Wednesday, March 28, 2012 (Eastern KS, 760 mi.)


Late initiation of intense supercells cuts down on the enjoyability of this marginal chase.

Observed hail to golf ball size.

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A fairly marginal opportunity for supercells existed over much of E KS amidst modest zonal flow. I left Norman early in the afternoon and shot straight N up I-35/135 to SLN. After mulling over data a bit, I continued N toward CNK, but exited US-81 eastbound toward Clay Center. By that time, several cells were beginning to form to my E, SE and S. Before long, it was apparent that the most robust convection would be S of I-70, so I blasted S to Junction City. From there, I traversed the Flint Hills and its lacking road network to Council Grove, where I intercepted the first supercell of the day. Its visual structure was lackluster, as expected given the shear profiles. Data was hard to come by in this area, but I had just enough to know another storm to my SE was intensifying at this point, so I pressed on. I ultimately intercepted this second supercell in Americus, just NW of EMP. Its structure was slightly more pleasing, and its motion fairly deviant toward the SSE. It produced sporadic hailstones, a few up to golfballs, well ahead of the main core. The storm was briefly tornado warned, and along with many other chasers, I spent awhile just NE of Americus squinting in the fading twilight to take in what view I could of the increasingly-messy structure. Eventually I headed into EMP to pick up food and start the long drive home.