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The past couple days have not been kind to storm chasers. A cold front that swept across the plains last week scoured all the moisture from the air, leaving behind a dry, cool, stable air mass. This has limited any potential for severe weather.

We decided to make the best of the downtime. On Saturday, after picking up Jess at Kansas City, we drove to St. Louis, where we saw one of my favorite comedians, Brian Regain. His show was a riot, and well worth the trip. Sunday was spent at Six Flags St. Louis. Now this was a truly interesting day. The weather was drizzly all day, which meant that practically nobody was at the park… except us, and the other crazy people. The park was so empty, they even let us stay in our seats on the roller coasters, because nobody else was waiting in line to take our place. When all was said and done, we did 12 rides on 6 of the coasters. We would have done more, but a few of them were closed.

The models showed the potential for severe weather increasing as the week went on, so we decided to spend Monday travelling. 520 miles later, we ended up in Norman, OK. Some friends of mine from the NOAA Hollings program, Stephanie and Kristen, are graduate assistants at OU. It was great seeing them, catching up, and reminiscing about all our times in the summer of 2009.

Today, Tuesday, was a very marginal chase day. Moisture in the area was still extremely limited with dew points in the low-to-mid 40’s. The only real potential for severe weather was in the higher elevations of the high plains, which is an environment that can support storms with such low moisture.

Well, suffice to say, we did not make that play. We were banking on some dryline action in the OK/TX panhandle region. Alas, most of the day saw cirrus cloud cover that limited heating and created a pool of stable air. If any anemic storm had even initiated along the dryline, they would have quickly dissipated.

Today was a bust.

We drove from Norman, OK, all the way out to Guymon, OK. There were several other groups of chasers around, too, so we weren’t the only ones wishing for a miracle. We had dinner in Guymon and headed back east to Woodward, where we are spending the night in good position for tomorrow.

We weren’t counting on much happening today, but the lack of anything at all combined with a long drive made for a frustrating day. If it is any consolation, all the hotels in Woodward are booked full because of the number of chasers who were out here getting a tan with us. Cloud 9 tours is staying in our hotel, and we ran into College of DuPage at lunch. We also heard the California University of Pennsylvania is in town. Misery loves company!

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