Storm Chase May 29, 2010: Ogallala area bust and unexpected mammatus



chase images and log by William T. Hark, M.D.


Saturday was a major bust. I started the day in Ogallala, Nebraska. The chance of supercells and tornadoes was marginal. There was warm moist air from the south but the best upper level winds were only just approaching the area from the west. I was concerned about a cold front undercutting the storms. There were two possible targets. One was in northeast Colorado/southwest Nebraska and the other was toward Valentine, Nebraska in the north. I liked the westerly target the best. I headed west and met with Jason Persoff and Robert Balogh, two hospitalists, John Mann a friend of Robert who is an engineer and Dallas Raines, a meteorologist with an LA network television station. We had lunch at Perkins (see image below, missing John Mann ) and examined data. We initially decided to drive west and south into southwest Nebraska ahead of an approaching low. We only went south for a few miles before deciding the best surface winds and moisture was back east in Ogallala. We headed back and spent the rest of the afternoon in a truck stop parking lot. There were also some other chasers congregating in the parking lot. Eventually, storms formed to our south and moved over our location and died. We saw a faint rainbow over a liquor store but nothing exciting. By early evening, it was clear that the chase was a bust. We headed to Front Street for dinner and while in the parking lot, saw a nice sunset and beautiful mammatus clouds. The day wasn't a complete loss as we obtained some nice images of sunlit mammatus behind an old windmill. After an enjoyable dinner at Front Street Steakhouse in Ogallala, Jason and the other chasers left for Denver and I drove to North Platte. Two nights in Ogallala was enough.

chaser lunch at Perkins
in Sidney, Nebraska

stopped a few miles
south of Julesburg in Colorado
and turned around

anemic development viewed
from truckstop in Ogallala

lame rainbow in Ogallala
over lounge/liquor store

mammatus at sunset over
Front Street Steakhouse, Ogallala

mammatus and old windmill
Front Street Steakhouse

Go to May 30, 2010

All images Copyright 2010 William T. Hark