May 22, 2020   

This was the first day of an anticipated three day storm chase trip.  My son Ryan and I left the night before and stayed the night at Brian Stertz's place.  Had a leisurely breakfast and then headed out mid-morning for our target near the Nebraska, Kansas border.  We went up Highway 29 on the Missouri side, made a stop at Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge for some wildlife viewing, and then over the Missouri River on the bridge leading to Rulo, Nebraska.

We worked our way toward some growing storms on the Nebraska / Kansas border.  A few of the storms began showing some velocity signatures on radar.  As we worked our way in position on the backroads south of Pawnee City, Nebraska, we watched a storm with a prominent wall cloud.  This wall cloud then dropped a long-lived funnel that crossed in front of us between Summerfield and Pawnee City, Nebraska.  We never saw the funnel fully condense to the ground, but the rotating funnel cloud remained condensed half way or more to the ground for more than 5 minutes.

We continued to follow the storm north until the funnel and wall cloud dissipated.  We then worked our way south to intercept more storms.  Throughout the rest of the afternoon and evening, we went back and forth across the border from Nebraska, into Kansas, back to Nebraska, then back to Kansas following multiple storms with an occasional unorganized wall cloud, but none that seemed to create a huge threat.

After darkness set in, we traveled south to Topeka, Kansas where we searched for a Restaurant to have dinner.  Since we were arriving around 9:00pm, we discovered that most of the usual, "after the chase" Restaurants were now closing at 9:00pm even on a Friday Night due to the Covid stuff.  We did manage to find an Olive Garden open until 11:00pm, so that was our dinner choice.  It was there we looked over the data to decide, do we begin a 7 hour trip out west and get a hotel room to position ourselves for the potential next day storms in far Northwest Kansas on the Colorado border, or do we make the 1 hour trip back to Brian's place to spend the night and make the decision in the morning.  After a lot of discussion over dinner, with the tornado potential on the storms out to the west the next day very much in question, we chose the option of back to Brian's for the night's sleep.

3 Day Trip Total - 2358 Miles

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

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