April 13, 2018   

After 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 Storm Reports

45.0 Hours  -  926 Miles

Click on the link below to see video of some of these storms.

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