April 21, 2005 se NE Supercell and MUD

Caught this storm as it went up near Deschler NE. It had a very cold rfd from the beginning and I knew that wasn't going to be good. It was just too close to the cold front, if not on it.

It did organize nicely later near Tobias(I think). I had just met up with Randy and we were zig zagging on gravel roads to keep up with its stubborn ne movements. We were going east and I saw the minimum maintanence sign, but the road looked dry enough so I kept going. Randy was flashing his lights behind me so I slowed. While slowing I hit the crap and knew I was in trouble. It was not ok. It was bad. But all I had to do was back up 50 yards or so. It was slow going but we got out of that mess. This caused us to lose the storm as we had to back track south.

South back to the highway. A new storm was going up sw of this one with another east of us near Beatrice. We go east for the option to chase either.

I didn't mean to shoot this. I was trying to just get the focus out there as it sometimes hates clouds. That way I could point it north and shoot on manual. Well, I pushed to hard and got this, lol. We were under the gust front of the storm in strong west winds.

Man, you'd think one would learn. We caught up with the east tornado warned storm. We watched its grunginess try and approach from the west before heading north on gravel again. WELL, while going east we weren't afforded a minimum maintanence road sign this time and were given an even worse road. Not only that but we flew well onto it over the hill. I was stuck, Randy was close to stuck in a 4 wheel drive jeep. I didn't even want to try to go up the hill to the east ahead of us. I was getting ready to dial numbers to find a tow truck and Randy got his to move forward after sliding into the grass backing up. He offered to try and push mine with his front bumper. I did not think there was any chance we'd get over the hill. Hell I didn't think we'd get my car to the hill.

We got to the hill and started to go up. I was moving 1 mph, tops, and would slow to 0 and then Randy would bump into me causing me to go 1 mph again and him to go back to 0. I'd be slowing back down from the CRAWL(a person could literally crawl faster than we were moving) and Randy would be back up to 1-2mph and bump me again. Over and over we did this trying to get up the first hill. If I tried to spin the tires as slow as possible I'd get nothing. Normally that is what you want to do, but not on mud going up a hill. I think the higher tire speeds spin the mud off before going around again allowing you to grab at least somewhat better. My speedometer was always around 45mph was we crawled, lol.

So you know what that leaves the person behind you, lol. A very muddy window. I had to be shooting some mud as he was obviously on my bumber. So anyway, we crest this hill. I was thinking the highway was 1/4 mile ahead of us but then the gps moved and I saw it wasn't but was another 4 miles. The county line was a 1/4 mile away. So we made it up the hill and crap, more hills. So down we go very very slowly sliding all over. It was so hard to get the car going straight even on flat ground. I thought one of these hills would do us in and one of us would end up well off the road but somehow we made it. We made it the 1/4 mile to a gravel option south. Our tornado warned storm was once again leaving us(not in the dirt but the mudd). Randy didn't have any wiper fluid so we were pouring armoral and antifireeze that I had in my trunk on it. I hardly cared about storms after getting out of that mess. I was so excited that we actually accomplished what we did.

Made it up into Nebraska City and had a very very short view south of a nice updraft base.

Saw Tim Jones and Chris Lens as well as Steve Peterson there. Steve, Randy and I ended up going south into nw MO for another storm trying to get going. We saw some rather cool scud vorticies with this storm. You could see crashing rfd motions and this stuff rising and turning behind the storm. This shot is just an area of rising and turning scud. I never really zoomed in on the others as they'd form all over too quickly. That and I messed up the start/stop recording for several "record periods". It has certainly been an interesting 4 days of chasing.