Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bust, War Wound, & End of Trip 1

Today started off at the Budget King motel in Salina, KS. I have to say that the stay was not that bad considering how cheap we got the room. Anyway, it was evident at the beginning of the day that we were going to have to head south and west to catch nice convection during the day. Our initial target was Greensburg, KS although we ended up just east of Greensburg in Pratt, KS so we could grab some food and some internet data. As you may remember, Greensburg was the town that was devastated by an EF-5 tornado on May 4th, 2007. We began heading towards Greensburg after noticing that an outflow boundary from early morning convection was sagging southwest through our area. It was a nice cool down, but we knew we wanted to catch the initiating storms to our southwest and then follow them as they interacted with this mesoscale boundary. These storms were again outflow dominant for the most part, as well as large hail producers. In fact, while chasing the only good looking storm on radar back towards Pratt, we were munched by the core of another developing storm. This was by far and away the largest hail I've ever encountered... We were pounded by hail anywhere from about penny to egg size. The vehicle sustained a small windshield crack just above the drivers side, as well as other small dents on the roof. Fortunately for us, we were able to get out of the large hail core and head east of Prat and eventually called it quits in Wichita, KS. Numerous chasers stuck in the hail core behind us reported tennis to baseball sized hail in the location that we were just able to get by. Unfortunately, many of those chasers suffered broken windshields and windows that immediately ended their chase. Overall, a great chascation with a cooperative weather pattern and some great supercells as we will call an end to trip 1 while a ridge dominates the central plains for a couple days. Will post pictures of the war wound tomorrow, and unfortunately we do not have pictures of the large hail because we were trying to get out of it!
Initial Convection...

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