I had an early morning departure to get to the target area in time. The target was 647 miles away and after spending the night in a terrible motel, it was not difficult waking up early and getting on the road. Holy smokes, wrap me in plastic, break out the lysol, spray and pray. The motel room was bad, but I was tired and needed a place to sleep other than the front seat of Drones. At this point I had traveled 1,994 miles and I was still on a cloud after the chase in Sharon Springs the day before. I departed Goodland, Kansas and drove to Nebraska. The drive didn’t seem to too long when you have several historic sites along the route to break up the day on the road.
I stopped at a U.S. Cavalry campsite in Kansas and looking out on the plains I could imagine a time when this was a wild country.
I continued north across Nebraska feeling real lucky that I had an opportunity to experience such an adventure. This was a dream come true.
I arrived in South Dakota. After my trip a friend asked what South Dakota was like. My response was it was like being at the Grand Canyon in Arizona but with a carpet of green grass everywhere you looked. South Dakota was beautiful.
At this point I had pretty much burned up my time as a tourist and it was getting close to “the time.” The time when storms start firing. The next stop was Rapid City, South Dakota where a severe storm was firing up. Driving west on Interstate 90 I could see the supercell on the horizon. It was a monsta’. I stopped at the edge of town and photographed the amazing supercell spooling up.
This supercell was enormous and it was twisting up in a tight circle. I thought at any moment the supercell would produce a funnel cloud. Gee, how many times have I said that?
I decided to get closer to the supercell so I relocated to a vantage point above the city. I fired off a few frames and continued along the county road looking for just a slightly better vantage point.
This was about the time I experienced chaser convergence. Several, and I mean several, chasers had converged on this storm. Storm chasers and chase tours dotted the horizon with cameras pointed to the sky. It was interesting to see chase tours I encountered in Texas parked along the side of the road here in South Dakota.
Did it produce a tornado? No, but the next day on The Weather Channel, Jim Cantore could not stop talking about this storm. Yes, it was pretty amazing Jim. It was picture perfect and we all enjoyed it.
Post Chase Data
Chase day: 647 miles
Chase miles: 2,641