds look light, PWATs relatively high. This could lead to an HP storm mode. There are warm temps aloft southwest of Wichita, say south of highway 400 running west out of ICT. WIth the northwest shear vectors, a southeast moving storm may move into an environment of increasing inhibition and unfavorable thermodynamics.

Secondary target: Off the Raton toward Boise City and points just south. Models consistently firing a storm with the upslope flow off the Raton Mesa. This area is still getting some of the favorable shear from the westerlies aloft. Surface flow looks a little mediocre over here. But otherwise the parameters are in place for a tornado with ample 0-3km CAPE being plotted, little inhibition, and some effective SRH even. What has me worried about this target is the EML's warm temps aloft. There's a sharp line south of the OK panhandle with some nasty inhibition. I'm worried your storm is going to fire in extreme se CO, get going for an hour or two, and then cross into capped air and die in the northern TX Panhandle. There's still a window of opportunity here for a tornado and a structure show at the minimum, but what was once my primary target has become a secondary, and I'm making for the Kansas target myself. Overall instability looks more modest down here now too, a little lower on the T and Tds then earlier runs had, which isn't great if you're fighting the cap too. The OK PH target had 3000+ CAPE originally, enough to power through some mounting inhibition for awhile, but if you're storm is making use of meager CAPE, that cap could make quick work of it."

Tipton Farmstead Damage
3 miles S of Tipton, KS
7:30 PM
Brindley and I made the drive down to Pratt frmo Goodland, KS, but the chase turned out to be a non-event. It was so lackluster, there's no photographic evidence that we even chased. We were scheduled to meet up with the team the following day, and our route took us right past Tipton where we had witnessed an EF2 at close range the previous month. We decided to stop and do an informal damage survey figuring it might be helpful to document some of the damage to go along with our photogrammetry research project. We stopped near the farmstead we had seen impacted. A couple of outbuildings lay in a collapsed pile along with some downed trees.

Tree Damage
5 miles SSW of Tipton, KS
7:31 PM
Looking northeast from the farmstead with storms drifting off in the distance, the tornado had tracked in this direction after impacting the farmstead, and damaged a grove of trees. The trees looked stripped of branches and leaves but we didn't see a large amount of the intense debarking characteristic with violent tornadoes.

Brindley Photographing Damage
5 miles SSW of Tipton, KS
7:32 PM
We continued north and stayed at one of our favorite little haunts in Kearney, Nebraska for the night.


The chase was a total dud, but it was insightful to revisit the damage site where we had our intense tornado encounter the previous month. We kept to the road and didn't want to bother the residents as we were out there for our own purposes.

Lessons Learned

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