TORUS 2022 Diary: May 16 – Salina, KS

That’s right. For some reason, I’m back with another dedicated diary. Given how busy field projects are, I’m going to try to keep these to under 1,000 words per day and possibly expand the post as needed at a later date. Today marked the opening of TORUS 2022 operations. Despite the fact that there is no media day, unlike 3 years ago, the project is still congregating in Salina. It’s a centralized location that offers a reasonable ferry to each of the main targets for supercells tomorrow.

The targets themselves are rather bleak. We can play cold front storms in a weak-shear environment late tomorrow night in eastern Nebraska, or we can try to go to the warm front in Iowa, or we can sit around in central Kansas in a pretty favorable parameter space but uncertain CI potential along some sort of double dryline feature. I think the last one is the option we’ll take, specifically because it puts us best in play for a similarly nondescript upslope target on Wednesday.

We’re at the hotel in Salina right now. I’m about to head out to Martinelli’s for dinner with Don Burgess and Tony Reinhardt of the NOXP radar, as well as Mike Coniglio and Wenjun Cui, a postdoc who is joining myself in the NOXP scout vehicle this May. Wenjun seems to be quite nice – she loves national parks and hiking, and doesn’t seem to be afraid to ask questions about stuff. However, she’s never been storm chasing before, which means that scout operations will probably be left to me while she drives in the future. Mike is in the scout just so he doesn’t have to get bothered by anyone. I think the three of us are going to have some fun – if the storms cooperate.

Today’s been a pretty hectic day – the first day of a field project always ends up with things breaking, and people not leaving on time, and last-minute scrambling to find things. In our case, it appears that people kind of just forgot we existed. Our power inverter is ancient and makes weird beeping sounds, we were given a Mifi card with no sim card, and we were given a tablet to run SASSI on that has no password I can discern. All of this is simple enough to fix, but tomorrow will likely be a big old cobweb-shaking day.

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