06/04/05 REPORTS: Plains

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0604Tornado0057WEB.jpg


Full chase report, link to video and many additional photos of this tornado can now be found on my website: http://www.stormseason.com ... just click the photo of the cone on the front page to access.
 
I got on the tornado warned storm NE of McPherson Kansas. It did develop a lowering, but it never showed much rotation or vertical motion when I was on it. I had planned on dropping South once storms started to fire closer to Wichita. I had thought the storms around McPherson would have tornado potential early and then I would be able to make it to more isolated storms farther South for better evening potential. The storm I was on wasn't showing signs of improving so I finally took off for the tornado warned storms in Butler and Cowley county. By the time I made it to them they were starting to go linear so I decided to head home. It was a disappointing end to a day that was showing a lot of potential this morning. I really thought storms would stay more isolated for a little while. I think I have forgotten what it is like to see a tornado. I never imagined this season could be so bad. Congratulations to those who got tornadoes today.
 
Very dissapointed here this evening in ICT.

Target all day was Winfield-ICT-Eldorado-PNC region. I was extremely confident in the forecast veriying for discrete tornadic supercells. My forecast today failed (away from the brief tornadoes (?) others saw)...

Sat in ICT until around 4:00pm-- noticed strong dry punch pushing up thru Sumner/Harper Counties in KS.. decided I wanted to be on the storm that would develop right on the head of that. At around 4:30- a large well developed TCU formed rapidly about 5 miles E of my house in SE Wichita. Being right where I had forecasted development earlier/right by my house, I was not going to deny it. One thing I will note of interest: I had a concern most of the afternoon of the SFC winds-- they did not back near as much as the RUC had forecasted, I had S/SSE winds most of the early afternoon, I felt they would likely back more later in the afternoon-- didn't happen, I think this is one of the major reasons the storms never really were isolated.

I jetted ENE towards El Dorado, the storm strengthened and became SVR in N Butler co around 5, I believe after that, the storm either split or another storm formed rapidly to it's SE and strengthened. I watched this S storm as it formed a fairly well-defined wall cloud in N Butler co, some weak low-level rotation was also noted. I have no doubt this storm was fixing to produce within the next 15-20 min. Rapidly, other t-storms developed to my storms SW and obviously helped destroy it quite rapidly.

Decided to head farther south into C Butler county and watched a nice little storm back towards the El Dorado area. This storm appeared to have some potential at a time, it however never was able to really get going. Heard of the TOR warning in SE Butler/N Cowley co's and decided to blast south (I was only 5-6 miles away) by the time I arrived, the storm previously with strong rotation was nearly complete mush/huge hp mess over SE Butler county. What appeard on radar as a well-developed hook for a cpl scans quickly lined out.

Decided my best shot was to head south into S Cowley to try to intercept the storm with a "brief tornado" E of Arkansas City, well, that wasn't possible. Roads in N Cowley (bad road options today.. was not fun) that I attempted to go south on were flodded out quite badly, and seeing as I would have to punch the core to intercept likely I decided to not proceed S.. mainly due to high flood threat and also trends on radar suggesting tornado threat was not very high. Sat in the city of Leon, KS for nearly a half-hour thinking and trying to figure out what in the heck had just happened. Overall, congrats to those who were able to intercept the tornado/tornadoes in Cowley county.

Overall, today was a very hit or miss day. It appears really two areas (small area of S/C OK) and extreme NE KS were quite successful.

This is a tough one to swallow, really. I really liked the setup today in SC KS and I was rewarded with a convective complex, not isolated tornadic supercells I envisioned.

2005 is a very hit/miss type of year, you really have to be in the right spot at the right time to see something, very little room for error. I have no reason to complain, I have witnessed a couple great tornado days this year and I am very thankful for that. 2005 has just been a weird weird year, so far.

Congrats to all those who bagged tornadoes in NE KS/SC OK today!! And anywhere else for that matter!
 
First off: I did not intentionally core punch this storm. When I left my house the storm was going to pass well to my south and I was planning on sneeking up from behind on it. The storm threw off a cell that moved straight north which I didn't know at the time (because I was on the road). I was completely unaware of what went on.

I left the apartment after seeing a storm coming up through Marshall County that was beginning to look interesting. At the rate it was moving I figured if I took 77 south a ways I could sneek up behind the storm and follow it for a while. I had pretty much blown this high risk day and I was bored. As I got about ten miles south of town all of a sudden this updraft loomed out of the mess behind it. The updraft has striations and wrapped inflow up top like MikeH's pictures of that supercell that was our logo for a while. The thing was hauling balls and as I continued south it rolled right over me. It had a shelf cloud at it's leading edge that had parts that were almost touching the ground. No exageration. The storm was an HP beast and began dumping a massive downpour on me. Then came the hail. Small stuff for a few miles. Then came the quarter sized hail. Bang. Bang. Bang.

Oh balls.

I continued down 77 until I had just gotten past the intersection where you can head to Wymore (continue on the curve) or go to Odell (go straight) and pulled into the first driveway I saw for some protection. I stopped for just a second to take a couple hail pictures, and got two pictures, when I heard the sound that every chaser dreads: a loud whap followed by the sound of shattering glass. I turned around and found a section of my rear windshielf about six inches across was suddenly gone and there was a monster of a hail stone shattered in my back seat. The stone exploded when it hit my car, but estimating by the size that was left in my seat I'd say this stone was about the size of a tennis ball when it hit.

So now I have to drive home with my tail between my legs. I call my gearhead brother to tell him what happens and he's all like, "Yeah yeah. Whatever. Jon, there's a massive wall cloud passing right over Beatrice. It's spinning like crazy. Don't come to the apartment, go to Dad's."

WTF?

I soon found out what he meant. I got to about maybe seven miles south of Beatrice when the wall cloud popped out of the rain. It was rain wrapped, but I could see it clear as day. Passing over Beatrice. I didn't stop for pictures for the obvious reason. The wall cloud fell apart, but later reformed just north of town. The storm was later tornado warned over Lancaster County.

My pictures:

http://www.thespiralingshape.org/img/wx/busted.jpg
http://www.thespiralingshape.org/img/wx/buster.jpg
http://www.thespiralingshape.org/img/wx/stone.jpg

They were taken at my Dad's house, so the stone had melted quite a bit by then.

So that's my shameful story. I'm certainly left with a bad taste in my mouth.
 
Busted. We played the SC/SE KS setup, and busted. It was so hard to believe what I saw, and that would be cells STRUGGLING in the envirement we had. I guess 2005 really is cursed...

Oh, and yeah, we lost Jason and John. They had my SUITCASE in their trunk, and I'm gonna be out for here at least a week, maybe two (maybe alot more, depending on the WX), and I have no clothes, etc. They also have NO cellphones, so I had to pull an arm and a leg to get contact with Jason's MOTHER and hopefully she gets the message, and Jason will call her, and she'll repeat it to him. Jason, if you are out there (LOL), we're gonna be in NORMAN, OK tomorrow...

Worst day ever...
 
Had to go to Salina this morning for a Civil Air Patrol conference, was 30 minutes late due to flooding on K4 in the Gypsum area.

Left there abt 3:30, tried to go back through Gypsum in hopes the water receeded (not) and caught the Dickinson County storm south of Abilene on K15. Nice wall cloud with rotation but no funnels at that time. Got back on K4 toward Herington where I intercepted one chase group just West of Hope. They were getting ready to roll as I got there so I followed them through Hope where they turned North toward Enterprise and I continued East. I did catch a wall cloud with rotation just North of Herington but no photos or video, all my stuff was at home to be installed in the new truck
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Sad
Just to the West of Council Grove I realized I was following another group of chasers: 2 Vans, one white, the other grey, with Indiana plates and a massive antenna arrays on each vehicle.

I dunno who y'all need to go to church tomorrow and thank the good lord the local cops weren't on the main drag when you went through town because 1) They love writing tickets, 2) They don't like out of towners and 3) 35 in 20, on the main drag and passing several vehicles to the right and in no passing zones ain't cool.

Between Council Grove and Osage City my ARES pager went off - spotters needed South and West of Topeka. I had to gas up, get a radio and started North on U.S. 56 again to my usual spot W. of Burlingame. Norht of Osage I saw a large groups of chasers on their way to Osage, Texas tags and CB's. Welcome to Osage County!

Watched for the next 3 hours several storms roll up along the turnpike, lots of rotation from all the cells and one funnel reported but nothing damaged. I backed off and went home after it got too dark and cells were getting stronger over Osage City.

A truly minimalist chase, lots of weather and lots of chasers out.


Jon Holder
 
I haven't gone over video so I can't confirm much, but I intercepted the Marlow beast just after the first large multi-vortex tornado touched down or when it was just SW of Marlow. I can confirm this storm was up and down through all of stephens county, at one point I think I had a cone funnel on the ground in the rain. I did not see a single chaser on this, so I'm not sure if I was the only one that didn't get to travel today due to prior obligations, but I sure hope someone got some pics of that first tornado and the rest of this storm. I came close to getting the hail as I got backed into a corner on county roads, but luckily, I got out without seeing any hail, which means I only have gotten hailed on once this year so far. The cone looked to be NW of Pernell and during that time I got some great video of a clear slot poking in, the RFD rushing and a silouette of a white cone behind all this, so I'm hoping after I review the video that I can confirm this as being a tornado or if my already exhaused eyes were playing tricks on me (I had to throw..a lot today and I was already tired). I might add that two other tornadoes, at least, occured in Oklahoma today, one near Ponca City and the other just E of Waurika per media reports. The Waruika cell might have put down multiple ones too from what I have gathered....
 
First, it sucks that people's homes were destroyed by this tornado and related storms. Their problems tonight exceed mine by an inestimable amount as I am safe and sound in a Kansas motel. That acknowledged, here's my report.

I chased the storm that produced Mike's tornado from initiation until about five minutes before it dropped the stovepipe, according to my calculations. We were in the Kickapoo Indiana Reservation west of Horton when we concluded that the storm looked bad visually (it did), was generating outflow (it was), had turned toward less favorable terrain, and that the storms west of it were more appealing on radar.

We had seen a wall cloud that fell apart quickly before our outflow began, but thought that storm #2 in the line was a stronger candidate. That storm generated a large bell-shaped lowering that began rotating but never touched down that we could see.

According to my calculations, we missed the first tornado by about eight miles or five minutes. After chasing over 10,000 miles this season with very little tornado imagery of any worth, that is a real kick in the teeth.

Congrats to Mike and others who stayed on the storm all the way to the river (or even back across). This is the second time in two years I've made a disasterous choice in that same little area--I hope to never see it again as long as I live.

And again, it sucks much more to lose your house than to miss videotaping a tornado, so it's all relative.

Amos
 
Interestingly enough, after posting earlier today that I would be confined to the Norman area to chase because I was going to have to pick up a friend at the OKC airport at 4pm, I ended up in Ponca City only to find out that I would have been better off staying back in Norman.

Derek Williams, Brandon Miller and I left Norman at about 230 and made it up to Tonkawa, OK at about 430 where we sat at the Northern Oklahoma College Student Union for about an hour going over data and watching TCU develop to our west.

At about 515, some very good looking sustained TCU went up due west along I35 and our eyes got extremely large. However, I quickly noticed a problem that sure enough became the issue of the day, towers going up everywhere -- a convective mess about an hour later (AKA Grungefest).

We ended up deciding on the PNC cell and apparently just missed the so-called "tornado" that dropped down along Hwy 60 at the exact time we were at the location (Note: we saw no signs of any tornadic activity and we circled this cell for a good 3 hours).

After driving in and out of the core looking for something exciting, we withdrew west of PNC on 60 to spend about a half hour taking some of the most breathtaking sunset shots I may have ever seen. Furthermore, the drive back to Norman was made interesting by some of the most explosive lightning I have witnessed in years.

All in all, an interesting day, but considering how dead-on I thought I was with my forecast, a disappointment.
 
Summary: Ringgold and Decatur County Iowa
Zero Tornadoes
Shelf Cloud
Hail
High Winds
Lightning

Sat around Ames for the afternoon, in the motel. Finally decided to go after the stuff in southern Iowa, that was moving out of Missouri.

Laptop computer problems, no steady power supply, there is a short
somewhere in the computer,
usually I run the computer off a power inverter, and being stupid, I left the battery recharger at home.
So basically, I could not use wx worx at all or get data getting wifi.
NOAA Weather Radio and I actually finally use a nowcaster for once.
Thank you kindly GEORGE TINCHER, a very outstanding nowcaster.

Went after the storms in Ringgold and Decatur County Iowa, that were
tornado warned, had to reposition myself numerous time, to avoid the
hail core, with reports of baseball and softball size hail. Finally headed back to 1-35 and Iowa State Road 2, and watched a shelf cloud come in,
high winds and hail. Took cover along a side of building, to shield the car
from the wind driven hail.

Mike
 
Denied!

What can I say that hasn't been said already... by Mike Gribble and Amos.

Headed W and N of Topeka after the first line of storms started to rip the cap SW along the SFC boundary. Saw the top of a straightup tower w/ overshoot and headed toward it... only to totally lose it in the LL converging gunk. Felt too cool for explosive updrafts and visibility was shot. Left this storm which was probly the one to produce Hiawatha tornado further N. Went back S with idea of getting into Manhattan for more data. Stopped by a massive hailcore on HWY 24; turned and headed S to I-70. While fleeing the hailcore we heard the TOR warn for that storm, but structurally the storm was HP shelfy and we couldn't see more than a very short lived funnel.

From there, heard the Alma report and headed over there. Saw a nice wall cloud... quickly become rain wrapped. Such seemed to be the order of the day. You want to see something? OK, here it is... no, there it goes, behind rain/haze. Finally decided to book S and try to get a visual on the discrete storms E of ICT. No! Visibility shot except for nice anvil crawlers. Currently in Emporia before returning to Phoenix via Denver tomorrow.

Congrats to everyone who managed to see anything noteworthy on this lowest of visibility days.
 
No tornadoes for me today. I did much the same as Amos, except I was never on the Hiawatha storm at all. I debated going right to go after it as I headed up 75 from TOP, but elected to go left instead thinking that the cells further west and south would be in better instability/inflow/helicity. Good in theory, but Ma Nature does what she wants. I did see a large wall cloud near 75 and 36 as the storm near Sabetha went TOR-warned, and really thought for a minute that storm might do it - until until rain and hail quickly surrounded the wall cloud and killed the inflow.

Here is a picture of the wall cloud:

FairviewKS3.jpg


This picture was taken from just east of Fairview on route 36. The storm produced up to 1.5" hail just north and NW of my location around this time. Here are a couple pictures taken earlier just west and southwest of Fairview, around the time the storm went TOR-warned:

RFD begins to cut in: www.siue.edu/~jfarley/FairviewKS1.jpg

Lowering begins to form: www.siue.edu/~jfarley/FairviewKS2.jpg

Earlier, on the same cell, I saw some smaller lowerings near Goff; met up with a tour group whose leader kindly let me look the group's live at radar, and warned me about the "larger than golfball" that turned his group around a few miles north. I waited until I was confident the storm had passed, then headed through Goff and back to 75 for the intercept near Sabetha.

Later, heading back south toward TOP, I thought I could get ahead of a severe storm coming out of Pottawattomie Co. However, the violent outflow caused the storm to surge forward, and confronted with a nasty looking shelf cloud and a suspicious blue color in the clouds, I turned around, avoiding the 60+ mph wind and 1+ inch hail in this storm. Eventually, this cell produced a tornado just east of the Pottawattomie Reservation, but of course I was completely on the wrong side of the storm to see it.

Returning to TOP after the storm passed, I watched the hail shafts on the next storm as 1-inch hail fell on north Topeka, and caught a nice wall cloud at sunset on a SVR warned storm west of TOP. Spending the night in the KC area, where I watched some wind-driven rain shortly after my arrival. Heading home tomorrow for a possible backyard chase in IL. Though I did see several severe storms, it was a disappointment today compared to the promise it seemed to hold. Such is 2005, I guess.

Congrats to all who caught the Hiawatha tornado - very impressive pics!

Oh - almost forgot a highlight (lowlight?) of the day - as I got on the Kansas turnpike at Emporia, coming through the toll booth the other way, getting off, was the "Tornado Attack Vehicle" or whatever they call that thing. I can't imagine what the toll booth attendant thought when that thing came through! Of course I had a line of cars behind me so could not dig out the camera for a pic!

EDIT 6/4: Corrected name of town mentioned in report, Goff.

EDIT, 6/5: Added pics, and corrected name of another town, Sabetha (not Seneca). Had a rought time with town names today!
 
Bill Coyle, Dave Crowley, Justin Teague, Lisa Wadlow, Grant Johnson and my brother Matt and I ended up cell-hopping and core-dodging today from El Dorado to Atlanta, KS. Saw several wall clouds and circulations near Atlanta, two with very rapid rotation and rising motion, and one producing a fleeting narrow funnel condensed nearly halfway to ground. The latter sights prevented the chase from being a total loss, though the day promised so much more. Ended the day in Coffeyville, where we are resting up for the 6-hour drive to Illinois tomorrow for our last chase of spring 2005.
 
Sigh.

Left Omaha around 2PM, headed in the general direction of Topeka. I skirted around the core of the initial Brown County storm, and hooked up with Amos and Eric Nguyen in the vicinity of the Kickapoo Indian Reservation. We started toward Horton, but, upon deciding the storm looked like crap (honestly, it truly did at the time), we backtracked west to check out new development.

Of course, we all know what happened 5 to 10 minutes later.

Spent the rest of the day driving in circles, looking at grungy junk. One of the later storms produced some sort of low wall cloud type thing - with condensation practically to the ground - but no idea what was going on there. That's about as interesting as things got.

Blasted south to Topeka in hopes something would get better organized down that way, but no such luck. Had dinner and fought the core of the big squall line back up to Holton, and then smooth sailing the rest of the way home.

I hate NE KS.

Anyway, something wasn't clicking today, it seems. Updrafts were mushy, and surface winds were light and erratic. There were times we'd be sitting right in front of an updraft, yet winds would be calm. It didn't feel like a high risk day. Frankly, it blows my mind that the initial storm produced a tornado...perhaps some sort of boundary was responsible? Very weird.

I'm not sure if I'm disgusted or not. More tired and annoyed. Dejected, I guess.
 
I had a short but interesting chase today. I ended up around 530 pm in central Andrew county MO (just north of Savannah) and had a perfect approach into the storm that came from Hiawatha KS. Saw the tornado...it was a white slender cone against a backdrop of dark blue-gray and black ....and lasted for a couple of minutes. Very nice wall cloud associated with the storm as well. My niece was with me today (it was her first chase) and she took a couple of pics of the tornado as I was still driving to get a better vantage point. Later, on the return home I asked her to let me see the tornado pics.....and she accidentally deleted them!!!!!
So while it was a fun and successful chase.....there still is a feeling of "unfinished business".

Later in the evening I was in Platte City MO when the storms came through there. Was watching very heavy rain and marginally severe hail along with some really intense lightning. All of a sudden the sky lit up from a big lightning bolt and stayed lit up for about the next 15 seconds! The lightning hit a transformer or electrical line....it was glowing hot like a welders torch and you could see some flames start to move down the power line. Very impressive to say the least. It took a few minutes for the spot in my eyes to recover from the bright light.
 
My chase sounds almost identical to Philip Flory's.Basically just hopped down storms S from El Dorado. Well we know how that went. Missed the Arkansas City tornado, although we did see a nice base for awhile. Rain was everywhere and once the initial storm by El Dorado (split?) stuff started firing rapidly to the S... I knew we were hosed.

Pictures + Brief Log:
http://www.convectionconnection.com/CHASE-060405/

*note* WRF from 0z had precip breaking out all along the dryline to TX. I thought it was out to lunch... guess not!

Overall... just another dissapointing chase to add to 2005. The big highlight of the trip was a large snapping turtle crossing a road NW of El Dorado. I tried to pick it up, but it got pissed. I gave up since it was pretty slimy. It even had a leech on it!

Aaron
 
Yawn, 540 miles later and what a tube that was!!!! Oh wait that is right I opted to not try and catch it a county west of it. Randy Chamberlain and I could have caught it before the tornado, but no decided to drop south at Marrysville KS. We looked it over and it was getting better on radar but figured since we were in such a nice enviroment with lots of convection sw down the line and a tornado warned storm at Salina that the wisest choice was to not try and play catch up with something heading into crap area and instead drop south and see what happens down there. A while later and hey look big hook on the storm we would have been to by now. A few moments later large distructive tornado reported on the ground....SIGH. I felt motivated and focused to find another good storm. What we found(JB now with us and soon RyanM) was an area that reminded me of nw MO!!! We tried to catch the only other real show sw of Manhatten and had to take some windy crazy road. Blah blah blah from there on out.

MikeP you have no idea how jealous of a drive home I had after I was informed of just how cool the tube was you caught. Great video(if that is yours on twc) and big congrats to you and Damon and whoever else caught it.

Is it next week yet? Will persistance pay off in 2005? I'm really starting to wonder. Missing that has really motivated me but all the money being spent lately is starting to add up. Mother nature has her hand cocked back and is ready to slap any of us that let her get the best of us. The second you get sick of busting is when she smacks you with something nice while you sit at home on your duff. The last 2 days have really blown(3 for many) but I'd much rather have tried than missed them from home. I was thinking on the way home how hard this year is being(sure it has its moments...for some..) and just remembered one crazy event can sort of make a person happy.....just one. What I thought about was images of the Columbus 98 tornado footage. That is now my goal. I don't need but one good day like that...lol, that is all. Anyway....that day and tornado is still out there. I think it is next week at some point. Jinx. I need to just quit talking about any good things.
 
Congrats to Mike, KP, Bill Doms, and the rest of you on who caught the elusive tornado today. Of course, it is unfortunate that farms were hit. In response to a comment... I did read in an SPC tor watch status report that there was a subtle boundary in the vicinity of the tornadic cell in NE KS/ NW MO. It seems to me that cell rode the subtle boundary and thus produced the tornado of the day.

Peggy and I watched initiation in Manhattan, KS and slowly followed the Northern cell (the one to become tornadic) from about 30 miles to the SW waiting to see if the southern cells would take over...trying to keep both options open since it was still early. Well, the cells to the SW began to look great on radar so we dropped down to the southern most cell thinking that would be the best option. Apparantly not on this day!

We watched a nice wall cloud develop on the SW cell just south of I-70. As soon as we pulled up under it outflow took over and cut it off. We moved NE along the line of cells and saw another very low base with an inflow band almost on the ground wrapped in rain. The rain quickly obscured this interesting area. So we kept moving NE and watched the sunset, a rainbow, and some nice CGs. An interesting, fun day for us but not tornadic.

On to the next chase!

060405_01.jpg

060405_02.jpg


Melanie
 
Started the day driving from Colby, KS to initial target of Topeka, KS.
After the initiation we deciced to follow the very first good looking tower to a nice view point on a nearby hill top. A few minutes later lightning activity rapidly increased and a suspicious lowering came into a view right ahead of us. Followed and well documented the cell from there all the way to the point where it produced the nice white cone. Saw a damaged house with trees snapped in half, power lines down, a car completely destroyed covered in mud, residents trying to come out of the house and recover while somebody /hopefully not a storm chaser/ was snapping pictures of them :(
The damage itself left more marks on my mind than the tornado itself.
Later reconnected with the same cell just north of St. Joseph but it became outflow dominant and visibility was just bad so we decided to cut south onto I-35 towards Kansas City for the night.
Today was a day of some major decisions between the northern or southern target and also seems like the PDS TW didn`t play out the way many of us expected. Good luck to all of you in upcoming days.

BTW who is the chaser driving the grey Chevy Blazer with "CUNOZ" on a licence plate... we have been seeing you around for two days now :D

Martin Kucera
 
I was south of Manhattan in the Council Grove area..Rendevouzed there with Marc Grant and Wayne Slesky hooked up with Ptak and Shane and some others from Canada. Ron Gravelle and gang..All great guys always a pleasure fraternizing and meeting other chasers.

We were heading to our storm when Shane and Mickey and their crew hit a Turkey in the road.. it dented the front of their car good and then flew up over the hood and knocked their mesonet off the roof.

All of the sudden everyone started pulling over. And Im thinking.. I see this turkey.. Im thinking why the hell are we pulling over?? Does Shane like to film wildlife???? lol It wasnt until we were helping them with their mesonet that I discovered hey.. " We hit a turkey" Funny stuff.. Im sure the owner of the vehicle isnt laughing but added to the excitement all the same..

Of course no tubes but a couple wall clouds and some beautiful structure and landscape..

Yawnnn off to bed i go...

Fred
 
Same area Phillip and Dan were in for the most part.

I had no choice but to go after the cells firing in Butler county. I didn't want to use 77 in case the storm would intensify rapidly, as I would be behind it in all likelihood anyway. I started out toward the eastern part of the county and go toward Eureka, but after seeing the first storm N. of El Dorado getting further north out of my view, I tried to get to Cassoday, but missed my turn to get there. Went on to Leon, then El Dorado as the next cell developed to the SW. I stopped for some things in El Dorado, then the warning came out for S. Butler/ N. Cowley. Beelined back to Leon, talking to my sister for the radar, as the TOR came out with rotation near Douglass (so I lost my contact with radar as my sister went to the basement). I was heading straight for the rotation, but the area of greatest concern didn't look too good, so I shot toward Atlanta, and then west to Rock (passed the area I photographed the third tornado I saw on June 12 of last year) to avoid the ugly cores to my south.

Decided to go to Winfield just as they issued TOR for the tornado E. of Ark City. Stuck around Winfield hoping for something out of Oklahoma and saw a cell just develop over me and thank me with sporadic pea to 1/2" diameter hail. I called it a night afterward. I did see a rainbow (sometimes two) on my way back to Douglass.

As the others have said, a day where visibility was the reason many were out today quickly became a convective mess that you hoped to dodge for fear of large hail.
 
Chad, Mickey, and myself convoyed with Angie Norris and Jo today. We targeted the Arkansas City/Winfield area, but a quick data check showed the RUC had gone to the Dark Side, now agreeing with the ETA in supressing any convection south of east-central Kansas. So, we moved northeast to Emporia. There we met several chasers, including StormTrack's own Fred Plowman and Marc Grant, along with Canadian chaser Ron Gravelle and a host of others. Big thanks to these three as well as the rest of the group for stopping to help us put Chad's wx-station back into place after a wild turkey impact ripped it off the roof - unbelievable impact. There's a dent the size of a bowling ball on Chad's hood from this crazy bird that came out of nowhere. After we re-attached the wx-station, we targeted a storm in Morris county and followed it northeast until it turned into total crap, then backtracked south and east to try and get in front of what was now mostly a squall line. We ignored every storm to our west that was tracking into the same areas as where we'd been before, fearing those storms would ingest cold outflow funk from the previous failed attempts. We had made it down to northern Elk county when we called Dwain Warner, to see about storms near OUN. He told us the storm to our southwest had been tornado warned and still showed rotation, so we targeted it, heading south on KS99. The storm had nice mid-level inflow bands, twisting cyclonically into it, but visibility was horrible because of rain. We moved back north to the intersection of KS99/US400, as I loudly proclaimed, in frustration, "I give up, I concede, I admit defeat...Mother Nature, you win again." About a minute later, after we'd pulled into a service station parking lot to face west toward the storm, a base came into view through the rain. It looked suspicious, but we were pessimistic. We started rolling video as the lowering took shape and produced a rather large tornado, that hovered above the ground visually (way too wet for debris at that point), and gradually narrowed into a classic, Wizard of Oz type tornado. I haven't watched the video yet, but I remember calling out the time twice, once at 8:07pm and again at 8:12pm, so I'd put the tornado's duration at around five minutes. The report of 3 WSW Severy is what we saw, though IMO this was closer to Piedmont. After the tornado ended, we moved east, seeing a posible second tornado north of the highway (will have to review video to confirm or not). However, we couldn't find our mystery north option, and got cored by a new storm with heavy winds and rain as darkness fell. After the storm passed, we decided to call it a day. A very difficult and frustrating chase overall, but a sweet payoff at the end. Getting ready to dub video, then get a few hours' sleep before doing it again tomorrow in southern OK/north TX.

Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good, and this tornado is Dwain's. Great call bro, and thanks for the always-incredible nowcasting.
 
That was a long way to drive to see a wall cloud! :) Started in Kearney this morning (well, yesterday morning, now), zipped over to Lincoln and started south to Manhattan, KS. Along the way, convection started to fire in Marshall County. I corepunched a developing supercell (very quickly -- didn't look like much on radar, but lo and hehold, marble sized hail and lots of it), got south of it, parked, and asked myself: "Self, do you want to try to chase after that thing?". The answer, of course, was no, and so I missed the one area of the state that actually DID tornado today. Instead, I opted to continue south to Manhattan, where the setup for supercells looked better and I didn't have to worry about pesky river crossings. :roll:

Headed south and west of Manhattan to try to catch that world-eater (on radar) over I-70. Of course, my digital cellular coverage died when I most needed it, leaving me radarless. I ended up nudging up torwards the storm, but turned around eventually again to the south and east to try to find some radar coverage again. Luckily I came aross a pair of chasers in an SUV who let me poach their XM data for a minute or two. After that I headed back towards the storm, caught a couple of pictures of a couple of wall clouds that lowered and fizzled, then threw my hands up in frustration and headed back southeast. I ran into Mike Hollingshead, Randy Chamberlain, & J.B. Dixon along with what became an Oklahoma-style convergence up there and, without much else to do, we sat around and prayed to the weather gods.

Fun things: Literally feeling the warm surface winds battling the outflow. 10+ degree instantanous shifts in temperuature. :) And, of course, driving into outflow and having all the car windows fog up.

Funny things: Watching chasing groups/tours race back and forth north and south on the road next to us.

A few pics:

The only really interesting lowering I saw all day.

wall.jpg


What year is it again? Oh, yeah, it's 2005. Why are we all the way out here?

waiting.jpg


XM radar is pretty awesome -- it has a habit of making things look more powerful than they are, though. Likely it's something that you learn to read, as a lotta good chasers swear by it. IMO XM radar would be immeasurably better if they didn't smooth so much and clip the dbZ.

xm.jpg


Back in Manhattan. Found this great example of why it's usually not a good idea to try to drive through standing water, especially in your low-clearance compact car! :lol:


flood.jpg


All in all, I'm a bit bummed I saw no tubes, but I did get to punch a hailstorm, meet a few chasers, and check out yet another rural part of Kansas I'd never seen before. After 2004, it only figures we'd get 2005. Dear 2006: I think after this year the slate is cleaned. You can resume the production of tornadoes.
 
Shane Im wishin I didnt abandon you there in Emporia. I think you went north out of Emporia initially then back south. Well I think by the time you passed HWY 50 on that north/south road that goes to Cassoday near the Tollway I hit it and went north toward Council Grove at around 5p. toward a storm that was just exploding with this big humongous area of sunshine and no clouds that have to have been at least 50 miles south of that cell so at the time there was no other cell nearby to destroy it. Well just as I reach it that area of sunshine had filled and destroyed the parent cell and went shelfy.
From there I went east toward Alta Vista on 4 b/c I saw a classic wall cloud out of nowhere to my east. Well someone on 4 I ran into chaser group shane and I met back in Emporia. Followed them east to the tollway then back toward Emporia where I almost got into trouble and became surrounded. Luckily I was able to avoid core punching b/c the cells missed Emporia to the south or died on the way into Lyon county. It was getting dark then so I basically called it a day.


EDIT: SHANE!!! WTF!!!!! YOU HIT A TURKEY!! OMG.
Why am I flipping out about that?
Because I chased w/ you to Emporia and left ya. Well Guess what I damn near hit as I rounded a curve on the road to Council Grove. I swear to God I almost hit it. I had to hit the brakes and fishtail like a mother to avoid it. How ironic.
 
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