Saturday, July 04, 2009

In Topeka, sorry for the lack of a post last night

We were in a tornado watch yesterday. The warm front play was our only play, really, and we got to the right place in time, just south of the front and east of the surface low.

And then storms blew up in the warm sector to our south. What?

They were forming in air that had T/Td of 38/16, so they were very high-based. Moving northeast, they would hopefully favourably interact with the warm front, so we got ahead of one (dodging between hail cores) and saw the updraft base evolve from a squall-looking thing to a supercell stack-of-plates or donut updraft. Yes, pictures to come. The things didn't seem to want to take off in the boundary layer, or not completely, or maybe they didn't ingest the shear properly or maybe even the moisture--we'll discuss that today. Whatever the reason, they didn't really get going until nightfall, when Doppler-warned storms popped up, and yes, we were on the right ones. A couple had some pretty interesting looks, maybe some rotation from time to time, but they were mainly outflow-dominant.

We went to the IHOP in Junction City for dinner, where the storms caught up with us and gave us a wicked light show, then we had about an hour's drive to Topeka where, along the way, we were treated to another great light show.

I went out for a walk in the rain when we got in, and it was about 22 degrees. Very warm rain. Beautiful.

Now it's time to take off, and I think we're going back to Winnipeg, but we will be back fairly late--midnight is my guess. I will gather pictures along the way and hopefully post them within a day or 2.


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