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Three Days of Big Birthday Storms

Colin Davis and I are westbound down Interstate 80, a couple bagel sandwiches just thrown down the hatch from the Iowa 80 Truck Stop in Walcott. We begin a weekend of storm chasing today... but not just any weekend of storm chasing. It's my birthday weekend! I'll celebrate my birthday on Saturday, April 27th, and if I have it my way I'll be celebrating my birthday by chasing supercell thunderstorms after having chased supercell thunderstorms the day before with supercell thunderstorms in the forecast the next day.

Every year I hope for a little birthday storm observation, and every late April it seems like we end up under a Great Lakes trough and I'm grilling in the backyard in a hoodie on a gloomy, chilly evening. The massive April 27th, 2011 tornado outbreak occurred when I was an out-of-money college student living a few hours further north than I do today, well out of reach of the Southern U.S.

In 2024 my birthday circles back to landing on a Saturday, and this year the weather pattern is different. This isn't even your typical "go out and follow a storm system home" chase either - we've got two totally different waves in play on Friday and Saturday, which just anecdotally feels good. Instead of chasing the storm system on day one and then chasing it's scraps as it moves east on day two, we'll have a completely renewed warm sector and a new upper level disturbance that is peaking for another day of severe weather potential.

We're headed to eastern Nebraska and western Iowa for now, keeping both the potential for an early arc of supercells on the triple point and the later evening dryline risk in play. Then we'll figure out where we sleep tonight to put ourselves in position for Saturday's event, which seems messy but volatile for now.

The vibes are good. The vibes are exactly what you dream of in the winter time. I've been up since 12:45 AM, I've got a pot of coffee in my gut, and 72 hours of storm observing ahead of me.

Let's get this birthday weekend storm chasing trip on the road!


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