Went out for a fun local chase yesterday evening. Didn’t really see much, but I wasn’t really expecting a lot even though the SPC issued a Tornado Watch. I had actually looked at the model data earlier in the afternoon, and wasn’t at all impressed. I was surprised when they issued the Tornado Watch, as I didn’t think conditions were very favorable. But I decided to chase anyway since it was close to home, and there’s always a chance that some piddly little storm will drop a landspout or something. Plus I wanted to test out my GPS tracker!
One cell developed north of Lafayette and headed N/E, prompting severe warnings, but I’m not sure anything other than some 1″ hail came out of that. There was no way I could catch that one, but I expected additional development behind it along the cold front, which did not happen at that time. Finally a few small cells popped up, and I headed in that direction, but it was clear from a distance that the updrafts were not very strong. They made it to about 20k ft and then died.
I actually began to head home when I saw a line developing to my west. I stopped to watch it form, and ended up snapping this amazing sunset picture:
After this, a couple of the cells actually became severe warned, but I got right into the thick of them, and there was nothing at all severe about them. I really don’t know what is going on with the NWS lately. It seems like they’re super scared after all these outbreaks, or something. I would like to have been a fly on the wall in that office when they issued both the watch, and these warnings, just to see what exactly prompted them. In GRLevel3, it was not even showing a hail signature on these storms.
Anyway, with my tracker on I was visible on Spotter Network, and I have my phone number posted there for NWS and media only. I received a call from a private number right as one of those severe warned cells was on top of me. I didn’t answer, but I’m wondering if that was the NWS calling me? I guess next time I’ll answer, but I wouldn’t expect them to use a private number.