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Thursday, April 09, 2009

2009-04-09 Report

Started the day in Russell, KS and came down 135 to Wichita. There was some chance for early cold core action west of Wichita as Mike Umshied had pointed out on Stormtrack so I had it in my mind to hold back a bit and see if something might develop early closer to the surface low.

The SPC had upgraded to moderate risk and 15 % hatched tornadoes so this drew me down to play in the ne OK/se KS area. For the first time I took the Southeast Parkway through Mulvane, KS which I'll have to remember is a good way to get down into se KS!

Setup shop on hw166 and 15 right on the OK/KS border and had the first cell of the day pop just to my southwest - bingo! The storms intensified and showed some promise of a good chase day.

This first cell weakend a bit so I shot south on 15 to Burbank, OK and then east to Pawhuska, OK where better cells were coming up from the south. These weakend as they approached me however so I headed back up to just west of Sedan, KS where cells were intensifying along the warmfront. Had I just stayed there I could have saved a lot of driving but this kind of second guessing happens alot in storm chasing!

On the way up by Sedan I was passing wildfires on all sides of the road and it was strange to have tornado warned storms as my main focus but also wildfires all around that turned out to be a bigger story in the area.

Chased the warmfront storms north to about Howard, KS were there was a 'sweet spot' of training storms with intense updrafts and nickel hail (photo above). This system went on to drop a tornado in Mena, AR with considerable damage and injuries.

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The Carlsons', Verne, Michael and Eric

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