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May 14, 1999: Large Hail Covers the Road

Non-Tornadic Chase Through NW Kansas (Chris Kridler, Dave Lewison & BBC Crew)

Started the day in Hays, KS with a BBC crew in tow. Best moisture convergence and shear profiles looked to be in NW KS, so we headed out on I-70 towards Goodland. Caught up with one storm moveing ENE out of Yuma County, CO, but it quickly gusted out.  
0514anvil.JPG (8137 bytes)35mm.jpg (3927 bytes) Drove through the rain/hail core east on 34 and stopped at Culbertson to get this picture of the tail end of the storm and backsheared anvil. Time: about 7:30 pm.
0514hailonroad.JPG (10516 bytes)video.jpg (3939 bytes) Figured we'd make it back to Hays for the night by taking 83 south to 36 east and then 283 south again to I-70. Boy, were we wrong! The storms we left to our north had a big trailing squall line to the south and west of us. About the time we got to 36 east, it had caught up to us and began dumping buckets of rain. Pretty soon the rain turned to hail. It was keeping up with us fairly well. When we hit 283 south, there were DETOUR signs posted! Ack! We had to drive all the way to Philipsburg to catch 183 south. By then the roads were covered in hail. Time: about 10:30 pm.
0514bighail.JPG (10802 bytes)video.jpg (3939 bytes) After hours of creeping along ice-glazed roads, and backtracking every time the stones got very large (sometimes as large as 2"!) we pulled ahead of it in Stockton, KS and decided to stay at the first place we saw.

The next day we completely missed the Stockton tornado because we were "mist chasing" up near the Nebraska border....but that's too depressing to go into detail!


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Email me at: lewisd2@rpi.edu

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