May 22: Day 1: Long travel day
3:24AM CDT: Finally arrived in Grand Island, Nebraska and are settled into our hotel. Had a slight delay in Nebraska City when our 750-watt inverter (the main power plant for our onboard systems) decided to breathe its last. We bought a replacement (and a second backup unit) in Lincoln, and got our power restored in short order. Earlier in the day, we did a whirlwind tour of downtown Kansas City for some urban skyline photography.
The potency and placement of the severe weather outlook for tomorrow is still uncertain. The forecast will be a difficult one. It appears that our Grand Island lodging spot will be a great place to start the Tuesday expedition, with likely very little traveling needed to our final target. The problem is that the setup for tomorrow is not very clear-cut and will depend on several yet-to-be-determined factors, such as the effects from overnight storms and the existence and placement of a forecast surface low pressure center in Nebraska. At this point, it appears we may be moving south possibly into Kansas, but we'll wait until morning to make that call.
Right now, storms in western Nebraska are moving toward us and could roll over us overnight. Nothing really worth staying awake for - our energy is better saved for the morning.
12:27PM CDT: We finally left Charleston at midnight last night, making it to east Louisville before stopping for the night. Currently sitting at a Flying J in Evansville, Indiana trying to download drivers for our webcam. The webcam is the only piece of our live tracker that has been having technical difficulties - but we'll hopefully have it fixed in the next hour.
Tomorrow still looks like a great storm observation day in Kansas and/or Nebraska. We're still leaning toward the Nebraska target, but we'll keep northern Kansas open in case the better tornado risk trends toward the southern end of the region. We will have a better idea of our target later this afternoon, and will likely revise it again in the morning.
As we approach Kansas City later this afternoon, there is a possibility of us seeing some severe storms that might be good enough to go after for our first official intercepts tonight. Stay tuned to our tracker page and our blog to see what we encounter!
And, just to declare closure on our annual month-long, anxiety-filled long-range model forcasting excercise ('stressfest' as Jason Persoff called it), with great pleasure I'm almost cerimonially making a final update to our probability table.
Based on the current outlook, this probability table charts the chance of our trip starting on a particular date:
|2006 Weather Expedition - Departure Date Probability as of May 22|
|May 28-June 4||0%|
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