Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tuesday's Bust

Well, I said I'd be writing about what went wrong yesterday and to that I will remain true. I left in hopes that the warm front would compensate for the southwest flow at 850 mb. That did not happen. Instead my fears came true and south of the warm front was a linear mess, and along the warm front where a storm went supercellular it was outflow dominant almost right away. A wall cloud was seen, and a funnel cloud reported early in it's life, however by the time it reached Highway 30 not an hour into it's life the storm had a big sweeping gust front and tons of rolling scud with cold outflow. I was with Scott Weberpal most of the chase, and when repositioning on the storm we stepped out of our vehicles and immediately he said "cold outflow." and I knew we were in trouble. I pulled up radar to see what our options were as far as dropping south and intercepting a new storm and saw a solid line of convection to our south and knew right then the chase was likely done. Our only option, we both hopped back on Highway 30 and began flying east to keep up with the outflow dominant supercell. I was able to film some fun motions in some scud fingers that did end up twisting into rows of scud funnels, but that was the only rotation I would see this day. A slow oversize load prevented us from ever getting back ahead of the storm. I broke off the chase in Cedar Rapids and plotted my course back home. I suppose I can be happy that Iowa let me leave with my car this time.

Looking into the future, I see nothing to get excited about. A pseudo active period will continue, but the majority seem to be fast moving poorly aligned systems with little moisture to work with. I think it's safe to say I won't be chasing anything decent until at least the end of April. I hope that's not the case, but my hopes are low at this point.

Below are a couple shots from yesterday. The first being the tornado warned (though, not tornado warned anymore) supercell as seen from Highway 30 as it raced towards Cedar Rapids. The following photo is of the ever excited Scott Weberpal, looking very optimistic as we await storm maturation to our south.

You know, normally with 3.5 weeks of classes remaining now in mid-April I'd be really excited about finishing up so I can spend my time worrying about chasing tornadoes. This year though, after a garbage filled 2009, and a cap bust and an Iowa outflow bust to start 2010 for me I'm almost ready to just say 'see ya' and head up to the lake in Wisconsin and relax. Of course I would never actually be able to look the other way when it comes to severe weather, but it's really rubbing me the wrong way lately! Tia and I actually have plans to spend a lot of the late spring and summer taking adventures to random state parks and other outdoorsy type things. There are so many state parks, lakes, hiking areas that most people never really think twice about but this year I want to try and hit up a bunch of new places. Back in Urbana we'd spend a lot of nicer days hitting up Homer Lake in Champaign County, which has a nice set of winding trails wrapping through the woods surrounding a beautiful lake.

Tia enjoying the sights at our last walk through Homer Lake last spring:

It really is a nice place, but I feel the need to expand my horizons. I already want to plan a couple camping trips up to Wisconsin in May with my partner in crime, before I normally would head up there. Being up north, the lake water is still a little chilly in May so I figured perhaps we could take a weekend up there and spend the days checking out a few of the other lakes/forested areas up there. Even though we've got a cabin (really more of a house, but it's more summer-y to call a cabin) I want to bring up a tent and rough it.

I'm antsy for the next legit severe weather threat to the nations mid-section, but I'm hoping to get a lot more out of this May and June than I otherwise would. I will still have a lot of time off during the time, but rather than taking 2-3 straight weeks strictly chasing, I'll likely just chase the setups as mother nature provides, and then spend the down time roughing it in the woods with the girl. (I'm proofreading this now, and just realized what I just said in that last sentence, but I think I'm going to let it stand.)

I really meant to just post a quick disgruntled "Iowa sucks." chase reports for yesterday but again got myself off on a little tangent and am in a much more optimistic mood now. That is of course until the sun rises tomorrow and I step outside to realize a cold front has moved through and sunny skies and 80 degrees are in the past for now.

Although, check out this map issued by the Climate Prediction Center. I'm not sure what they saw, as it doesn't look -that- warm to me, but we'll hope they're on to something.

1 comment:

Dann Cianca said...

Stupid positively-tilted troughs. We couldn't get backed winds to save our lives. Grumble grumble.