June 4, 2001

The weather pattern had changed very little over the previous day. The front was still near the KS/OK border, wind shear and instability was still plentiful, and the cap was still strong. A small surface low in southern KS would provide an additional source of lift. All this led me to target the exact same area I targeted yesterday.

I left Norman at almost the exact same time I left the day before (3:30pm). I went north on I-35, seeing numerous turkey towers trying to go up near the KS/OK border. As I crossed the border into Kansas, I witnessed numerous horseshoe vortices. One horseshoe vortex that developed underneath a horizontal convective roll was quite persistent and lasted for several minutes. As I approached Wichita, I could see towers going up off to the north and northwest towards Newton. These towers looked just as unimpressive as the towers from the day before but I was reluctant to give up on them after what happened yesterday. Meanwhile, a huge storm blew up off to my southwest. It had a nice rounded, backsheared anvil - so I blew off those turkey towers and went after the storm to my southwest.

As I approached this storm from the northeast and east, my view of the updraft was obscured by precip so I wasn't sure if it was weakening or not. But the NWS in Wichita kept issuing warning after warning on the storm so I kept going after it. Although the NWS was saying the storm was moving as fast as 25 mph this storm seemed to be sitting still, making it very easy to chase. Between the towns of South Haven and Caldwell I found myself being followed by chasers again. This time it was the UMass radar trucks, whom I let pass me by. As I entered the town of Caldwell, I saw the UMass radars getting gas. I then looked in my rear view mirror to see both Doppler on Wheels vehicles and a caravan of five other vehicles coming up behind me. This caravan met up with the UMass trucks at the gas station and became a nine vehicle caravan. On the northern outskirts of Caldwell I pulled over to let this caravan go by, and let them get about a mile or two ahead of me before I got back on the road again.

Coming north out of Caldwell, I finally got a view of the updraft of this storm. It wasn't showing any obvious signs of rotation and was quickly falling apart. I went west on Hwy 44 to watch this storm fizzle out, passing by numerous chasers along the way. As darkness set in I began heading back home - but not before I was treated to a fantastic display of mammatus over Caldwell. On the way back I could also see the huge backsheared anvil from the storm over northwestern OK, which made for a nice lightning display on my way back to Norman.

I would give today a 10 out of 19. Although the storm itself wasn't much to write home about, it was easy to chase and made for a nice sunset.

Total Chase Mileage: 483 miles
Total Chase Time: 8 hours, 6 minutes

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