Absolutely off-the-charts chase day, my best ever. I was on the first tornado south of Dodge City as it began as a dust whirl in the field a few hundred feet away, and had a front-row seat as it slowly morphed into Rozel II. All the while, tornado #2 was in progress to the east under the new meso. I caught up to this second tornado, within a half mile or so, as it became Rozel III with even more tornadoes simultaneously occurring to its east. That's right, TWO Rozel-caliber tornadoes in a row - I can't believe it. I lost ground on the storm due to a police roadblock, but witnessed several other tornadoes, including a strong tornado on the west side of Dodge City and several more north of town. I completely lost count of the total, it is at least 7 and that's being conservative. Topped off by an amazing sky show in Dodge City afterward with anticrepuscular rays and sunset mammatus.
What do I even say about this day? My first two chase days out in the Plains and on the second I see likely the most impressive cyclic tornadic supercell in Kansas since possibly Greensburg (which happens to be the place I'm staying in tonight). Drove north after staying in Woodward overnight and met @PaxPhotography near Buffalo (and watched the dryline approach the remnant outflow boundaries from further south). Headed north and met up with Ian Livingston and Quincy Vagell just south of Minneola as the storm began developing (again after multiple attempts) to the southwest. What happened after speaks for itself so I won't go further, but suffice to say I may have trouble ever topping this. Also ran into Jon Strebler again.
One of my best days ever, too. At least 3 tornadoes, and probably more, and just about every shape a tornado can - elephant trunk, cone, wedge, multi-vortex, rope, you name it. And two on the ground at the same time, too, possibly more than once. A spectacular display of Mother Nature. And I have not even looked at my video yet. Pictures below are of the first two of the three I am sure about.
6 different tornadoes, but seeing the house get wiped off its foundation and completely destroyed was sobering
The people were ok, and it was good to see Ben Holcomb and Adam Lucio help out with us. We arrived just minutes after the Twister hit.
Well, I guess if I had gone completely without sleep I could have got to Dodge...(word to the wise: don't work for the NWS if you like to chase) But fortunately I was able to catch the two tornadoes near Woodrow and Akron today...after getting off work at 8 and grabbing a quick 4 hours of sleep. Didn't even check any data--no need to, just drove north for the only show around. Maybe after a couple days the pain of seeing all those awesome tornadoes from KS ill post a couple pics
Easily my best chase ever. I believe I'm going to count it as 10 tornadoes. It was so hard to keep track with multiple tornadoes on the ground at once, brief spin-ups, rope-outs, then returning to the ground... whew! Dodge City was my target the night before. Spent most of the day in Woodward getting a tan, then moved north and got on the cell south of Minneola right as it developed.
Not much needs to be said for this day! Started the day in Woodward, OK, after seeing the tornado there the evening before. Noted the better surface convergence and better cumulus further north, so I headed to the Rosston, OK area to wait and see where the cap was finally going to break. Saw the tower go up near Minneola, KS, so I cruised up Hwy. 283, and the chase was on. Amazing day!!!
Some of the cell that lumbered across CO for hours yesterday. I chased from Bennett all the way up to near Wray before I called it.
And to the driver of the Burgundy Jeep who tailgated me at 65mph on dirt (I could barely see you for the dust behind, so no idea how you could see anything ahead), then ran a T-Intersection (CR30/RD P) to get in front of me at another interchange, you're going to get someone, or yourself/passengers killed with that kind of behavior.
Finally was able to get around to editing my video of Tuesday. Got almost all of the tornadoes and the incredible structure as it went west of Dodge City. Obviously an incredible day and easily my best ever. This is also the best tornado video I have ever shot by far and not sure if/when I'll be able to top it.
Great day to be in Kansas - weather beats San Francisco hands down! We hit our target for intitiation near Meade. The storm evolved rapidly and we tracked it until it's death north of Dodge. My only regret was not venturing further down those dirt roads to get closer to the tornadoes, but the view was excellent from just about anywhere you sat. All in all we counted 15 separate tors (not including repeated touchdowns of the same one). The last was a brief condensation tube next to us from the rainy/dying remnants of the meso - still spinning - as it passed overhead between Dodge and Jetmore. Would do it all again in a heartbeat!
What an absolutely amazing day. Witnessed easily the most prolific tornadic supercell I've seen in 9 years of chasing. Initially started the day out by heading along the Northwest Passage towards Laverne. It became increasingly apparent after the Scott City tornado that we'd have to scoot a bit further north than initially anticipated, after making our way through Arnett and Shattuck, we stopped in Laverne to gas up and reassess. Noted towers rapidly rising to our north past Englewood, KS towards Minneola so we set off. By the time we arrived in Minneola shortly after 5 CDT, the cluster of cells that had gone up just north of town were beginning to organize. It went tornado warned quick with a laminar base but quickly organized and the rest is history. I witnessed at least 4 successful tornado handoffs with two or more tornadoes on the ground at the same time for the next hour and a half. What a day.
Above all else, talk about good fortune that these tornadoes didn't directly impact the heart of Dodge City, this was a very close call that could have been disastrous. What an epic and unrelenting cyclic supercell. Will keep this short, but suffice to say, this was a chase day for the books! Full account is here:
I left Fort Collins, CO around 2pm, headed east and bypassed a couple weak super cells near/east of Greeley. They were pretty high based, but one had a fairly notable RFD cut, shown below:
HRRR and NAM had been pretty consistent showing a dominant southern cell, and dew points/surface winds were more favorable out east of Fort Morgan. There was a cell near/east of Denver that would soon be headed to that area, so I said bye to the storms by Greeley and got into a position south of Fort Morgan, taking these:
Near Akron I watched the tornado this cell produced and took video rather than pics, had some difficulty documenting things because I kept getting slammed with RFD rain/hail. Stayed ahead of it on Hwy 34 east of town until it went north of the road behind me. Then it began it's transition into HP:
It maintained at least a couple more radar-indicated tornado warnings as it tracked to the NE corner of the state, but visibility became poor and I opted to just stay out of it's way to the SE, taking a few more photos. Had an awesome time with this storm!
Twelve years to the day after seeing two tornadoes at the same time from the Chester, NE/Belleville, KS cyclic supercell in 2004, I was fortunate enough to experience the same thing with the Minneola, KS - Dodge City family of tornadoes. I started the day in Sayre, OK and headed to my initial target of Laverne, OK, eyeing the likely intersection between the dryline and a pronounced outflow boundary. After spending most of the mid-afternoon in Laverne, I then began to creep northward on US 283, eventually stopping at its intersection with US 160 west of Ashland. There were chasers everywhere!
The storm's tower soon went up over Meade, KS to the west of this location, so I continued north on US 283. I was somewhat surprised that DDC tor-warned the storm as early as they did, but in hindsight it turned out to be a very smart move. Here's a shot of the storm north of Minneola, KS just after it had been warned. The view here is to the northwest from US 283:
An initial graceful-looking tornado soon followed. The next two pictures look northwest from the same location:
Then the fun really began. By my count, the storm put down two tornadoes at least three separate times, and these tornadoes came in a variety of shapes and sizes. I took the following photos south of Dodge City on US 283. The view in all of them is to the northwest:
These last two pictures capture the storm's structure as it approached Dodge City and the last tornado that I was able to see. I'd conservatively estimate that I saw at least eight tornadoes from this remarkable storm.
Here's a bit of video from the storm's first tornado north of Minneola:
Well kind of a bitter sweet day for me Got pulled away from my home and target Dodge. From the desire to get my son Jarret his first tornado of the year, he had been in Texas on a golfing trip and missed the last two days of tornadoes. So the first storm of the day near Scott City pulled us north. and did not disappoint with a few tornadoes. When we heard about the storm south of Dodge, we headed home fast got greeted with baseball hail west of town, waited out the hail and then saw the tornado as it was west of town. that one was in it last stages of life, but new one was forming to its east got behind it and followed it north, but was stopped by the propane tank in the middle of the road and then large hail following it. Gave up the chase there and went to check on Family and friends. All were safe, cars not so much Hail damage on all Here are a few shots of the day.
Late to post, as my son and I just returned from a week of chasing in TX, OK, and KS. A truly spectacular day with all modes on display. We were so lucky this year to be on Wray and then Dodge City. Our feelings oscillated between being totally ecstatic to deep dread that Dodge City was in the crosshairs. Thankfully they dodged the bullet. More about this on the other post about roadblocks.
The report includes a number of additional photos beyond what I posted above, as well as links to videos of the EF-3 tornado that began near Minneola, the long-track EF-2 that went from SW to NW of Dodge City, and the EF-3 tornado north of Dodge City, as well as a much more detailed description of my observations of this storm.