Monday, May 30, 2011

Turn up the Heat

Yesterday was a great day for the TIG Storm Chase group. With surface temps in the mid-upper 90s and dewpoints in the low 60s, we were expecting to see high based storms in an "inverted-V" environment and associated high wind threats. We got on a storm west of Great Bend, KS and immediately noticed the high-based nature of the storm with impressive virga streaks. As we approached the storm, a large cloud of dust formed to our SW from a dry microburst. As the microburst winds approached us, we experienced a 20 degree rise in temperatures in a minute or two from a heat burst. This was a first time experience for all of us and very neat to feel in person.

We saw two gustnadoes form along the leading edge of the wind and then moved north to continue chasing the storm. A new updraft formed to our east a few minutes later and followed that for a little while until another very impressive dry microburst occurred with winds estimated between 70 and 80 mph and two more gustnadoes - one of which was quite impressive.

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