Great Plains 2004

Event Day Log Entries:
- 6/15/05: Conclusion
- DAY 22: Tower lightning
- DAY 21: Missouri funnels
- DAY 20: Texas tornadoes
- DAY 19: OK lightning
- DAY 18: Slow day in OK
- DAY 17: Kansas tornadoes!
- DAY 16: Rest day
- DAY 15: Tornado in SD
- DAY 14: Plans change!
- DAY 13: Heading east
- DAY 12: High risk letdown
- DAYS 10,11: Cap wins
- DAY 9: Travel, rest day
- DAY 8: Lubbock supercell
- DAY 7: Tornado in CO
- DAYS 4,5: WV to Wakita
- 5/26/05: Uncertainty's back!
- 5/25/05: Gearing up again
- 5/23/05: Still watching
- 5/21/05: Forecast update
- 5/17/05: Hoping for June
- 5/16/05: Struggling forecast
- DAY 2: IN,IL
- 5/09/05: Installing gear
- 5/06/05: Trip dates set
- 5/02/05: GFS watching
- 4/28/05: Preparations

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- Log Index

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                DAYS 4, 5: May 27, 28 - Charleston to Tornado Alley

I was able to leave Charleston by 2PM EDT, making St. Louis by sunset. After an overnight stay in Joplin, Missouri, Tulsa was the next stop to meet up with Bill and Dave. I crossed the Oklahoma state line at 8AM.

Dave, Bill and I left Tulsa at noon and arrived in Wakita just after 2PM. Wakita is the small Oklahoma town featured in the 1996 movie 'Twister'. In fact, most of the movie was filmed in and around the town, and a 'Twister' museum is now located there with various artifacts from the movie. The food was good and the town interesting. We ran into quite a few storm observers I hadn't seen in a long time or hadn't met before. Got a shot of the expedition vehicle with the 'Dorothy' instrument package prop used in the movie. BELOW: Event vehicle and 'Dorothy' from 'Twister', storm observers at Wakita:

Video captures - click to enlarge

Digital photos by William Coyle - click to enlarge

In Wakita, Fabian and Bill transferred their luggage and gear to my car. At 4PM, we were drawn northward into Kansas for the possibility of lightning photos from a line of storms sinking south towards Wichita, passing by the location of a memorable event from last season:

Digital photo by William Coyle - click to enlarge

After mulling the situation over as we drove north, we decided the long trek to intercept the weakening storms wasn't going to be worth it, especially with possible chase targets well to our south for Sunday. Furthermore, we needed to be back in Newton so Fabian could catch his train back to Chicago tonight.

We're now in Newton, Kansas, relaxing at the hotel in anticipation for several long-haul expeditions starting tomorrow. Our entertainment at the hotel tonight has been provided by Hank, a cool frisbee-catching Weimaraner who initially invited himself into our open room to greet us. His owners are staying in the rooms adjacent to ours.

Video captures - click to enlarge

Digital photos by William Coyle - click to enlarge

Tomorrow's target looks rather ambiguous, but it appears we'll be heading generally southwest into western Oklahoma. Until then, signing off.....

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