watching the models for over a week, the decision was finalized
to take a trip out to the plains for a one day chase.
I was joined by my son Ryan Thies and our friend Tyler
Schlitt as we headed out to Overland Park, Kansas to meet up
with Brian Stertz. We never really had a set target
other than the weather model suggested we would head
southwest of Topeka, Kansas. The target was definitely
a moveable target as the weather models made for some very
complicated decisions. So our moveable targets picked
were Carbondale, Burlington, and Yates Center, Kansas as we
kept sliding south as we watched storms develop. A
storm on the tail end of a semi-line of storm cells kept
drawing our attention and moving us south. We kept our
eye on a couple of the cells to the north of our target cell
as they raced by us as we crept south. With the fast
storm speeds, we were constantly looking into the future
to pick out our routes in order to not fall behind these
quick moving storms. All of the cells we were
watching seemed to have a minor pulse every now and
then, would become severe warned for hail and wind, but none of
them ever got to the point of looking tornadic.
As the southern cell approached us, we
worked our way northeast up to Garnett, Kansas and
followed this cell up to Overland Park, Kansas where we let
the cell go. We then saw a small dryline supercell picking
up steam near Edgerton, Kansas. We lined up the track and
waited for this cell just to the west of the Kansas City
metro area, at the Kansas Highway 10 and the Ridgeview exit
area. It was a small barrel updraft with plenty of rotation.
It seemed to have a lower base than earlier supercells, but
the strong inflow was absent, a cold outflow soon
overwhelmed the updraft.
We followed the storm and its pronounced wall cloud through
downtown Kansas City all the way to North Kansas City, but a
weakening trend gave us the signal to end the chase.
Certainly not an ideal setup.
Early development and no supercell spacing doomed this chase
day. When parameters were favorable...the cap was a negative. When the cap went away
and surface based convection organized, the inflow and
stronger instability was gone.
Storm Prediction Center