Visualization and Doppler Radar Analysis Project
May 16 - May 28,
Donald Dolan and Tom Dolan
and Jade Vajna - by web conference
Saturday May 16, 2020 - Rocklin, CA to Elko,
Departed Rocklin, CA driving to the Central Plains for this seasons
field work. Plan is to head towards Cheyenne, WY and then position
for storm development for the early part of the week. Original
plans were to fly into Denver, CO on Monday May 18th and meet up with
the team. Due to the Canadian Border continued closure the team
from Canada will not be able to participate in the field phase this
the Sierra Nevada mountains with the snow still present on the peaks
above Donner Lake.
Travel Distance: 405 Miles
Sunday May 17, 2020 - Elko, NV to Cheyenne,
Travel day to Cheyenne, WY.
Upcoming weather outlooks.
Hazardous Weather Outlook
National Weather Service Rapid City SD
536 AM MDT Sun May 17 2020
...DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...Monday through Saturday
Beginning late Tuesday, an active pattern will bring a return of
thunderstorm chances through much of the week. Some of these storms
could be strong to severe, especially late Tuesday and Wednesday.
Travel Distance: 672 Miles
Monday May 18, 2020 - Cheyenne, WY to Hot
Plan is to head up to Hot Springs, South Dakota to stage for Tuesday's
Warm weather with a some wind along the way.
Travel Distance: 215 Miles
Tuesday May 19, 2020 - Hot Springs, SD to
Hill City, SD
stopped by and visited the old school that was converted to the Pioneer
Museum at the top of the hill in Hot Springs, SD. The
building was a school from 1873 to 1961.
Each room has different themes. Examples shown such as store
supplies or medical equipment.
through Wind Cave National Park and local bison were grazing. Past
by a small heard as we were working through the park.
Above is a view of the Crazy Horse monument that is under construction.
This is a privately funded project.
The storms for today were far south from our location and we were
staying in the region for Wednesday's storm setup.
Travel Distance: 53 Miles
Wednesday May 20, 2020 - Hill City, SD to
We stopped by to take in the view of Mount Rushmore from the upper
parking lot. The site was open for visiting but with no services
We then drove down the mountain to go through Rapid City, SD to drive up
to Sundance, WY Storm Positioning
Severe Thunderstorm intercepted south of Gillette, WY. Parked on a
rise on the highway and observed the thunderstorm as it past by.
Our location had mostly pea size hail with some dime size.
location is the white circle to the west of the storm.
Below is the 3D view of the thunderstorm passing by. The radar is
located in Rapid City, SD and the lowest level visible is at 15,000
feet. Data is too far from the ground to do further detail work
but provided a good chase intercept based on the available roads for the
View of the Severe Thunderstorm to the left in screenshot from the dash
Travel Distance: 463 Miles
Thursday May 21, 2020 - Scottsbluff, NE to
Dodge City, KS
Travel to Kansas.
Tornado warned storm in Texas.
8:59 PM CDT watching the tornado warned storm at Sublette, Texas above
position near Sublette, Texas on the tornado warned storm. Radar
view at 9:10 PM CDT
Travel Distance: 536 Miles
Friday May 22, 2020 - Dodge City, KS to
Travel to Texas.
Travel Distance: 579 Miles
Saturday May 23, 2020 - Childress, TX to
Hail size about 3 1/2 inches. Quarter for scale.
Rainbow as we travel east on Interstate 40 towards Shamrock, Texas
before we continue traveling north to Liberal, Kansas.
Lightning sequence 1 of 5 screenshots.
Lightning sequence 2 of 5 screenshots.
Lightning sequence 3 of 5 screenshots.
Lightning sequence 4 of 5 screenshots.
Lightning sequence 5 of 5 screenshots.
moved from Childress, Texas to Silverton, Texas to stage for the days
storms. Storms initiated west of our location which we
followed north. As those storms dissipated we worked south to
Plainview, Texas and work the next round of storms and followed the
thunderstorm that entered Silverton, Texas. This was a large hail
producing thunderstorm which we found Silverton to have been hit hard by
baseball size hail. One hail was 3-1/2 inches in size and that is
after it had already started melting. We then followed the storm
up toward Interstate 40 continuing to Liberal, Kansas for the night.
Travel Distance: 475 Miles
Sunday May 24, 2020 - Liberal, KS to Salina,
through thunderstorm with heavy rainfall.
We left Liberal, Kansas and staged up on Dighton, Kansas to await
storm initiation. Worked towards Ness City and followed and went
north up to Interstate 70. Went east on the Interstate and did
work some thunderstorms with us meeting up in Tescott, Kansas with Henry
Diehl who was providing spotter reports as well as on air radio reports
to the local AM station reporting field weather reports to the area
communities. Henry also calls in his weather spotter reports to
the National Weather Service. We frequently visit with Henry when
we are in the area and see at the Annual ChaserCon conventions.
Travel Distance: 369 Miles
Monday May 25, 2020 - Salina, KS to Rawlins,
Travel Distance: 682 Miles
Tuesday May 26, 2020 - Rawlins, WY to
Traveling from Rawlings, WY Interstate 80
back to Rocklin, CA. Took pictures of landscape and weather along
Photo of landscape near Green River, Utah.
Cliffs entering Utah.
Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah.
Snow covered peaks in Eastern, Nevada.
Rainfall near Winnemucca, Nevada.
Nevada sunset and sun highlighted shower.
Travel Distance: 949 Miles
logged on travel miles, fuel expenses, food and lodging for the 2020
research season for reference and planning use. Base trip costs
are two participants.
11 days of travel: 5440 Miles
2 days travel from Rocklin, CA to Cheyenne, WY: 1077 Miles
7 days travel for storms chasing: 2732 Miles
2 days Travel from Salina, KS to Rocklin CA: 1631 Miles
Total gallons of fuel used: 274.78 gallons
Total fuel cost: $557.18
Average miles per gallon: 19.8 miles per gallon
Average price per gallon of fuel: $2.03
Average miles per day: 494.55
Average gallons of fuel per day: 24.98 gallons per day
Rental vehicle used: GMC Yukon
Hotel Costs: $1035.80
Hotel Room: 10 Nights
Average Cost per night: $103.58
Vehicle Rental Costs
Base vehicle rental cost: $806.45
Vehicle insurance cost: $601.86
Total vehicle rental cost: $1408.31
Note: Vehicle was picked up two days prior to trip departure for
preparation and returned day after return.
Food Costs Estimate
Average $30 day per person for $660.00 for trip
Hotels provided sack breakfast style meals. Ice chest stocked with
food and drinks to reduce cost and need for stops. Most meals were
ordered to go with some limited dining options available.
Total Trip Costs Summary
Rental vehicle and Insurance: $1408.31
Food: $660.00 (Estimate)
Total Cost: $3661.29