This morning's target area of somewhere south of Wichita, KS quickly changed to west of Wichita once storms fired this afternoon. All storms to the south and east of Wichita became conjoined and had problems getting too severe because there was no east wind to fuel much rotation. Then there was a cell near Dodge City, KS that managed to keep itself separated and started moving to the right (that's a good thing!). As we approached Greensburg, KS, which was destroyed during a tornado in May 2007, it took on a classic flat updraft base and dropped a downright scary wall cloud.
The area just west of Greensburg was crawling with VORTEX2 vehicles, The Weather Channel, and other media trucks. We saw a bit of a dust cloud swirling on the ground under the storm, but we assumed it was a bit of inflow. It turns out that this could have been a tornado without the condensation funnel according to VORTEX2 reports. We chased the cell through its phases until it dissipated. This cell was very close to spawning a tornado, but we think cold outflow air from storms to the east contaminated the updraft base before it could do so. Here's a video of the cell from when we intercepted it to when it dissipated:
Here are a few photos:
A DOW (Doppler On Wheels) from VORTEX2.
The Weather Channel was broadcasting live during this storm and we saw some post-storm broadcasting going on next to this MSNBC SUV (NBC now owns The Weather Channel).
Tomorrow's target area will be in Kansas like today, so we really don't have to drive far! Time for some much needed sleep...