There is an idea that many storm chasers in the Midwest look to to help them get through what might be a slow day to start: “6 o’ clock magic.” The idea was presented to me at the beginning of the 2009 campaign by team member and now NCAR Director Dr. Roger Wakimoto. Sure enough, I have seen the magic for myself on many days. We can spend all day sitting in a park under clear skies, and then suddenly, as the minute hand points straight up and the hour hand points straight down, storms will begin the fire and the chase commences.
Today is the first day of June, the 6th month of the Gregorian calendar. We are hoping that 6 remains a lucky number and we see some “sixth-month magic”. While we do have at least one tornado under our belts, it was weak and very short lived, making it difficult for that case to meet the science objectives that our team set out with VORTEX2 for. Project coordinators have recently rethought how we operate and have decided to be much more aggressive. Hopefully that change along with some of that magic will enable us to intercept storms and collect data that will help us meet our goals.
We have been busy though…since we last blogged, we have travelled through Colorado, into Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, and into Kansas. Along the way, we saw Jackalope Square in Douglas, Wyo., Mt. Rushmore (yes, again), and Devils Tower National Monument. We’ve deployed on several storms, one very nice and long-lived supercell in Colo., but none of them produced tornadoes while we collected data.
Stay tuned to see if that sixth month magic is realized!