May 19, 2024

Wichita, Kansas.

So today I drove from Colby, Kansas down to Scott City, Garden City, and Dodge City, as the National Weather Service was predicting a line of storms with very strong winds to pass through this area and march across Kansas.

I noticed a lot of storm chasers opted for northwest Oklahoma, below my target chase area. They intercepted a few tornadoes. I intercepted a lot of wind. The maximum gust I clocked was 79 MPH. I thought the car was going to blow off the road. It didn’t.

There were a bunch of storm chasers in my target area near Meade, Kansas. We all ended up chasing a storm cell along US Highway 160 east to Harper and then up to Wichita. I didn’t spot a tornado but I encountered hail, and at one point I thought I was going to lose the windshield. I did not.

By the time I turned onto K-42 in Harper, the rain was coming down impressively. I practically floated the car around the west side of Wichita before getting settled at a Wingate Hotel near the airport.

Tomorrow I head west, probably toward northwest Kansas/southwest Nebraska. The Nebraska panhandle doesn’t really look to be in the mix, but the northeast corner of Colorado might definitely be in play. I’ll be working with data coming out of Goodland, Kansas.

In the meanwhile, I just ended an excellent dining experience at a place called Sickie’s Garage Burgers and Brews. I didn’t realize they were a chain; they reminded me of Quaker Steak and Lube back east. The bartenders were Pat and Q and they were a hoot.