Chasing Down a Supercell

When it’s May you chase.  During the week of May 22, 2016, a southward dip in the jet stream occurred in the West near Colorado, with favorable thermodynamics advecting northwards and setting the potential for a tornado outbreak. In the early afternoon of May 22, 2016, an Enhanced Risk was issued by the Storm Prediction Center for extreme southwestern Kansas, the Oklahoma Panhandle and northern Texas.  Numerous tornadoes touched down along the dryline that evening, with the strongest tornadoes touching down in Texas.        

Las Vegas Storm Chase

LAS VEGAS, NV – SEPTEMBER 13: Lightning explodes over the city of Las Vegas, Nevada September 13, 2017.  Vegas during the monsoon season is an exciting time for us.  It is constantly filled with the anticipation of severe weather and the preparation of our equipment to pursuit lightning.  Storm chasing in and around Vegas is an incredibly rewarding experience when Mother Nature puts her bad behavior on display for the whole Vegas valley to see.  Sure there are those little storms out there on the Plains, meh, but when it…

Kansas Storm Chase

DEXTER, KANSAS – MAY 31, 2017:  The sun sets May 31, 2017, after a day of storm chasing severe weather near Dexter, Kansas. (Photo by Marc Sanchez) Kansas.  I love storm chasing in Kansas.  It was in Kansas I saw an epic F3/F4 tornado near Dodge City on May 24, 2016.    Like most of my storm chasing adventures on the plains, this day was memorable.  After a long day of chasing severe weather near Dexter, Kansas I found myself parked on this old dirt road watching the sunset.  The…

Storm Chase Four States

The convective outlook for the day called for an enhanced risk and the main reason I decided to make the overnight drive from North Dakota to Wyoming. It was a long night of driving through some terrible weather and I was tired, worn down, and zombie-like as I pulled into the outskirts of North Platte, Nebraska.  Parked on the side of the road with one eye open, I tried to watch the sunrise but my eyes felt like heavy weights were attached to the lids and I easily fell right…

Storm Chase Texas

The chase started in Shamrock, Texas and at the end of the day, I would find myself seeing a supercell and getting pummeled by hail, rain, and wind.  I had mixed feelings about what had occurred the day before when I missed a tornado in Canadian, Texas.   I kept thinking about my choice to stay on I-40 direct to Shamrock then north to Canadian.  There was an alternate route but I chose not to take it.  I kept thinking if I would have taken the alternate route, I would have seen…

Storm Chase Canadian Texas

Departing Albuquerque, New Mexico I had a sense of missing Vegas.  The chase rig began to cut out like it was running out of fuel and I wondered if I was really going to make the trip.  The thought of ending the chase before it really started tugged away in my mind.  I was two states away and trying to figure out my next move really consumed my thoughts.  I decided to stop and take a break in Tucumcari, New Mexico.  I refueled the chase rig, grabbed a cup of coffee,…

Storm Chase To Target Area

691 miles and a couple states away, the speedometer landed on 213,915 when I stopped for the night in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Earlier in the day near Ash Fork, Arizona the chase rig started to cut out like it was running out of fuel.  I thought I might be headed back to Vegas.  I stopped in for fuel  then back on the road.  Flagstaff was the trigger point.  If all was well in Flagstaff with the chase rig, I would continue on the road to New Mexico.  I suspect a…

Storm Shots I July 2009

  2009 JULY 22:  Monsoon moisture fueled an outbreak of severe thunderstorms that produced high winds and extremely dangerous cloud to ground lightning in North Las Vegas, Nevada.

Storm Shots II August

Timing, luck, and anticipation.  It appeared these were the key ingredients missing from a successful recipe of shooting the storms prior to August 19, 2014.  Night one resulted in driving north towards Mesquite and seeing nothing but a light rain.  Sitting atop a hill and looking towards Vegas I could see the frequent flashes of lightning in Las Vegas.  I immediately drove back towards Vegas and could see the storm was developing in the area of Coyote Creek near Moapa.     Driving the highway between Interstate 15 and Highway 93, I…

Storm Shots August 2014

We were all sitting around watching a marathon of Dexter on TV when I noticed some thunderstorm activity in the area north of Vegas.  At 11:30 p.m. I decided to jump in the chase rig and head for the desert initially going for the Indian Springs area.   I drove towards Indian Springs and found a place to reassess the storm versus my position.   Arriving near Corn Creek south of Indian Springs, I decided it wasn’t the only show in town and I needed to head over on the other side of the…