05/18/2005 REPORTS: MN, IA, NE, KS

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Andy Revering and myself were out chasing as part of the KSTP Storm Tracker Team today. We were leap frogging the cells out by Granite Falls MN. I was under some decent rotation and in and out of the hail core for about an hour. As Andy played the northern part of the system while I played the southern end, he caught the tornado near Murdock MN.


The video is now on line


Well we headed out of hastings NE to Silina KS. IN route we heard Amos on the HAM as he was headed to topeka. I think they faired better than we did today. We saw some weak cells finally go up around Wichita KS. We wound up meeting up with Justin Teuage (spelling sorry Justin) and his wife a two other dudes from Tulsa. Sadly i was thinking of working the NE kansas area. the upperlevel support was there and everything was better in general. but some odd reason we came down here. it looked better last night at 00z in hastings but not spectacular. oh well at least we saw some nice back lite updrafts as the sun was setting and few lightning flashes. Sitting in Wichita right now and spending the night in a comfort inn. I hope to go visit a family that was a vicitim of the June 12th tornado last year in Mulvane tomorrow.
Left South Dakota for Yates Center, KS today. Looks like I would have been much better off if I stayed. I don't regret the gamble though, the parameters looked good. I caught the cell north of Wichita. Pretty much the only game in town for this area and quite unimpressive. Wells congrats on the Minnesota grab! Hopefully someone got on that cell in Central Iowa.

I stayed in my own backyard and enjoyed a nice bust :?. Really, wasn't anything to see, the cell north of Wichita had a couple of lightning flashes, no hail, and no twisters :cry:. The best part I guess was seeing the bright pink sky at sunset or a few of the towers trying to build around the setting sun. So, I guess I'll go back to working on my website :( .
We intercepted the supercell south of Topeka, another supercell twenty miles east of Emporia, and finally a derecho that blasted us with powerful winds and blinding rain.

We talked all morning about what our lifting mechanism was supposed to be in northeast Kansas today. The front was too far west, the pre-frontal trough/windshift was interesting but was that enough convergence? There was some upper level support around TOP but could it break the cap? We visited the Eisenhower Center at Abilene (can't recommend this great little Kansas town enough) and left when the MCD was issued.

We went south to Emporia, and watched the cluster of storms near TOP become more organized and discrete. Around 0z, we shot northeast (thanks for the roads, Ike!), intercepting the TOP supercell just south of the city, where it had already developed a large wallcloud and striated banding around the forward flank. This hasn't been the May of photogenic tubes for me, but the storms are making up for it with their detailed, laminated structure. We pursued this storm until the tail-end charlie cell to the west became dominant, then moved west on 35 to flank that end storm. We headed north on 75 up into the notch and saw a great CG show that lasted well past sunset. We stayed with the now southward-moving supercell by dropping down on 75.

When the storms congealed, they formed a powerful derecho which overtook us south of the interstate, where the extreme rain and powerful winds forced us to stop. Scott Currens and Eric Nguyen measured winds sustained at over 60mph for nearly ten minutes with a 72mph gust we reported to TOP on their 800 number. This was an amazing core! No hail to speak of, though Tony Laubach and Jon Van de Grift heard some pea size stones ricochet off Tony's car.

After the core passed, we dashed to a Wendy's about five minutes before they closed, along with a half dozen other windblown chasers and truckers who found themselves diverted around a section of I-35. I never saw the damage, but I assume a ten mile or so stretch of highway was blocked when tractor-trailers were blown over in the powerful microburst.

This was an intensely fun chase that included Scott Blair, Chris Collura, Jeff Gammons, Scott Eubanks, and Kersten McClung in addition to those I mentioned already. Chasing with a great group like I'm privileged to do makes it even tougher to decide if I should hang it up for a few weeks or so and return when the pattern is more favorable. I'll probably go home, but the amazing storms and camaraderie is hard to leave behind.

I drove to northeast Kansas from Omaha and targetted the Frankfort area. I was also concerned about a mesolow forming near the KS/OK border but that area was too far. Eventually Cu and small towers formed just west of Manhanttan. I positioned myself just northof Manhattan and watched the towers develop, then wither and die. They were quite highbased. Meanwhile, I line of storms formed from near Topeka. The looked pretty disorganized but I thought they may propagate southwesterly and I could target a tail-end charlie. I drove east on 70, then south to Eskridge and watched the storms. Fairly unimpressive. The cell near Topeka was becoming more organized. I decided to head east on 56 then north and east. The storm pproduced a wall and tail cloud but became very linear. It did have nice striations. Along the way, I ran into a large chaser convoy (Amos etc.). The tail end of the storm cluster was starting to show some signs of rotation. I headed south on 56, then west on 68 just before Ottawa. I wanted to reach Pamona, then turn south but the tail end storm with rotation was headed toward me. I turned around and went back to Ottawa. I didn't want to deal with a derech after dark, especially with the tail-end headed to me. I went south on 59, then , back west on 54 to Wichita. The lightning was amazing.


Other image

Bill Hark
After getting out of a final yesterday afternoon I saw storms going up to the northwest of Lawrence so I decided to give one of them a try. I ended up north of Perry Lake on a storm that eventually formed into part of the squall line that rocked the people in the Osage City/ I-35 area. It did exhibit a very weak wall cloud for a while but was very outflow dominant for most of it's short supercellular life. It originally was moving E/NE but suddenly took a southeasterly dive and almost ran me over as navigating around lakes is not an easy thing to do. I ended up breaking off the storm at Overbrook after saying what the heck and letting it run me over. Here is a picture of a shelf cloud taken while I was watching the storm by the lake. Not a very exciting day for me.

For more pictures go to http://shadowoftheanvil.com/51805.htm

As Amos said, we had a fun day in Southeast Kansas today... between the amazing structure, insane dercecho, and incredible CGs, we had a helluva day which looked to be busting pretty bad for a while.

The group of us Amos mentioned hung around in the same Best Western parking lot which I am sending this from here in Emporia til nearly 7pm. We finally took off after the first cell. We got a great treat..

Cell 1: Incredible Structure

Cell 2: Awesome CGs

Cell 3: The derecho from hell which obviousll cleared I-35 north of where we were..

I'll have a complete log up shortly, but I have to post these lightning pics... I took these on 15 second exposures with my Canon A85 as the lightning was literally right on top of us! These were the crazy CGs we saw in the second storm after sunset.

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Shots of my life so far and pretty well are the report... I'll post storm structure shots and maybe a quick video of our derecho experience later on!

Great chase with friends as I've been lucky to enjoy the last couple weeks with. It does appear we're gonna take a break and return to Denver for a day or so to refuel and reload. We intend to be back as soon as the weather warrents (in a couple days it looks), so hopefully I'll be able to enjoy the time with friends again!

One last picture... below is a hilarious shot I took of Jon Van de Grift and Eric Nguyen while we were chillin' at the Emporia Best Western... not sure what they were looking at, but it can't be good! :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Another great day!!!
Great day.

Initial target was going to be Southern Iowa. Cloud cover seemed to be persistant so we blasted into Kansas.

Found an open Wireless connection in a mall parking lot in Emporia and made a decision to head South/South East by about 20 or 30 miles. Found 2 bands of further west was lower based, Furhter east seemed a little higher. Waited..waited..waited for the cap to break.

Grabbed some data in Yates Center, thanks for the wireless tip guys. :) With the daylight running short and no real action in the near target area we looked at the radar and decided to interecept the storms that were heading to Emporia. We played cat and mouse with that cell as it came across the lake. We were hoping that someone would get some good photos that involved the lake, nice pics! . The CG was intense. The sound of the thunder was bizarre as the echo seemed to be swallowed up by the terrain. We would hear one clap and then it would just fade.

Managed to cross I35 out of the way of the closed section.

Tom Hanlon
No tornadoes, gustnadoes, sheriffnadoes, gorilla, nor any dust swirlies, but a lot of CG and a wall cloud that eventually got cut off. Had a lightning strike hit a power line 25-50 yards in front us (Eric, his wife and I), as I just stood out of my car. Immediately prompting me to get back in. Eric get back in your truck! LOL

Started day off flying south on I 35 where I met up with Eric B'Hymer south of Emporia. We watched towers fire and dissipate, struggling to break the cap. FINALLY, as we reached Emporia, at a time that i can't remember around 7. We set up shop with WIFI at the Best Western (recommended) , took a few minutes to get GR3 going. Noticed new cells firing to our NW. We took off, going north on 99. Thanks to the Bridge road being blocked, we headed east on a dirt road till we hit 99 again (i think) going north. We positioned on a farmer's road, watching two cells trying to merge. After 15-20 minutes, the base was finally starting to lower, and a wall cloud emerged. Off we went. Eventually hit 56 and trucked it east past turnpike, where wall cloud was just 2 miles to our northeast, we raced along it, watching it move around alot, with CG striking below it. Stopped at intersection of 56 highway and 31 highway, just north of Osage city. Got out of the car as wall cloud was less than a mile to our north(Talking to Mike Johnston), CG hit power line (distance described above) Got RIGHT back in. Eric stood amazed as we watched several strikes VERY near us. By this time, wall cloud was dissipating into nada, so we headed south into Osage city, somewhere around 815 (times approx.), where there was no power. We hit highway 31 east trying to reach 75 to go south. After some heavy downpours, but no hail, we hit 75 south. Trucked it through Lyndon, where we got out of the precip core. Saw a parade of Vans parked on East side of road. Couldn't get a great look, but assumed either news crew or chase tour group. We made several stops trying to see what was now headed almost due south. Choppy clouds were visible, with a nice bow, and what looked like through lightning as a rain-free base to our northeast. Stopped several different spots to shoot video, as night was falling. Headed south towards I 35 when we noticed Amos, tony, scott,eric and others on east side of road. Flipped one in the road and got out (forgetting to shut off my lights). The bow was now visible through lightning, and after briefly introducing myself to others, storm was laying down Serious CG, and everyone decided to head. I said my farewell to Eric B'Hymer, and decided to gas up at truck stop and wait out storm. Bad idea. Wind picked up, lightning, some moderate rain, then brief silence. I had been in this situation before. I sat in a paranoid/hypnotic state, as wind, I, personally have never witnessed before shot straight in. I was on the phone with Mike, when he told me that a meso inidacated on radar was directly above me. Car was lifting and rocking from the rear, as i gripped my friend, the steering wheel. This continued on what seemed a lifetime, and these poor girls sat next to me, looking as shocked as I was. Saw debris of what, i don't know whizz by me, some hitting my car, hearing crunching noises, lights flickering and shutting off, 3/4 inch hail. Nothing but chaos ensued. Finally things let up and I got back on I-35, and saw the Wal-Mart truck flipped on it's side, facing the opposite direction it was headed, obviously a jackknife of some sort. Slowed down to take a pic, and some cop was ordering me to get by, so I went. Never experienced a derecho of such magnitude before. Special thanks to Mike Johnston and Marcus Opitz for the nowcast. Pleasure to meet Eric and his wife. Throwin in photos later. Marcus and I are gonna play the for sure bust in SE kansas, but we wanna test the wireless out(just acquired today). Wasn't expecting much today, but you take what you can get. Season sucks so far.........

Decided on not going SE KS Here are some pics:not so good, after this i shot video (could only do one or the other!) Wish I would have got close lightning strike, hopefully Eric has on video he had camera mounted inside his truck.



My report is about the same as Dicks' report. I decided to hang out at home most of the day since i targeted ecentral kansas. Shortly before i was getting ready to leave, i received a pm from Dick McGowan wondering if i was going out. I said yeah and said i was headed out to Eureka Ks that way i could go any direction quickly if something fired. Dick was headed to Emporia, so he was keeping an eye out for anything firing up north and me down south. The sky was terrible grunge with towers that went up and never broke the cap. I was waiting on my supper at the Lo-Mar drive-in in Eureka when i saw a tower get organized and move NE. I called Dick and told him, he decided to go south to meet me. Anyways that storm disintegrated and he received a call from nowcaster about convection occurring up north of Topeka. We decided to head to Emporia and get wifi at the Best Western ( Thanks Tony L for the heads up on this because apparently he had been there along time that day). Dick looked at Grlevel3 on his cpu, saw a tower breaking the cap NW of Emporia on the CHase-Lyon county line. Went up 99 and sat about 5 miles south of Admire(JCT 99and US56). Nice storm with a long low base to the north, noticed a large wall cloud with trailing inflow cloud. Before i could get the camera out, there was a horizontal tube and small rope on the east end of the wall cloud. Dick again talked to his nowcaster and were told that the storm was moving SE. We went to 56 and headed east and it got a little dicey there. Nice horseshoe wall cloud with many scud getting lifted into the updraft. A whole lot of CG everywhere. This storm was cranking good now. It started to pick up speed and we had to haul ass to get ahead of it. Approx 2 miles north of Osage City we parked to watch the incoming storm, then a CG hit a power transformer 30-40 feet behind us and i felt the hair stand up on my neck as i was dumb and was out of the truck to talk to Dick for a minute. The storm is now really moving quickly SE so we headed to 75 to go south. We encountered several Chasers and tours. Talked to a chaser from Dallas (didnt catch his name) he showed me Radar from Baron which showed two meso's right over 1-135. The lightning show was very amazing and photogenic. I spent the next hour driving south sitting and watching and driving south again. I arrived at hole in Iola and the storm disappated quite a bit in 5-7 miles, it went from 55-60 DBZ to 35-40 in a matter of 10 miles. There is something about that Neosho river in NW Allen county that is not conducive to storms. It was a good chase depsite no naders and i enjoyed meeting Dick and also i finally got to meet Tony Laubach after talking to him on the phone many times. Thanks to whoever nowcasted for Dick. Great job.
Y'all who were on the Osage County/BETO junction chase probably didn't hear about the BNSF train derailment just N. of BETO near the US 75 highway bridge over the tracks. 5 empty double stack cars got caught by the wind and derailed.

WIBW TV's storm cam there at the studio caught video of cloud lowering with pretty intense rotation passing right over Menninger Hill in West Topeka. No warnings from NWS Topeka until it was already through Topeka and into East central SN CO. No spotter activation either. :roll:

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