I Hearby Promote The Landspout

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Mar 2, 2004
2,263
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Wichita, KS
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As a Colorado chaser for a majority of my career, I have seen my share of landspouts. But for years and years, myself along with our wonderful team of ragtag Colorado-based chasers have heard constant whining about this baby brother tornado from Plains/Midwest chasers. Many droning on a great length denouncing this ground-based, non-mesocyclonic spinny cloud thingie as a cheap wannabe tornado, stat-padder, doesn't count as a real tornado, yaddi yaddi yaddi.

Well, after watching social media explode after yesterday's spout-fest in Colorado, even hearing it uttered in the same breath as freakin' Pilger (seriously people) and Wray (closer, but ehhhh). On behalf of my Colorado chasing buddies, I hereby pull my veteran card and revoke anyone's right to gripe about puny landspouts anymore.

As of today, a few days before the start of June, that landspout fest so many witnessed yesterday is THE tornado day of 2018. That's right, you all drooled and lost your minds over LANDSPOUTS. Those same whimpy tornadoes you for years and years bashed as no good excuses for severe weather. The cheerleaders dump you jocks and sent you to the curb, and your desperation made you crawl to Colorado to go chase landspouts. :D

This post, obviously meant with jest in extreme humor, is a testament to how 2018 is... not how bad of a season it has been, but how humbling a season it's been. These years really show who has a passion for the art of chasing, the love of severe weather... lots of complainers roaming around out there, and it was nice to see so many people so damned excited over a bunch of landspouts. We have been spoiled with CAMs and better modeling to where we think we can just go out and see tornadoes any time we want. It don't work that way.

Be humble and rediscover your passion... seriously, if you are getting so upset over how this season has treated you amidst the amazing sights that have been beholded this season, perhaps it's time you rethink your reasoning for being out here. Never in the history of this art have I heard so many people complain day after day. It's sad, because there is so much about this amazing craft to stay this upset for this long.
 
Aug 9, 2012
347
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Galesburg, IL
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I’m not a huge fan of landspouts. I’ve seen a few and to me it was pretty anti-climatic compared to being up close to an actual mesocyclone tornado. Motion, mesocyclone dynamics, and just looking at the overall structure is what gets me excited. I’ve never been able to discern much motion/dynamics with landspouts. I mean if I’m there cool but I won’t lose any sleep over missing them. But being from Illinois I’m not really accustomed to chasing these either and the more traditional tornado is up my alley. Everyone has their thing though so I can’t knock anyone for like them :)
 
Sep 7, 2013
545
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Strasburg, CO
My last visible landspout was the one that hit DIA June 2013. I was way the heck out in Bennett, but managed to capture it. God only knows where I put those images.

And I missed everything on Monday because I didn't want to get in the chaser mess...but after seeing images, wish I had. And the traffic didn't even look bad. Derp.
 
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Be humble and rediscover your passion... seriously, if you are getting so upset over how this season has treated you amidst the amazing sights that have been beholded this season, perhaps it's time you rethink your reasoning for being out here. Never in the history of this art have I heard so many people complain day after day. It's sad, because there is so much about this amazing craft to stay this upset for this long.
I agree with everything you said, but especially this part. It's so disappointing to see certain "chasers" sit at home and not only crap all over the setup everyday, but mostly degrade those who are going out and seeing some truly beautiful and amazing sites, such as the land spouts being referenced. I completely understand if someone doesn't want to go out for various reasons, but don't try to take away from what others saw just because it's not a top-notch storm or tornado. I would had given up the two "real" tornadoes I witnessed last year to see those land spouts.
 
Aug 9, 2012
347
576
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Galesburg, IL
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I didn't mean any disrespect in my comment. I'd have loved to been there, just couldn't get out due to work (I had to work until 1am Monday morning and I have to sleep sometime since I don't have anyone to chase with lol). Just more accustomed to supercellular tornadoes myself here in the Midwest, so I don't know much about landspouts or Colorado storm chasing as I've only chased there a handful of times with moderate success (primarily toward the KS border).
 
Aug 9, 2012
347
576
21
Galesburg, IL
www.facebook.com
My last visible landspout was the one that hit DIA June 2013. I was way the heck out in Bennett, but managed to capture it. God only knows where I put those images.

And I missed everything on Monday because I didn't want to get in the chaser mess...but after seeing images, wish I had. And the traffic didn't even look bad. Derp.
I chased that day in 2013. I think that was one of my only landspout tornadoes. I saw a couple in Kansas in 2014 (June 27th I think) and I saw one last year in Illinois. Otherwise. I don't have too many of that particular breed under my belt.
 
I have lived in Colorado for 6 and a half years, and I still have not ever seen a landspout. If I had had any idea there was going to be a spoutfest like that, I would have been there, for sure. To me, those were prettier than a fair number of mesocyclone tornadoes I have seen. However, as others have noted, landspouts are hard to predict, and I (stupidly, as it turns out) was not impressed enough with the overall setup to make a 7 or so hour drive for what I figured at the time would be a rather iffy one-day setup (stupid there, too). I am not that fussy about chasing in areas 3 or 4 hours away if it is a one-day chase or double that or more for a multi-day chase - I will go if I do not have schedule conflicts. But after several days of chasing and travel in the past week, I was a little fatigued so stupidly blew it off. Came close to going, but with the amount of model disagreement and the distance I decided not to. Big mistake, I readily admit. Now do keep in mind that Colorado is a big state - In Pagosa Springs I am as far away from Burlington in terms of drive time as I would be if I lived in Kansas City. So, without the vision of hindsight, I had some reason to sit home. But I would never put down those who opted to chase, and certainly chased several lesser setups this month that were closer to where I was at the time. And feel lucky to have seen supercells nearly every time I chased. But I still regret it when I choose not to chase on what turns out to be a big day, and wish I had made the opposite decision - and I would definitely consider Monday as it turned out to be a big day. Congrats to all who caught those beautiful landspout tornadoes.
 
Landspout forecasting should be a part of every chaser's arsenal. I once saw 4-5 landspouts on the ground at once occurring with a large mesocyclone tornado near Dimmitt, Texas. (The clip was included in one of my old video productions). There are several guides and models on the internet to forecast non-mesocyclone tornadoes, including one on the SPC Mesoscale Analysis page. Jon Davies has written several excellent papers on the subject: https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/WAF928.1
 
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Sep 7, 2013
545
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Strasburg, CO
@John Farley ...don't beat yourself up John...I was maybe 40 miles away and didn't pull the trigger. Likely because wifey wanted to come out, but regardless, I missed out on a beauty of a local. No worries though...it's only just June here in the high plains.
 
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Jul 5, 2009
851
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Newtown, Pennsylvania
@John Farley and @Marc R. O’Leary - the regret of not chasing on a day that turns out like that hurts, but is only the result of hindsight so don’t feel bad, you made the best decision you could at the time, it happens to all of us. It could be worse - you could have chased that day and missed the landspouts only because of a bad field decision, like reacting to a drop in the dewpoint in Burlington by heading east along the Kansas portion of the outflow boundary... Oh wait, that was me...
 
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Aug 22, 2015
134
31
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Hastings, Nebraska
My first ever land spout was back in 2015 when I got to witness it rip the awning off of a high school. Only for me to miss a cone tornado minutes later from the same storm. That being said the land spout definitely made the chase memorable and lucky. I truly believe it takes a great deal of luck to bag a land spout and it's surely nothing to whine about. On a side note, the same day as the Colorado spout fest I was able to chase an amazing noontime supercell that produced a brief tornado back in Central Nebraska.
 
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Apr 23, 2010
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They seem to have a home in Weld County. I think a good name for a cute "little" dust monster, would be to call it a "Gentle Ben."
 
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