May 29, 2022


Initial Target
Storm Intercepts
Plainview, NE
Sioux Falls, SD 11:07 AM 5/29/2022
O'Neill, NE 11:04 PM 5/29/2022
Burwell, NE
0 mph
RFD Clear Slot


Targeted northeast NE for late afternoon tornadic supercells. Intercepted tornado warned supercell near Burwell, NE noting RFD clear slot, but storm fell apart at dusk.

Crew and Equipment

Chase partners: Jennifer Brindley Ubl. Equipment: Samsung S9.




May 29 was my first chase day on a run to the Northern Great Plains with Jennifer Brindley Ubl. We took our time working our way west, hanging out at the fire pit in Albert Lea, and eating Impossible Burgers on the patio in Sioux Falls over the previous two days. I also used the time during the day to finish building and testing a new motorized camera enclosure we hoped to use for our research efforts with the team in June.

Morning Model Plot
3 miles SW of Sioux Falls, SD
9:18 AM
The morning convection allowing models were teasing a long track, strongly rotating supercell over northeastern Nebraska. Capping was forecast to be an issue, and often when the updraft helicity is maxed out like this, it means the storm is elevated, stuck north of the warm front or above an inversion. That was our target for the day though. We set course for Plainview, NE.

Skip and The Toad
Plainview, NE
4:36 PM
Under cloudy skies yet oppressively muggy air, I had just finished setting up the camera enclosure on the roof of the car, what we nicknamed “The Toad”.

4:36 PM

Toad Demo
Ewing, NE
6:04 PM
Convective activity was building well to the southwest and we moved to get a bit upstream and closer. We met up with Hank Schyma and Daniel Shaw in Ewing, NE. I gave a demo of The Toad before initiation looked like it was underway and we were moving southwest once again.

6:04 PM

Chaser Convergence
10 miles WSW of Ewing, NE
7:40 PM
Towers struggled against the strong capping inversion and we held southwest of town where we were soon joined by Nick Nolte and his mom.

7:40 PM

7:43 PM

Clear Skies
10 miles WSW of Ewing, NE
7:45 PM
Hazy, cirrus lined skies with no feeder cumulus are not what you want to see at nearly 8 pm.

Target Storm
13 miles N of Burwell, NE
8:31 PM
A storm was finally getting going down by Taylor, NE and we moved in for the intercept.

Intercept Mode
11 miles N of Burwell, NE
8:32 PM

4 miles NNE of Burwell, NE
8:39 PM
We were starting to get into the sparse roads in the sand hills of central and northern Nebraska, but a highway northwest out of Burwell would put us on an intercept course. The storm sported a billowing anvil and convective tower.

Horseshoe and Clear Slot
14 miles NW of Burwell, NE
9:00 PM
We stopped northwest of Burwell and let the storm approach. A classic RFD clear slot emerged with what looked like a cyclonic swirl in the base. The storm picked up a tornado warning, but rotation in the base did not seem particularly strong.
The horseshoe shaped updraft base fanned out and moved overhead, but as it did so, the storm quickly fell apart. The convective inhibition was mounting as the boundary layer cooled, and it looked like the cap was killing off the storm. Lightning increased and there was some nice motion in the scud on the backside of the storm so we watched and shot video from our spot until nightfall.

Jenn and Melanie After Chase
O'Neill, NE
11:09 PM
We called the chase and headed into O’Neill for a room for the night where we bumped into Melanie Metz.


This was a borderline bust. We had our hopes up for the day given some of the parameters and probabilities, but we did catch some supercell structure at dusk, so I'll count it as a noteworthy storm intercept. It was also a semi successful test of the new camera enclosure, “The Toad”, in that the electronics worked allowing us to capture video of the storm from any angle, but numerous issues would also need to be resolved before it could be used practically with the group.

Lessons Learned

Follow On The Web!
Storm Chasers Giving Back!

Webpage, graphics, photos, and videos © Skip Talbot or respective owner 2018. Skip's Webzone