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04/06/06 REPORTS: KS/NE/IA/MO/OK/AR/TX

Wow - drooling over some of these shots! ... congratulations to the baggers in Washington Co ... Made it over to Marysville in time for the southern tor-warned Marshall Co. storm, which we followed up to Beatrice, but not in time to see the northern, more prolific tor-machine on the ground. Got some neat shots of the meso along with a pretty cool funnel (along with lots of other chasers) that I'll post later. Thanks both to Mike Johnston and Dr. Dewey for their help. Going to keep reading these awesome reports in the meantime.

To top my evening off, the U-joint went out of my rig on the way home ... nice. We managed to get the car to my brother's body shop, which I'm glad is now located right on highway 36 in Kansas ... but I'm without a chasemobile for a couple days! ... By the way, he is inundated right now with hail jobs from 3/12 hail in St. Joe, so sometimes the weather really is good for business -

Just a couple pics ... funnel is on the vidcam and I don't have time to freeze it -

webMarshallCo0014.jpg


webMarshallCo0018.jpg


Lots of rolling, boiling gust fronts - -

webMarshallCo0030.jpg


webMarshallCo0003.jpg
 
Washington, KS was my target today. Got there about 1:30PM, was getting a little impatient having to remind myself how early it was. Went to the Washington county reservoir for a little while, quite a beautiful lake but more or less requires a 4WD to get to. Waited there until cap broke around 3PM. We then headed back to Washington, paved roads. Tried to bring WXWORX up to get an exact position on the Salina storm. Murphy law is alive and well 'ERR Deactivation signal received'. Called XM everything on there end was set up properly they sent a new activation signal but that did not do anything. So I guess we'll have to rely on my nowcasters. Called Bill Turner in Amarillo, Oops fire warning he has to go in to work to give evacuation orders for Amarillo. Well I still have Steve Sempeck in Omaha but he was unavailable at the time so instead of heading south to Clay Center we went west toward the updrafts we could see by Beloit. When we got to Belleville we didn't see anything that was very well organized. Headed north toward Hebron, still pretty high based, not much structure. Then finally a nowcast call, storm in Clay County KS Tornado warned. We doubled back, going to Fairbury and back south to our original target of Washington. Storm was still south a little ways so we decided to get fuel. There are two gas stations in town, one had a line the other was empty, note to self if one station is crowded and the other is empty there must be a reason. The clerk was a halfwit, it took 4 tries before she figured out how to turn the pump on for us, and after she did it took 3min to pump 1.9 gallons of gas, the clerks response, "Well maybe were out of gas, I've never been here when we ran out of gas". So with Murphy in our back seat my chase partner, Don Bonfiglio and I hopped back in and headed for Maryville to get on the east side of the storm. Just as we reached the county line the rain bands pulled back and revealed a beautiful Meso, wall cloud and funnel. After watching along highway 36 for 5 or 10 minutes, we headed for highway 77 to follow the storm as it moved north, also said a little prayer that there wouldn't be a train where we encountered one earlier in the afternoon north of Maryville. I guess we must have left Murphy along the side of road in Washington county, because it appeared that our luck was changing, no train. We got about 10 miles north of Maryville and then it appeared, our first catch since May 29th, 2004. A beautiful cone shaped tornado about 3 or 4 miles west of highway 77 near Breman, KS. We moved slowly north and watched it rope out near the Nebraska boarder. We continued north following the Meso the best we could on some back roads which proved to be halfway descent. Last dramatic view of the meso was over Beatrice, no tornado bust some tremendous rotation. We continued north northeast along the back roads in Gage county paralleling the wall cloud, which was hard to see at times due to the numerous cell mergers that were now occurring. We went through Adams, NE, no damage when we were there, but news stations here in Omaha had damage video on the news last night. We definitely didn't see that tornado and we were in perfect position. I'll be interested to see what they determine in the NWS survey, since the storm by that time seemed to be becoming more outflow dominant.


I will try to figure out how to add photos later today.
 
I too was fortunate to intercept the NC KS tornadic supercell. The storm surprised me NE of Salina in how quickly it organized into a major storm. I headed north on 15 and first spotted the "Manchester tornado" in low contrast to my WSW at 4:15pm. It looked like a dark blue truncated stovepipe at this point. I promptly headed west on Bob's road for a closer vantage point, concentrating on driving.. thus I came away from this with marginally good video and no photos but for the segmented rope out (4:21pm, by then one mile west of my location). The structure of the meso at this time was a sight to behold, including a stumpy tail cloud feeding into a small, cylindrical, ground-scraping low-level meso... with the "tall" tornado emanating from behind this feature as noted by someone else. The stark white collar cloud also had some wild motions, including an anticyclonic funnel. I stayed with the storm a bit longer.. very nice structure remained (as shown in Scott Currens' photo) and things got a little hairy as I passed thru Clay Center. I broke off south of Green to try and intercept a 65 mile-an-hour tornado-warned supercell approaching Manhattan. I'll have some pix online after a while.
 
This was my first halfway "serious" chase attempt -- at least in terms of distance and time -- and was hindered (much like last week) by the fact that Thursday is the one weekday I absolutely cannot afford to miss an afternoon class from 2-3. Walking back to the dorm from class right after 3, it was apparent that the dryline had just swept through OUN with clear skies and low humidity but plenty of cumulus just east. After grabbing the weather radio I immediately headed out with Kristina Kelley (another freshman here) up I-35, east on I-240 and I-40 to Hwy 377 (at which point we'd overtaken the dryline but nothing of any significance was visible except for the supercell well northeast that eventually became TOR-warned for Osage/Washington). Then up 377 to Stroud, where it appeared something was trying to get its act together almost directly overhead, so we headed quickly northeast on I-44 towards Tulsa (admittedly still somewhat intending to catch up with the existing cell at least 30 miles off -- yes, I have a lot to learn :D), staying underneath the developing cell for the duration. Finally, upon reaching Tulsa we rode up Hwy 75 for about 10 miles before pulling off on a side road and watching the storm pass over us. I saw and photographed what I believe to have been a wall cloud (attached) from this location, though there were certainly no signs of significant rotation and no funnel. After about 20 minutes there the view towards the east was breathtaking, at least for a native Easterner new to Oklahoma like myself... three distinct, explosive supercells lined up from southwest to northeast (the northernmost being the Osage/Washington Co. one) and beautiful mammatus under the anvil of the one that had just passed over. Though we didn't see anything tornadic nor did we experience high winds or hail, I considered it a greatly enjoyable first stab at chasing thanks to the photographic opportunities under and after the storm.
 
[attachmentid=92]

Hanover KS Tornado

Ben Tucker Chase partner(refer to above post)
 
It indeed feels good to be back on the plains again. After a 5 year hiatus in chasing (very few tornadoes in Fairbanks, AK) I am back here again and had storms dropped into my lap.

After leaving work at 4:00 PM I was able to track along with the Osage Co. storm and got into a decent position by the time I hit Dewey. Watched it go through its paces between Dewey and Copan and followed it on US 75 as far as the OK/KS border where I watched roll out of the state. Dozens of other chasers and locals were stopped along the road as well. Hooray for wide shoulders and broad, gentle ditches.

Heading back towards home, I encountered the cell that blasted north from Bartlesville and witnessed some 60-70mph gusts which made visibility impossible. I finally got pulled off of US 75 at Highway 10 West and waited the 3 minutes it took for that beast to clear through. Watching that later on the radar loops was surreal.

Incredible storm speed and the only way people had a chance to keep up with them was some seridipidous road locations.

All in all, not bad for a backyard chase and my new bride was a bit disconcerted to see how charged up I was about getting back into chasing. She thinks that she has lost me for good.

Cheers,

Brian
 
Mike Gribble and I left Wichita around 8:30 am headed up towards Junction City. The plan was to play the warm sector up in the northeast part of the state but the low keep moving more south and storms decided to go up just north of Wichita. So we headed back and intercepted the cell that was just coming out of McPherson.
[attachmentid=93]

Followed the storm on I-35 north right before Salina, trying to keep up with this cell was lots of fun. Headed back east on a county road until we hit Abilene got back on I-70 which due to road work slowed us down. Headed back north on hwy 15 stayed with the storm until Clay Center, stopped at some place called Twister Café and took a few shots and some video.
[attachmentid=101] [attachmentid=94] [attachmentid=95]

Going back east out of Clay Center trying to get ahead of this storm but the road network heading back north was non paved until we hit hwy 77 we tried one last attempt to catch back up with it but traffic and storm speed killed it.
[attachmentid=96] [attachmentid=97] [attachmentid=98]

Made it to Marysville and called it a night and headed back towards home and drove to back to Clay Center and got a few damage shots.
[attachmentid=99] [attachmentid=100]
After 12 plus hours out in it and 500 plus miles later and missing the EVERY tornado I am dead tired.

Again, I want to thank Mike for his forecast did a great job putting us were the storms where going to be just did not pan out.

Congrats to all who bagged tornados yesterday.
 
I can't read long posts ... so I'll keep mine short.

Set sights to north-central KS and kept a target of Marysville to check internet and then decide from there. I met up with two amatuers from Kansas City and we see a strong mesocyclone moving NNE out of Salina with a precipitation filling RFD ... I worry that the storm will become rain wrapped and lose its structure ... but it lasts and I decide to stay put and wait for the storm to come to me which is moving roughly 60 mph.

Sean McMullen and Dustin Wilcox dive southward into Marysville as the storm slides through Clay Center with what was like a heartbeat (a meso develops, dies, then develops again ...). We proceed south on 77 which jogs slightly east where we keep east on route 9 into Barnes, KS. Sirens blaring in Barnes, the RFD is indeed precip filled and looking to wrap around the main updraft ... some tense times we decide to race north on 148.

Racing north on 148 a sudden clearing occurs to the west ... based on storm review the mesocyclone intensified ingesting the air to the east and pushing the RFD back ... a cone drops from the storm and touches down out by Hanover. We approach US 36 where a heard of 20 to 30 cattle all muddy are piled on the road squeezed between to small rises on either side of 148. Some honking we push them out of the way ... ride east on 36 for one mile and turn north on a dirt road towards Hanover to see the tornado rope out.

We pressed further east on 36 before turning north on 77 back to Beatrice ... another tornado would touch down before the KS/NE border but we would be too far SE ... storms fizzled in my opinion because storms south and east choked off the flow, not to mention cold outflows from the storm ... everything got too cold.

EDIT: there are a couple of pages, use the arrows on top of the page
FYI: if you have been seeing video out of Barnes, KS/Hanover KS that's Sean's footage ... I'm driving the Jetta in front.

Pictures here:

http://www.atmos.uwyo.edu/~sipprell/nc_ks_tornado/index.htm


Additional: I do believe Beatrice was hit directly by a tornado at all as some may claim ... rather I believe straight-line winds were to blame for any damage in that area (same for Adams, KS) ... I didn't see any damage driving into Beatrice, but it was raining very hard ... no rotation is seen after the storm passes north of the KS/NE border
 
I chased in three states yesterday, Northeast Oklahoma, Southeast Kansas and Southwest Missouri. I started out with a target area of Neodesha, Kansas. I sat in Neodesha until storms started firing up in north central Oklahoma, and I intercepted the Osage County Oklahoma storm near Copan, Oklahoma. I attempted to keep up with this storm, and finally caught it again north of Parsons, Kansas near South Mound, where it was producing a nice wall cloud. I didn't get to see any tornadoes today, but it was nice to get out and see some tornado warned storms, nonetheless. I put the rocket engines on the rental car, and intercepted the Cherokee County Kansas tornado warned storm near Asbury, Missouri. It was getting dark by this time, but I did manage to see a very large, broad wall cloud east of Asbury, Missouri.




Wall Cloud West Of South Mound, Kansas Or About 6 Miles North Of Parsons, Kansas

810_1024.ts1144460598877.jpg



More photos can be found here Russ Parsons' Photo Site
 
Left Little Rock at 1:30 with a brand-new Panasonic GS250 after entire chase kit was stolen in March. DSL on the fritz, flying blind with no nowcasters until my brother got me up to date with a satellite report near Stillwater. Intended to wait at Fort Smith but got impatient (heavy cloud gauze) and set off for Tulsa. Cleared up quick. Caught the cell that was about to rake Nowata after finding Hwy 60 closed near Lake Oologah, unintentionally punching the core just past Childers on 28. Held back before taking off east on 10, which, as all of you know goes thirty miles due east without a north branch. Saw three well-formed wall clouds, one right after the other (strange), and marvelled at how slow the storms were moving (40mph according to the TV station I picked up at about 87 on the FM dial; best nowcasters I've had in a while, if'n you ask me).
I pulled within a couple of miles of the only remaining wall cloud, seeing a few wispy 'maybe' funnels, when a Craig County Deputy pulled me over to chat about storms. NO KIDDING! I sat for ten minutes with his car blocking my way back out onto the road while he mistakenly pointed out "serious rotation" in the following cold-core. I wanted to explain the difference between 'rotaion' and 'shear', but held my tongue. He finally took off when he saw a piece of scud that (didn't) look(ed) like a funnel. Over the next hill, I said the hell with it as I blew past him at eighty-five. He didn't move. Sherrifnadoes may have been reported, I don't know.
I joined another chaser (?) at Welch, and closed fast on the increasingly mean-looking wall cloud as the sun set, then began to hoot as a spotter reorted a tornado on the ground south of Chetopa. But a road block at a just-turned-over semi cost me another five minutes. It later occurred to me that I might have been in a rather bad position if it HADN'T been for the deputy's delay, but I think I would have gotten close to the only touchdown that storm made in OK. C'est la vie, or something that sounds like that. It went on to spawn some damage in Missouri, and I headed for home while watching some incredible lightning ahead of me as the Fort Smith storms I planned to catch sped ahead of me on I 40. I had fun, picked a good storm from many lesser ones, and my film, though not dramatic, apparently came from a much better camera than I've ever had. Thanks Mike H., I read all your posts in "equipment" concerning your camera quandary and chose the GS250. I only hope to grow up to be half the photographer you are.
All in all, not bad for early April.
This is going to be one hell of a season if the past two weeks are any indication.
"Anything for a weird life." - Zaphod Beeblebrox
 
Upon further review, the meso that had snuck up on me and my chase partners in NE Gage County and had a nice funnel out of it actually touched down... NWS confirmed F0 damage and a 200 yard wide tornado near the town of Adams Nebraska (not Kansas as previously mentioned).

When I go back and look at the velocity on the radar, there was a quite strong couplet present as the Beatrice cell merged with the newer one just to its ESE. What was extremely strange about this was that the couplet was present almost directly in the middle of the highest reflectivity. No wonder I was so damn confused when we were in heavy rain and watching a tornado bear down on us at 50 mph at the same time. I feel slightly lucky, and also happy to have one under the belt before April is even half over.

Great pics by the way from everyone else. I can't say that I have anything that compares to the stuff you guys have posted above.
 
Congrats to those that caught tornadoes. Some nice pictures.

I was delayed in my chase because of a lecture, then the decision where to go with a rotating thunderstorm to miss Manhattan to the northwest but keep out of the way of an 80 mph-moving storm to the south moving toward Manhattan with the potential of very large hail.

Got out at rush hour, and took about 15 minutes to get to US 24 (sirens went off because of the tornado warning in Geary Co.). I get there just in time to be greeted by the racing storm to the south, with 1-1.5" hail falling at a scattered clip. Had to turn back into traffic at two left-turn lanes at two lights (both green in my direction with the left-turn light red) because the lights didn't change quickly enough (one person at the second one turned on a red, and I don't blame them with the hail coming down). I pulled off at the mall and looked at the southern storm as it merged with the other one. Saw some interesting junk clouds and photographed some quarter-sized hail, but LCL heights were way too high for anything.

I only drove 20 miles, and while I experienced severe weather, I hate running into hail. It doesn't help when the people in front of you drive abnormally during rush hour, even in Manhattan, KS.
 
--Intense swearing and extremely profane words left out due to respect of others and mods/admins--

Well, from reading these excellent posts of others.....looks like many did well. Good job....great pics!

.....but I have you all beat! I think I finally had a "unique chase experience" that we all talk about but few ever have anymore with all the chasers on the road these days.

My chase buddy Gary and I headed out early to exit 328 on I-70 between Topeka and J-City and sat for a few hours playing around on gravel roads and watching some fire in the distance....fun stuff just to kill time.

Observed the storm west of Wichita on radar and waited......figuring eventually something would come out of it or some nearby cell. Then TOR WARN came out later and we shot off setting our goal for meeting up with the supe in Clay Co.........we raced NW to cross the Randolph Bridge on Tuttle Creek Lake on RT 16. At this time the cell was WSW of us and we planned on racing up US 77 to our north (hey, US 77 was my target road in previous posts, not bad!). But then............. GAME OVER!

We got over the crest and looked onto Randolph bridge and my buddy goes.....the bridge is closed. I said "what, no!" and as we got closer we realized we were screwed. One of those portable rescue cranes was blocking both lanes of traffic in the middle of the bridge and was getting a sunk car or boat or something up from the water of the lake. We sweared profusely.

The crane was like this but bigger:
http://www.craneoperator.com/images/Mishap...neRescued-2.jpg

We could see the supe that was 10-12 miles to our west. We could not see the base because of the next hill. The road path to fix our dilemma was 60 miles to get back on the supe. We knew we were done with the speed and storm direction. We sat on the hill looking west and waiting for the bridge to open. We sat for 5...10...15....20 minutes and eventually it opened up. But by then the cell was well north and being spotted by every man, woman, and child other than the blind near Barnes and Hanover. I figured out later I was right for not chasing after it for I would have had to go about 100+ mph to catch up..... no way!

In my years of chasing, I have never been so pissed off as I was Thursday. My general forecast idea for this event was fairly accurate 4 days out. My previous day forecast was for the right road (US 77). But when chasing, there is a surprise around every corner. My buddy Gary almost lost it. We met up with another cell in Manhattan but fully knew we had been played. The chase was over. For those that have missed a tornado due to trains, downed power lines, closed streets, tire blowouts, hitting various animals and getting your car disabled, flooded roads, and other mishaps ...... add this one to the list.

In a strange way though........ I do have to say this is one of the VERY reasons I love chasing. You just never know what you are gonna get or see.

Oh, and if any of you see anything on the web in news around Randolph (or Manhattan) area about what that was in the water..... PM me the story or the link. I would love to have it!

STAY AWAY FROM THOSE CRANES!!!!!!!!
 
I wanted to clear something up for anybody who might of saw the story KETV in Omaha did on me and my footage. The story aired 6:00 Friday evening and while showing a clip of the tornado in it's mature stage they overlayed audio from when the tornado was roping out so it looks like I'm saying the tornado is roping out when it's definately not roping out. I was just worried people would think I don't know what I'm talking about so I wanted to explain that it was just an editing mistake. You can also hear my fiance saying it's roping out as well.
 
Got a little close on this chase. I had seen some lowering in the clouds but had lost my data feed by this time. Was relying on the lightning to illuminate the sky. I already posted my account but got this picture forwarded eventually to me. Screen grab by Wally Hollander from Swift WX:

[attachmentid=109]

Now that I think about it...it could have hit me again as I turned north out of Yankton on 81 and it got pretty crappy again. I guess I got my car more than a little wet.
 
I started the day early watching some storms initiate SW of Superior, NE. After a while, they didn't look to promising, so I headed for Clay Center, KS. Here are a couple shots of the Hanover tornado.

While I was sitting there taking pictures, a nice local fellow pulled up in a rather battered pickup with not much for windows. He had come from where the tornado had just been, and he explained that he walked outside and got into his truck when he noticed stuff suddenly flying off of the roofs of the buildings and from then on, that tornado was all over him. He wasn't hurt and his truck is plus a few dents and minus a few windows. He also mentioned that he had never seen a tornado before and never expected that his first would be on top of him.


Hanover0.jpg


Hanover1.jpg
 
http://www.extremeinstability.com/06-4-6.htm

I added a video clip linked at the bottom of that page. I'm at the intersection Al mentions before I go east. I wondered if that was your jeep briefly on my vid as I drove east. I wish I would have pulled over right there, but I couldn't tell where exactly the tornado was going yet.

Here is the direct video link VIDEO

One short part at the beginning is TL'd for a second(where the semi goes south). It isn't very long.

The video is 9 megs and 4 minutes and 16 seconds and it will not be online very long.

That is a damn cool still btw Al...sigh.
 
6 April 2006
Canadian/Lake Eufaula, OK

I finally left Austin, TX around 11a.m.CDT. My target was SE OK, which showed a more than adequate CAPE/Helicity combo on the 14Z (I think) RUC run. More importantly, it was within driving distance, unlike the higher risk areas to the North.

Convection finally began to fire to my NW ahead of the dryline, and slowly build to the S. I stopped in McAlester, OK, and watched towers building to the west. I then moved N to Canadian, OK, just W of Lake Eufaula, where I found a nice, elevated location to shoot the approaching storm. All images are taken looking W-SW along highway 69 in Canadian. All times below are CDT, and I need to verify them with my GPS log, as I don't really trust the timestamp on my camera.

The storm produced one wall cloud, which then seemed to split into two- time here is ~6:52.
wallSplit.jpg


I think the storm had a tornado warning by this time, but if not, a tornado warning went out shortly thereafter. The northern wall cloud produced a needle funnel at 6:53.
funnel1.jpg

towerFunnel.jpg


Then, the northern wall cloud tightened up 6:55
wall2.jpg


As it approached Hwy 69, the wall cloud began wrapping rain, and definitely looked as if it could be hiding a tornado. 6:59
wall3.jpg


Now, I finally realized just how quickly this storm was moving. I thought I could go North on 69, and then East on highway 9 to stay in front of the circulation. As soon as I got back on 69, the core of the storm crossed the highway, with small hail. I got to highway 9 and moved NE, but only about half a mile. I stopped because I was approaching a relatively small, narrow bridge which runs about 1/3rd of a mile over Lake Eufaula (and not very high over the lake, either), and I was getting cored. Before I stopped, I got one brief glance over my right shoulder (to my SW), to see the wall cloud, which now appeared to be a wall of water on the ground. I cannot say it was a tornado, because I got only the shortest glance at it.

I did a couple of U-turns before deciding to just sit it out at the junction of Hwy 9 and 9A, as there was no where to really run at this point. The wall of water was now just a white-out mess as it passed across Hwy 9 a mile or two to my east. Everything moved quickly NE, and I recomposed myself and moved to the E. By the time I got a good view of the back edge again, the wall cloud was quite disorganized. I followed the cell for a while longer, but it never again got its act together.

I got so caught up in watching the rapid evolution of the wall cloud on this storm, that I didn't realize how close it was and how quickly it was moving. I also didn't have a well-thought out escape route. Trying to beat that storm over the lake was definitely a mistake (I can't even swim, so this was a unique kind of terror for me). This image shows my approximate location as the circulation passed just to my East:
EufalaMap.jpg


Well, lessons learned, and my best storm of the year thus far, so I was happy overall.

TonyC
 
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