2005 MAY 17: HILL CITY, KS AREA SUPERCELL
Scott Eubanks and I chased the tail-end charlie supercell from Hill
City, Kansas through south of Phillipsburg for over two hours. We
targeted this area for the superior chance of discrete cells with
supportive directional shear ahead of the dryline, which is what we got.
Our storms maintained their relative isolation from initiation until
they were caught by the squall line well after sunset.
The southernmost storm fired just north of I-70 and we reached it south of Hill City, greeted a symmetrical updraft base and a quickly developing wall cloud.
The storm gained intensity as it moved east northeast and swallowed nearby updrafts and small showers to the south. This was a rotating updraft that developed a crisp cut and sweeping striations around the base of the meso. In northeastern Graham County, the storm became more LP-ish and a corkscrew updraft appeared beneath the growing low cloud deck.
We watched this feature glide over Kirwin Reservoir as a new supercell developed to the west, providing an awesome light show when the setting sun ducked beneath the anvil and spread over the choppy waters.
We had low expectations for this chase and were thrilled at the presentation and evolution of this supercell. Great day.