Weather Pictures


Storm Chasing


Weather Pictures and Storm Chasing
Chase April 28 2004

Route:Soest - Leerdam - Culemborg - Arnhem - Eerbeek - Voorst - Deventer - Zwolle - Lelystad - Baarn
Chasepartner(s):Ben Lankamp

As Ben Lankamp had the day off from school and I'm free of work, we decided to chase today's possible outbreak of storms. I didn't have high hopes for photogenic convection, as with this kind of "quite high CAPE low shear low CIN" situation, convection would probably fill the entire sky and merge into each other, leaving no room for clearings. Fortunately a band of dry air followed this morning's convection, allowing the sun to produce some extra daytime heating. In the early afternoon most unstable air mass was situated over Belgium, where storms soon started to explode. As I guessed, many storms formed at the same time. Soon thereafter storms formed over southern Holland and we felt we must pick a target soon.
We decided to leave for the Betuwe, between the river Rhine and Maas. Air mass should soon destabilize there, so we could witness any CB forming. We left under partly cloudy skies with some convection starting near Soest. It got us confused somewhat as the top of these convective towers looked quite hard and solid, but soon we saw the high bases. So we stuck with our initial target and headed south. Temperature was mostly between 21 and 24 degrees. Of course we got stuck in a traffic jam, while entering the A2-highway. We lost some time there, so our target area became too far south. Near Leerdam we found our first shower. It looked poorly organised and high based, so nothing interesting to photograph. Ben called his father for more information and he was told a whole line of storms was forming at that time. Again we got confused on how to handle this situation. We decided to drive east, to the area where GFS calculated most CAPE (about 800) and lowest LI (about -4).
Near Nijmegen we positioned ourselves just north of the approaching line of storms. Again, nothing looked well organised, and all we saw were dark skies filled with rain. To our east a more round cell was seen thru all midlevel and high clouds. I collected latest radar imagery with my i-mode cell phone and noticed a more active cell at the eastern flank of the line indeed, probably over western Germany. We thought we could intercept it and headed north. North of Arhem the line of storms to our south came closer and we could see some low bases. I glanced outside my car window and suddenly noticed an anvil filled with mammatus clouds overhead. What the h...! It surprised the both of us, but fortunately traffic was real slow, so we both could take some pictures.
Also skies looked pretty ominous green to our south and a lowering was visible to our southeast. I think this lowering was associated with outflow and belonged to a forming shelf. I couldn't take a photo of it, but Ben succeeded.
We left A-50 highway near Loenen, in search of an open field in front of the approaching storm. always that sucks here in Holland. So we kept on driving northeast. Herman Harperink phoned us as he was free of work now and planning to chase the storm system over Holland. We told him we went north towards Epe. On secondary roads it was very hard to keep in front of the storm, and we failed doing so. Near Deventer we got stuck in traffic again. There the squally outflow passed us with high winds and about 3 minutes of intense hail and rain. Then the hail stopped and it was just rain again. Sometimes a CG struck pretty close. Nice! We turned around and tried another route.
Well to be short now....we drove further north...saw some cool CG's...met up with Herman near Zwolle...turned south again to do another core punch, but saw nothing more worth mentioning.
I want to thank Ben for his excellent navigation work and for allowing me to use a few of his pictures in this chase log.


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© 2004 Bernard Hulshof