Archive for June, 2009

Storm Chase and Streaming Plans for Thursday, June 25, 2009

Posted in Extreme Weather Video, Severe weather with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2009 by stormstream

I will likely be streaming my storm chase live today between 3pm and 10pm. My LIVE chase cam and chat can be found at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/mike-phelps-mobile-weather-stream/. You may also now access my live chase cam and chat on my blog page at https://stormstream.wordpress.com/ustreamtv-live-stream/.

Storm and nature pics at http://www.flickr.com/photos/stormscapephotos/

THURSDAY STORM CHASE TARGET: Salina, KS to Topeka, KS to Fort Scott, KS to Emporia KS to McPherson, KS to Salina, KS. Specific Target: 10 miles south of Manhattan, KS at 5pm

TODAY’S FORECAST: I am really liking the way the severe weather parameters are coming together across the northern Flint Hills region of KS this afternoon. The supercell composite is up to 4, the CAPE is over 4,000, and the EHI is forecasted to be around 5. Even though 700mb winds are weak, only around 10kts, the 500 and 300mb winds are better, and with that kind of CAPE, and a boundary in the area, a storm may be able to generate a weak landspout, and we may even get some modest supercell structure. I’m also liking the zone of east-southeast surface winds in that area, although they are rather light. The 15z RUC breaks out storms in the target by 20z, and there is an area of significant CU in that area right now on the visible satellite. All evidence points toward at least some storm development. It is certainly not the greatest chance in the world, and the SPC does not even have this area outlooked with a slight risk, but in my opinion it is worth at least a look see since it is not too far away, and it is a pretty area to view a storm.

Storm Chase and Streaming Plans for Saturday, June 20, 2009

Posted in Extreme Weather Video, Severe weather with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 20, 2009 by stormstream

There is a possibility that I will be streaming my storm chase live today between 4pm and 10pm CDT.  My LIVE chase cam can be found at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/mike-phelps-mobile-weather-stream/.

Storm and nature pics at http://www.flickr.com/photos/stormscapephotos/

SATURDAY STORM CHASE TARGET: Wichita, KS to Dodge City, KS

TODAY’S FORECAST: Today is an interesting forecast.  The environment is actually fairly good for a few tornadoes across south-central and parts of southwest KS later this afternoon and evening.  The LCLs will be low, the EHI high, good low level shear, decent CAPE, and a potent upper level disturbance.  The problem is, there is a lot of rain going on in the target area now, and the air is very stable.  However, all of the forecast models show this rain lifting north and dying out through the morning, with rapid airmass recovery across northern Oklahoma moving into south-central and southwest KS this afternoon.  Today’s severe weather will hinge on this airmass recovery – if it happens to the degree the models say it will, and how fast the recovery occurs. My plan is to monitor this potential event from Wichita through the morning and early afternoon.  If I see the recovery happening, then I’ll probably hit the road and head west and/or southwest by 3 or 4pm.  Wichita may actually end up being a good place to hang out, so I may not have to go far today.

Targeting Central into Northeast Kansas for Severe Storms Today

Posted in Extreme Weather Video, Severe weather with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 19, 2009 by stormstream

I am streaming my storm chase live today between 3pm and 10pm CDT.  My LIVE chase cam can be found at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/mike-phelps-mobile-weather-stream/.

Storm and nature pics at http://www.flickr.com/photos/stormscapephotos/

FRIDAY STORM CHASE TARGET: North of Emporia, KS

I was headed out to chase some storms in west-central KS yesterday afternoon, but decided a little hail and rain didn’t excite me all that much.  So, I decided to stream a live tour of Greensburg, KS, so everyone could see the progress that is being made in re-building the town after the F5 tornado a couple of years ago.  I hope everyone enjoyed the tour.

TODAY’S FORECAST: A cold front/outflow boundary is dropping south out of southeast Nebraska into northeast Kansas.  This boundary will provide the convergence and lift to get storms going across northeast into east-central and south-central KS later this afternoon and evening.  Overall, the deep layer shear is sufficient for supercell thunderstorms, but the southwesterly winds at the surface ahead of the boundary will greatly limit the low level shear.  However, there is a weak surface low over central Kansas, and that is backing the surface winds in a localized area just east, northeast and north of the surface low.  If a supercell can form in this area of backed surface winds there is at least a chance for a brief tornado.  Overall though, the main threat today will be hail and isolated pockets of damaging downburst winds.

Maybe a Backyard Chase Today, and Maybe no Chasing at All

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2009 by stormstream

I may be streaming my storm chase live today between 3pm and 10pm.  My LIVE chase cam can be found at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/mike-phelps-mobile-weather-stream

Storm and nature pics at http://www.flickr.com/photos/stormscapephotos/

THURSDAY STORM CHASE TARGET: Kingman, KS to Pratt, KS to Meade, KS to Anthony, KS to Pratt, KS.

Yesterday was a perfect chase.  My target from the day before was Grand Island, NE, and that remained unchanged yesterday.  On my way up to the target early yesterday afternoon I was able to intercept the tornadic supercell that tracked east along the KS/NE border east of Concordia to Seneca, KS.  North of Marysville, KS I documented amazing supercell structure and a possible tornado.  I soon abandoned this cell and blasted north to my original target, and was able to easily intercept the Grand Island cell on the high-visibility south side.  I witnessed and streamed live to my audience the entire life cycle of a large tornado west of Aurora, NE.

TODAY’S FORECAST: The northern Iowa moderate risk area is out of my range todasy after dragging into Wichita at 2am, so I’ll be sniffing out potential isolated storm development closer to Wichita.  The various WRF models are all showing intense convective development near or west and southwest of Wichita after 6pm.  The 15z RUC also shows an isolated cell popping by 7pm around Meade, KS.  I think there is at least a chance for an isolated cell of two producing hail to the size of golfballs and modest supercell structure.  I’ll be keeping an eye on visible satellite and radar for development after 5pm.  I may be mobile heading west of Wichita as early as 3pm, and if so I’ll turn on the live chase cam.

Storm Chasing In Nebraska Today

Posted in Extreme Weather Video, Severe weather with tags , , , , , , , , on June 17, 2009 by stormstream

I am streaming my storm chase to Nebraska today.  My LIVE chase cam can be found at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/mike-phelps-mobile-weather-stream/.  Live broadcast from 11am to 10pm CDT.

Storm and nature pics at http://www.flickr.com/photos/stormscapephotos/

WEDNESDAY STORM CHASE TARGET: I-80 corridor in Nebraska from Gothenburg to Grand Island.

I was on the Sumner/Cowley county KS supercell yesterday from the moment it developed.  Early in its life cycle it came really close to producing a tornado as there was a well formed cone shaped funnel extending half way to the ground at one point.  However, I was within a mile of it and never witnessed any circulation at ground level.  The thing then proceeded to sit and cycle for almost two hours south of Oxford, KS, and I was on the air with KAKE-TV live for nearly this entire time.  It was an interesting backyard chase to say the least.  Anyway, on to today’s severe set-up…

FORECAST: Extreme instability pooling along and just south of a warm front across southern Nebraska will combine with deep layer shear and an upper level disturbance to create an explosive supercell environment late this afternoon and evening for area along and just north of the warm front.  A cap will keep a lid on activity until around 5pm, then discrete supercells should explode.  Based on my morning analysis, it appears a likely region for getting a storm will be somewhere near or west of Grand Island, NE.  So, my plan is to head north to York, then westward from there.  I am hoping be in the target between 2 and 3pm CDT, and make adjustments from there.

Outflow Boundary Severe Late This Afternooon & Evening?

Posted in Extreme Weather Video, Severe weather on June 16, 2009 by stormstream

The big question today about the severe potential in the Wichita area is if the outflow boundary will be enough to spark a few severe storms with a strong cap building in?  I’ll be keeping a close eye on the visible satellite though the afternoon and early evening looking for evidence of towering CU, and the possibility of a storm forming.  The RUC seems to want to break out convection before dark, however, most of the other models do so after dark when the low level jst kicks in.  If we do get severe storms withing a 75 mile radius of Wichita today then I will chase them and stream the chase live at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/mike-phelps-mobile-weather-stream/.  I will again be conducting chaser school and interacting with my viewers, so I hope you can pop on and say hello.

Tomorrow, the severe parameters are looking much better up along the warm front extending from southwest Nebraska eastward, and I will be chasing and streaming my chase cam live.  Most likely between Noon and 10pm CDT.  Minden, Nebraska might make a good early target, but I will certainly be refining that on Wednesday morning.

Targeting West-Central KS for Severe Storms and Tornadoes on Monday

Posted in Extreme Weather Video, Severe weather with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 15, 2009 by stormstream

I am streaming my storm chase to western KS today.  My LIVE chase cam can be found at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/mike-phelps-mobile-weather-stream/.  Be sure and tune in and say hi!

My blog with updated chase forecasts and storm video is at https://stormstream.wordpress.com/

Storm and nature pics at http://www.flickr.com/photos/stormscapephotos/

I saw the Wilmore, KS tornado yesterday and streamed it live.  It was a very exciting intercept as I had to drive southward from Greensburg through the core to get to the very wet bears cage and see the tornado about 1/2 to 1 mile off to my east.  Visibility sucked from my vantage point, but it was exciting nonetheless.  I’m hoping for a much more photogenic twister today.

FRIDAY STORM CHASE TARGET: Scott City, KS to Ness City, KS, to Great Bend, KS, to Medicine Lodge, KS to Dodge City, KS to Scott City, KS.

FORECAST: I’m heading to the area near and north and east of the triple point this afternoon where the surface low, warm front and dryline all meet up.  This area tends to be a breeding ground for storm development, and I’m hoping one develops there today.  If it does it has the potential to be an absolute beast of a storm with hail to the size of softballs and potentially tornadoes.  Like yesterday, I think the best potential to see a photogenic tornado will be in the first couple of hours of the life of the storm, so I want to try to time getting on the storm early.  I’ll be heading out highway 96 by the noon hour.

I can’t thank you all enough for riding along with me on my chases this season.  It has been great showing you all the things that have hooked me on storm chasing for the past 20 years.  I hope you are hooked now also!!  🙂  It has also been great educating while I’m chasing, and I hope everyone is enjoying “Chaser School”.  Keep watching and keep telling everyone you know about what we are doing.

Also, I’ve mentioned this while streaming, but haven’t really mentioned it here yet, but I do plan on conducting an extreme weather photography and video tour next season during June and July.  This tour will be geared toward the professional and amateur photographer and videographer who is a weather and landscape enthusiast.  I will take you to the weather so you can get the most amazing photographs and videos of weather events, and I will also show you some simple ways to forecast these events so that you may get to them on your own in the future.  When the weather is quiet then we will shoot landscapes of the Plains and Rocky Mountain region, or the West.  June’s tours will concentrate mainly on the High Plains region from western Montana southward to west Texas.  If you have watched my streams the past few days from Colorado you know ho special storms in that region can be.  In July we’ll hang out in the desert Southwest and shoot monsoon lightning storms and the amazing landscapes of the Southwest.  If you are interested in this and would like me to put you on an early list of those showing interest then simply e-mail me here or at stormvideoman@yahoo.com.