Archive for storm chase

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.

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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.

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.

Sunday’s Storm Chase Target: Colorado Springs to Lamar, Colorado

Posted in Extreme Weather Video, Severe weather with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 14, 2009 by stormstream

I am streaming today’s storm chase at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/mike-phelps-mobile-weather-stream/.

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/

FORECAST: It seems to me to be a pretty easy target today.  Juicy air (dewpoints in the lower 60s!) will be lifted by the Palmer Divide to produce convection by early to mid-afternoon.  Good directional shear with southeast surface winds and west-northwest winds aloft will create an environment for rotating supercell thunderstorms.  I confirmed a landspout tornado on the north side of Lamar, Colorado from last night’s storm, and more isolated landspouts and weak tornadoes will be possible again today.  The negatives are the weak surface winds, fairly weak mid level wind flow, as well as the bulk shear being slightly weaker than yesterday.  However, dewpoints are higher today and CAPE may end up higher than yesterday as well.  So, my specific target zone today is from Lamar to Colorado Springs to Denver to Limon to Cheyenne Wells to Lamar.

Drivers Who Dare – Days 2 & 3

Posted in Extreme Weather Video, Severe weather with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2009 by stormstream

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.

Drivers who Dare – Day 1

Posted in Extreme Weather Video, Severe weather with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 30, 2009 by stormstream

Friday was a meet and greet day with the Speed Network crew from New York City.  We met Brian, Murial and Jake.  The crew is a fun and energetic bunch, and we had a great time yesterday as they taped interviews and shot video of the vehicle.  I know, not real exciting, but all necessary when you are trying to put together material to fill an hour-long program.  Today should be a little more exciting as it looks like there is at least a chance for an isolated thunderstorm or two along a boundary just north, northwest or northeast of Wichita after 6pm.  If the storms form they will be high based, but could produce some good cloud-to-ground lightning, some microburts winds, and maybe some small hail.

Here is a press release that Jim Reed posted on his blog oage about what we are doing:

http://web.mac.com/wildweather/JRP/Jim_Reed/Entries/2009/5/29_Production_Begins_Today_on_New_TV_Show.html

I am hoping to stream a lot of what we are doing live on Ustream.tv between noon and 10pm CDT each day.  Check it out at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/drivers-who-dare/.