Thursday’s high risk ended up being a kick in the nuts for me. We knew leading into Thursday that convective evolution was the big question mark with the extent of the tornado threat and it ended up mitigating it to a large degree. There was simply way too many storms and precipitation over the warm sector. I knew storms being clustered along the dryline and warm front was a major concern, but I didn’t think we’d get open warm sector storms like we did until the HRRR started showing it on Thursday morning. I still didn’t want to believe it until late morning when the open warm sector storms started going in Texas (which the HRRR showed going up first). Turns out the HRRR wasn’t all that far off.
I started the day in Greensburg, then moved back to Pratt to make sure I had both the warm front storms or the tornadic storms coming up from Oklahoma into south central Kansas in range. My target for the day was largely predetermined by the way. I have a rule I try to follow that I always keep Wichita within range on higher end tornado threat days. Because of that I was pretty much locked into the warm front as long as it stayed somewhat south or storms moving in from Oklahoma. We watched towers go up near Pratt, which is where the picture above was taken, until storms finally started developing just to our north. We started heading north to stay with them as they matured, but after about 10 miles we pulled off and headed back south because if we stayed on the warm front storms we were going to quickly be out of position and wouldn’t be able to beat any of the storms coming up from Oklahoma back to Wichita. So we decided to take the tornado warned storms moving out of Oklahoma up into south central Kansas. We skirted ahead of them down by the Oklahoma border and got in position off the east side of their track just in time for them to completely fall apart. From then on it was nothing but crapvection going up all around us and the tornado potential was ruined. I got in one severe storm on my way back to Wichita and had the stream on air so that was a small consolation, but I was pretty butt hurt I had nothing to show for a high risk day. I’m still a little butt hurt to be honest lol. So that was how my day played out. The little baby horny toad I found north of Pratt was pretty much the highlight of my day. Pic is below.
I didn’t want to look at today’s setup when I got home last night. I needed time to sulk first. I briefly glanced at the setup and SPC this morning and didn’t think it looked worth while up in Kansas. Paid zero attention to it through the day while I was busy at work and then found out I was getting my pants pulled down when a friend texted me about the first tornado warning. I headed out of town after that and saw the Pretty Prairie funnel/tornado. I wasn’t close enough to verify there was rotation at the ground. I did see it was reported my numerous people, some I believe to be reputable, that it was on the ground. I was driving and trying to find a high point off the east side of Cheney Lake so all I got is a pic while moving which is below.
I stayed with the storms all the way up towards Valley Center and then called it a day after all the severe warnings had been dropped. It was outflow dominant along the entire souther portion of the line at that point. Pretty much seemed like it was case closed on any tornado potential. Nope lol. God damn thing has a cell hook up in that line an hour later and drop a couple tornadoes out of nowhere. It actually had a pretty solid velocity couplet. Just dumbfounded by it. I can’t even get mad at myself on this one lol. Anyway, at least the day was not a total loss.
Looks like we are in for a bit of a slow stretch. I’ll check the models tomorrow and get an extended forecast up though. We can at least take a guess at when the plains will get active again so check back later if you’re interested.