June 18, 2018


Initial Target
Storm Intercepts
Norfolk, NE
Sioux Falls, SD 11:41 AM 6/18/2018
Brookfield, MO 12:18 AM 6/19/2018
St. Bernard, NE
0 mph
RFD Clear Slot, Shelf Cloud


Slight risk warm sector play in northeast Nebraska. Targeted Norfolk for afternoon supercells intercepting south of town, noting RFD clear slot. Cell gusted out with shelf cloud.

Crew and Equipment

Chase partners: Jennifer Brindley Ubl. Equipment: Sony AX100, Canon 60D, Samsung S7 Edge.




Day 3 on a Northern Plains run with Jennifer Brindley Ubl. We were finally in position for a solid shot at some supercells after a couple days of lackluster chasing. We targeted the Norfolk, NE area where afternoon supercells were forecast to erupt along outflow boundaries from a morning complex aided by a midlevel impulse aloft.
South of Norfolk we were able to hop on our target supercell. The storm looked like a classic with a well defined horseshoe shaped udpraft base and rear flank downdraft clear slot.

Tornado Warned
2 miles E of Saint Bernard, NE
4:47 PM
The storm picked up a tornado warning as we approached.
The road grid and relatively slow storm motion allowed us to get right under the base. It's always nerve racking and a safety concern to be in such a position, but given the clear air storm mode and compact structure we felt we could quite close without excessive risk. The base churned with motion, but nothing tornadic materialized. It would have been the "dream shot" if it did it though, with a clear air, front lit funnel.

Dark Base
7 miles NNW of Howells, NE
5:48 PM
The storm beefed up and looked menacing for a few minutes, but it was just getting ready to gust out.

Developing Gust Front
3 miles ENE of Aloys, NE
6:07 PM
Our friend Nick Nolte bumped into us before the storm started to develop a large gust front. We shot east to stay ahead of it.

Shelf Cloud
4 miles NW of Scribner, NE
6:35 PM
The storm put down a dramatic shelf cloud that was good for a lapse sequence, but was pretty much the nail in the coffin for the tornado play. A tour group stopped next to us while we grabbed a few more shots, and then we called the chase and started making our way east toward home.

Brookfield, MO
11:20 PM
Lodging for the night was a mom and pop motel with super retro room decor including dark wood paneling and floral bead spreads in small, quirky rooms.


A couple tornado reports came on the storm, but I don't think there was anything photogenic to write home about. The chase was a borderline bust, but it was at least nice to be able to get a decent amount of close play on a classic supercell.

Lessons Learned

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