[an error occurred while processing this directive]03 May 2003 - DAY #2: To cap or not to cap - Chase 2003
DAY #2: To cap or not to cap
03 May 2003
Garden City, KS - Altus, OK

CHASE LOG 0700: Wake up call.! I had so little to re-pack today that I only glanced the morning checklist. I basically needed to packer chargers, strap on gadgets, , and go.

0830: Breakfast (see below) with the gang, who trickled in from 08:30-9:30. All appeared well rested and raring to go!

1000: The daily briefing: Bill Reid describe how the pattern is out of sync. The winds at 500, 700, and 850 levels didi not consistently favor either of our two potential targets  (E. TX panhandle or NW Kansas/SW Nebraska). The moisture was poor on the northern area (as indicated by dew points in the 40s), but the southern area did not YET have Gulf moisture in the target area; if the adjacent moisture charges in, the storms could explode, depending on one more thing: cap.  Our southern target area is south of the jet (LLJ?), so capping could be a big problem. We face a big CAPE/big cap scenario, so today could be a win big day. Or a lose big day.  This "typical May conundrum" (as Keith called it), is what challenges chasers and separates the best chasers from the wannabes. I am really glad to be with TT: my experience last year has convinced me that nobody will do better on this kind of day than Bill Reid. I hope my confidence is rewarded with a good storm.

[Day 2 Route Map] 1208: We cross back into Texas, north of Perryton, where we refuel, clean windows, get food, empty bladders, etc.  Bill gets online via cell modem and gets updated forecast data and surface readings.

1330: Lunch at the Pampa Subway on US83. I do a battery/adapter run art a Radio Shack 3 blocks to the south, a nice little jog at lunchtime. Amalia organized an impromptu birthday for David.  (Imagine being a meteorologist with a birthday on a major tornado outbreak day (the OKC 1999 outbreak. COOL!)

1503: We stop where Bill and Martin (miles away) successfully debug a cell system problem, so we get a weather update. All the elements for a promising severe storm day: dryline firming up in E NM, cumulus field growing near Childress through Wichita Falls to the SE, dew points rising into the 60/70 range.. Earlier, Bill called out an LI spike near Wilkins County/Snyder area.

1519: We jump on I-40 east in search of a bathroom.   ("WHO keeps needing to go?" I wonder.)

1630: We are south of Brice, TX. Martin Lisius has joined us, so our little caravan has grown to three vehicles today. Storms build nicely (as the fisheye shot, at left, shows).

1930: We are north of Childress a few miles, on US 62/TX 256. A few miles to our northwest is a noticeable lowering with a ragged underside. Scud tags appear and vanish rapidly and we can see a little rotation (1 or 2 RPM?) in the underside of the storm.  We do not see a classic wall cloud, but we have lots of company. Along the road we see the UMass DOW unit, several TV station chase crews and another tour (maybe Cloud 9?).  The spot looks promising and we have around twenty vehicles filled we folks anticipating a possible tornado forming.

2030: Our daylight fades (and so do our storms). "Nice try, no cigar."
----: Dinner at the Altus Pizza Hut

2243: I am checked into my room (#228) and finally got my PC to work with the adapter combination from Radio Shack!

Computer down (until we got on the road and I plugged into a van outlet). Maybe I can snag these later?
To sum up: a promising area far north into SW Nebrasks and another area south of the LLJ into the Texas side of the RR valley.

-BREAKFAST: Super 8 Motel (Garden City, KS): A scaled-down continental breakfast.  No fancy waffle machine, no coffee (of any kind) ready, and the breakfast is only scheduled to 9 a.m. (though I sweet-talked Jeanetta, the desk clerk into giving us extra time to eat). She also made coffee on request (in keeping with posted  signs).  Hopefully, lunch will be more  satisfying.
-LUNCH: Subway (Perryton, TX): Service: fast. Food: Excellent. Price:cheap (and I got stamps). Overall: three stars (I love Subway.)
-DINNER: Pizza Hut (Altus, OK):
. Food: OK. Service: slow and grumpy- our waitress didn't crack a smile once and acted like we were a great inconvenience to her). Price: cheap. Overall: two stars.
MOTEL: Days Inn (Altus, OK): The room is neat and (so far) everything works as it ought to work.

STORM REPORTS for the day are at http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/reports/030503_rpts.html.

Here's the graphic:

[Storm Reports Map for 030503]

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