Tuesday August 23, 2016

Chase Partner:
Evan Bookbinder

Departure Location:
Omaha, NE

Target Area:
Seward, NE

Final Location:
Bee, NE

152 miles

Me out by Bee, NE watching the storms

After a full day testing and configuring Hazard Services at the Omaha/Valley, NE NWS Office my longtime friend Evan Bookbinder and myself decided to make an impromptu storm chase as we were in the middle of a slight risk with towers starting to go up during the afternoon hours. Unfortunately because this was unplanned all I had to take pics with was my cell phone, which being 2016 wasn't as terrible as I thought it would be.

After a brief stop at our hotel we noticed a thunderstorm pop almost directly overhead with several loud lightning strikes so close we clearly heard it from the car. This storm was quickly moving northeast and not visible on the lowest elevation slice so we determined this storm was likely elevated.  Therefore we headed southwest towards Seward, Nebraska where there were storms popping up near an old outflow boundary with respectable surface-based CAPEs. As we get towards Seward there is another storm that develops to the northeast of the initial storms so we head north towards Bee, NE to get on the southeast of this new development. We patiently wait and see how this storm develops as it quickly becomes Severe Warned. We see some structure with the storm itself but little else. The initial storms we abandoned near Omaha have congealed into a large rain producing storm with a brief tornado north of Omaha. With this storm near Bee not doing much and night quickly approaching we decide to head back to the hotel and grab something to eat back near Omaha. We get caught up in the large area of rain with torrential downpours and a lot of lightning and get soaked despite being 10 feet from our car. Getting back around 11 pm we enjoy the light show and call it a night.

Storms are popping near the hotel
Some Virga as we head for I-80
A tower goes up near us
A bit more girthy developent
The sun lights up a large anvil to the west
Several additional towers from convection to our north
The storm near Bee, NE where we end up staying for a while
A storm developing to the southwest of the storm we are watching
A panoramic of the entire sky
The storm as the sun sets behind it. We leave shortly after this picture is taken

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