June 21, 2019


Initial Target
Storm Intercepts
Abilene, KS
Lincoln, NE 11:47 AM 6/21/2019
Topeka, KS 12:06 AM 6/22/2019
Centralia, KS
0 mph
Wall Cloud


Long shot triple point play in far northeast Kansas. Loitered in Abilene until racing northeast through Manhattan for tornado warned cell. Intercepted near Centralia noting developing wall cloud. Chased until dark noting little further development.

Crew and Equipment

Chase partners: Jennifer Brindley Ubl, Anton Seimon, Tracie Seimon, Hank Schyma. Equipment: Sony AX100.




From my morning chasecast storm chasing email forecast discussion:

"Day 1 Today: Down day.

::pushes plug back into outlet:: ...just kidding. So, yeah. Interesting nail biter setup today. All targets have their merits and pitfalls.

Low risk of storm bust, low payout: Chase north central NE into central SD. Similar setup totheprevious two days with a narrow, modest to moderate instability axis and some decent midlevel flow. Surface winds look light and variable ahead of storms, with forcing coming from a cold front that pushes storms along. Supercells likely, a tornado could happen but would like to see better surface flow. If something can go up closer to the warm front on the east side of the target. NIce tornado up in Minnesota yesterday that went up way on the northeast side of the instability axis on the warm front.

Let's raise the stakes: Chase Colorado. Get there early and get west! The cold front is forecast to come crashing in from the north to rain on your parade. The High Plains to the east look badly capped. Upslope flow is still forecast to initiate a couple supercells near Fort Collins and the Denver Airport. Get on these as they go up, before one of the two mentioned problems above smokes them. Don't mozy in by late afternoon expecting this thing to truck along to the Kansas border happily surface based. You could get a tornado, but all of the 0-3km CAPE I'm seeing is pooled near the foothills or along the I-25 corridor. Narrow window of opportunity for the tornado. Structure might be in the bag for this target though, so if that's your bag, definitely go here.

Go for broke: Salina on the dryline/occluded/outflow boundary triple point. 700mb temps are roasty. Sources of forcing are thin. CAMs do not fire storms. < 2% from SPC. You risk an almost certain cap bust at this target. Almost. Lid strength per Earl is opening at 21z, it's wide open at 0z, and stays open at 3z. Inhibition on the nose of the elongated low nearish Salina eroding by late afternoon. Perhaps convective temps is reached to the south, there's some lift on the nose of the low or just to the west on the occluded/cold front ish type boundary. There's also a hint of a midlevel impulse nosing in at 0z. A storm that fires in this environment by early evening has the potential to become a monster, monster supercell. With extreme instability and the directional shear on the warm front, a violent tornado is possible... remotely possible. Again, a cap bust is very likely here. Hence the vote of no confidence from SPC and not even a 2%. You are all in or bust here."
Brindley and I had been out for a few days at this point, but the whole team, including Anton, Tracie, and Hank converged a long shot high risk of bust high reward gamble in northeast Kansas.
Our initally ignored target was upgraded to 5% on the last outlook of the day.

Tornado Warning
5 miles SSW of Centralia, KS
7:56 PM
Low, hazy bases went up at night fall and I feared it was just in response to the boundary layer cooling and no significant tornado potential would result. But the storm continued to organize and picked up a tornado warning that got us scrambling to get close.
A decent wall cloud developed near us, but didn't last very long and this is about all managed to pull out of the day.
We chased the storm until after dark, finally coming in behind a rain wrapped hook. Brindley and I paused to let the storm cross the road first before trying to get a peek in the last of the remaining light. It looked creepy, but there was no tornado show to be had.


For what started as a less than 2% day, the wall cloud we caught was a feat. Still, we were playing long odds for a big score and this chase turned out to be pretty lackluster, so gets chalked up as a bust. Our first chase together since the huge Tipton day, we learned the dream team playing secret sauce magic parameters can't always win.

Lessons Learned

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