Drivers Who Dare – Days 2 & 3

Saturday, May 30, 2009 – This was the first day of actual storm chasing with the Drivers Who Dare crew, and they had a bast and saw some nice storms.

Given the marginal severe weather parameters everywhere, we decided to stay close to home.  We initially targeted the area around Emporia, KS and headed northeast on the Kansas Turnpike.

Once we arrived in the Emporia area we noticed that the clouds were having a very tough time sustaining themselves.  This told us the cap was very strong in that region.  Meanwhile to our west-southwest, storms were starting to develop near Pratt, KS.  After about 45 minutes of watching the clouds around Emporia evaporate, we decided to head west.

Additional storms fired east of the Pratt activity which made an intercept much easier.  We headed for a couple of storms near and east of Newton, KS and ended up seeing some beautiful sights with those ranging from mamattus clouds, to rainbows, to very vivid hail shafts, to nasty looking clouds, to lightning, to a gorgeous sunset.  Overall one of the best atmospheric portrait days of the 2009 storm chase season, and a great way to kick off the Drivers Who Dare shoot.

Sunday, May 31, 2009 – We targeted the “wildcard” chase target of north-central KS, and it paid off.

We hit the road around noon, targeting the area west of Concordia.  By 5pm cumulus congestus was forming west of Concordia, and by 6:30pm we had a thunderstorm.  This was a very small cell, but it was quite interesting.  For about 5 minutes it produced a nicely formed funnel that for a time was back-lit by the sun making it appear a bright white color.  Very nice.

Overall, not nearly as pretty a storm chase day as we had on Saturday, but still a success and the film crew was very happy with what they got.  They were especially pleased with some of the innovative camera placements they tried on and around the vehicle that gave them some really cool point-of-view shots they can incorporate into the show.


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