3/30/2006 DISC: KS, NE, OK, TX

It's been an eventful day and it appears that this time the dynamics won out over the instability further south. Both areas apparently produced some tornadoes, but appears KS was king.

Shane, I enjoyed your account. I liked the way you described the storm and your execution / analysis of the chase. Sounded like a kick ass storm to be on.

Mike P - :lol: man, sounds like it was a ride. Core punch at night, in Missouri into a severe warned cell in a Tbox only to find that cell had teeth. That roar at the time must of been an surprise. Glad you made it ok.

Other accounts have been interesting as well.

Congrats to all you that had a successful chase! Seems like a pretty good start to the year.
 
It was definitely a surprise ... I'll fill everyone in on a few more details now ...

When I was at work in Overland Park, I could see some cells forming near the low in Kansas and then moving rapidly up the northeast corner of the state (Doniphan Co) into Andrew Co. Missouri. Some of these looked pretty healthy, particularly one that had formed north of Topeka and was following the same track as the others. So I felt I could get ahead of this cell by going up to Wathena, Kansas initially on highway 36. These things were trucking, but I did manage to intercept the first cell after it came across the river in Andrew Co., Missouri. My brother Andy nowcasted for me and put me in position to catch this one north of Amazonia, MO. I intercepted the base on this one during daylight, and it had GREAT inflow moving into a nice lowering. I knew this cell was rotating, but could not keep up with it, so I gave up in between Oregon and Fillmore. Little did I know at the time that this was going to put me in position for something much more interesting. I used GPS to follow a route through the town of Fillmore that I have chased twice before.

When I came through Fillmore, my brother Andy called to let me know that another, much healthier cell was headed my direction. In this little town of Fillmore I started getting pelted with dime sized hail, which made me wonder if I was coring the next cell coming through. As I continued down state route A there was no doubt that I was in the core, with quarter size hail. As I came through Fillmore I actually thought "if there's a tornado in this storm, then this little town may not be here after an hour or so."

I kept going down SR A, when all of the sudden a bunch of birds flew through the intermittent hail at this point in front of my car. There were a couple of large birds, like hawks - that were flying erratically in the middle of the dark and I slowed down because I thought I was going to hit them. I thought they were flying so weird because they were trying to get out of the hail, but as soon as I turned the corner onto 71 I realized that they were desperately trying to get away from the tornado, which became immediately visible.

I'm going to try to put into words what this sounded like now. I got out of the car and had to switch my camcorder to night vision to get the tornado stills. As I'm standing there, first I hear the wind whistle, which was no big deal. But then there was a sudden rush of air and a screaming roar. This sounded to me almost like the combination between someone screaming at the top of their lungs and a jet engine together at the same time. And I recognized the Doppler effect in the noise, in that it sounded like the jet was flying down the runway toward me - the noise had a DEFINITE pinpointed location on top of the hill ... just like the sound a truck has as it's moving toward you. That's when I knew that it was coming my way ... and if you look at the three vid caps, you'll actually notice the funnel getting progressively larger as it heads my way ... you can also clearly make out a well-defined RFD at the top of the funnel. That's when I booked south and flashed my lights at folks ... as soon as I went south, several bands of wrapping rain hit my car as well, and I could tell because of the circular motion of the rain that they were wrapping the tube tight up against it.

Anyway, that's the rest of the story ... I'll never forget that noise. It's burned into my brain forever.

I'm going back up today to get some damage shots after a dentist appointment this morning. Hope to see at least a few chasers in Lincoln tomorrow in the morning ... I'm sure more than one of us will be heading out quickly in the afternoon to hopefully make it to what looks like an ideal tornado producing setup at this point.
 
It was definitely a surprise ... I'll fill everyone in on a few more details now ...

When I was at work in Overland Park, I could see some cells forming near the low in Kansas and then moving rapidly up the northeast corner of the state (Doniphan Co) into Andrew Co. Missouri. Some of these looked pretty healthy, particularly one that had formed north of Topeka and was following the same track as the others. So I felt I could get ahead of this cell by going up to Wathena, Kansas initially on highway 36. These things were trucking, but I did manage to intercept the first cell after it came across the river in Andrew Co., Missouri. My brother Andy nowcasted for me and put me in position to catch this one north of Amazonia, MO. I intercepted the base on this one during daylight, and it had GREAT inflow moving into a nice lowering. I knew this cell was rotating, but could not keep up with it, so I gave up in between Oregon and Fillmore. Little did I know at the time that this was going to put me in position for something much more interesting. I used GPS to follow a route through the town of Fillmore that I have chased twice before.

When I came through Fillmore, my brother Andy called to let me know that another, much healthier cell was headed my direction. In this little town of Fillmore I started getting pelted with dime sized hail, which made me wonder if I was coring the next cell coming through. As I continued down state route A there was no doubt that I was in the core, with quarter size hail. As I came through Fillmore I actually thought "if there's a tornado in this storm, then this little town may not be here after an hour or so."

I kept going down SR A, when all of the sudden a bunch of birds flew through the intermittent hail at this point in front of my car. There were a couple of large birds, like hawks - that were flying erratically in the middle of the dark and I slowed down because I thought I was going to hit them. I thought they were flying so weird because they were trying to get out of the hail, but as soon as I turned the corner onto 71 I realized that they were desperately trying to get away from the tornado, which became immediately visible.

I'm going to try to put into words what this sounded like now. I got out of the car and had to switch my camcorder to night vision to get the tornado stills. As I'm standing there, first I hear the wind whistle, which was no big deal. But then there was a sudden rush of air and a screaming roar. This sounded to me almost like the combination between someone screaming at the top of their lungs and a jet engine together at the same time. And I recognized the Doppler effect in the noise, in that it sounded like the jet was flying down the runway toward me - the noise had a DEFINITE pinpointed location on top of the hill ... just like the sound a truck has as it's moving toward you. That's when I knew that it was coming my way ... and if you look at the three vid caps, you'll actually notice the funnel getting progressively larger as it heads my way ... you can also clearly make out a well-defined RFD at the top of the funnel. That's when I booked south and flashed my lights at folks ... as soon as I went south, several bands of wrapping rain hit my car as well, and I could tell because of the circular motion of the rain that they were wrapping the tube tight up against it.

Anyway, that's the rest of the story ... I'll never forget that noise. It's burned into my brain forever.

I'm going back up today to get some damage shots after a dentist appointment this morning. Hope to see at least a few chasers in Lincoln tomorrow in the morning ... I'm sure more than one of us will be heading out quickly in the afternoon to hopefully make it to what looks like an ideal tornado producing setup at this point.
[/b]


Hey Mike: i know most prb wouldnt of done this... but i have a few times i just blocked the whole road and stopped, with my flashers on and hood up.... there was a tornado warned storm and reports coming in confirmed a tornado on the ground... this was of course a few yrs ago but hey maybe you should just try it sometime???

im trying to figure out if there was a tornado 3 1/2 miles northwest of Lamoni it was late... in your opinion ( a spot on county road p-64 had mud cover like someone dumped it there in a big blob, and near Ellston, stop signs bent over and a couple of signs laying in the road , those diamond road signs and stuff...also some trees were kocked down they looked liek older tree's prb weak and rotted so it wouldnt take much to bring em down...

im debating whether or not it was a brief tornado that had gone through , or straight line winds? what do you think?

i went over vid and its hard to even see anything my vid ...im gonna try editing contrast and stuff with my friend david he's a video editor....

Im pretty sure i saw a long skinny funnel by eyesight , i couldnt confirm a touchdown from my location as rain was heavy , and i didnt note nay swirling debri on the gorund plus im not good at damage estimating "

well im headed to KS/OK in the early am hours good luck tommorow
 
OUN has confirmed the Duncan tornado based on my video, though they said not to look for it in the LSRs. It will be in Storm Data.

They're still deciding whether or not to log the Velma tornado, as it was a halfway down funnel and could go either way (though they are still debating). Personally, I'm counting it :)
 
OUN has confirmed the Duncan tornado based on my video, though they said not to look for it in the LSRs. It will be in Storm Data.
[/b]

I wonder why? No offense to OUN, but they don't seem to put out much in the way of LSRs or PNSs for the smaller events. I haven't seen anything from the 3/20 cold-core tornado near Taloga, though it hit a barn. Heck, even for huge events (like May 29, 2004), OUN never released a PNS addressing the tornadoes and supercell as it was west of I35. I saw some info on the storm as it tracked east of I35 and into TSAs CWA (I think OUN DID issue a PNS about that section), but never saw anything about it as it was near Thomas, Geary, and Piedmont. The only info from OUN about that section of the supercell track is in Storm Data... I know Storm Data is the official log, but it's nice to see tracks, etc, within a couple of months after the event. I've noticed that over offices (TSA, SGF, ICT, etc) do tend to at least address the event afterward in a PNS, regardless of how small it was (well, ok, assuming it wasn't a .5 second touchdown in a field). [/rant about OUN :D ]

I love OUNs presence on area spotter nets / Skywarn towers, but I just wish they'd be a little more forthcoming in releasing info about tornadoes in their CWA. Even a little quick paragraph or few sentences with the time and location of the tornado is better than nothing. I can see perhaps letting the smaller tornadoes slip through the cracks on big outbreak days, but I can't imagine they're THAT busy after those days with only one or two tornadoes to give us some info about the event.
 
Aftermath


Aaron Blaser and I rode around together most of the morning looking at what is left of the damage path north of Savannah, Missouri. Aaron later joined up with the survey team. Preliminary reports are whispering of strong F-2, possibly F-3 in areas. Here are a few photos I took.

This was the scene at the location where my car had been parked as I took video last night (I'm kind of glad I had sense enough to move my butt out of the way when I did ... one minute later and this would have been my car in this tree):

webFillmore0011.jpg



Looked like this was a poorly built farmhouse ... roof in tact, but laying on the ground. Two nearby mobile homes destroyed.

webFillmore0016.jpg



Community spirit was everywhere today. It was a sad, but prevailing attitude in the air. Nothing stops real Missourians:

webFillmore0029.jpg



Appeared to be the best-built structure in the area ... an earth-contact (completely underground to the rear of the home), brick structure. Heavy roof damage, sheared roofing leaving only a few trusses in tact. Three family members were home and injured by tornado:

webFillmore0020.jpg


webFillmore0025.jpg



This is what is left of one man's home where the tornado initially touched down. From what Aaron and I could tell, this was the western most extent of the path. The tornado likely dropped in the trees behind this fellow's mobile home and completely destroyed his home with him in it before he knew what hit him. He was injured but alive. His home was strewn for a quarter mile and is only ankle-deep:

webFillmore0031.jpg




Personal Note - I take damage photos for educational purposes concerning severe weather. They are used to help folks in this area learn about the nature and effects of severe weather in the hopes that they will take appropriate responses. I take no personal pleasure in seeing what these storms do to the lives of my friends and neighbors.
 
Man, you got the real deal Mike. Perhaps good that torn didn't throw some debris at you at that distance.

Heck, even for huge events (like May 29, 2004), OUN never released a PNS addressing the tornadoes and supercell as it was west of I35. I saw some info on the storm as it tracked east of I35 and into TSAs CWA (I think OUN DID issue a PNS about that section), but never saw anything about it as it was near Thomas, Geary, and Piedmont.
[/b]

I videotaped it coming out of Geary from the SE. It was wrapped up in dust and precip, but I'm pretty sure I could make out the tornado in the video - definitely one side.
 
Heck, even for huge events (like May 29, 2004), OUN never released a PNS addressing the tornadoes and supercell as it was west of I35.[/b]
I'm pretty sure they did issue the PNS, as I was part of the damage survey of that event, and we wrote a report up that went out 1-2 days after the event.
 
I'm pretty sure they did issue the PNS, as I was part of the damage survey of that event, and we wrote a report up that went out 1-2 days after the event.
[/b]

I'll have to look. I remember seeing a PNS for the tornadoes near and east of Edmond, but don't remember seeing anything from west of there. I know I didn't see it, but that doesn't necessarily mean it wasn't released. I've asked a couple of my chase partners and they don't remember seeing one either. One of my friends (with a connection at OUN) said that WFO OUN was unsure how to classify some of the damage out near Geary, so they were investigating it further.

EDIT: I know at least I didn't see it since I posted about the exact same thing in the 5/29/04 REPORTS thread. I'm still reasonably confident that it at least didn't get disseminated like typically occurs, though again I may have missed it (I was looking pretty hard for it, though).
 
Mike and all,

A wild, and very cautionary, tale indeed!

[some editing done]

When I came through Fillmore, my brother Andy called to let me know that another, much healthier cell was headed my direction. In this little town of Fillmore I started getting pelted with dime sized hail, which made me wonder if I was coring the next cell coming through. As I continued down state route A there was no doubt that I was in the core, with quarter size hail. As I came through Fillmore I actually thought "if there's a tornado in this storm, then this little town may not be here after an hour or so."

I kept going down SR A, when all of the sudden a bunch of birds flew through the intermittent hail at this point in front of my car. There were a couple of large birds, like hawks - that were flying erratically in the middle of the dark and I slowed down because I thought I was going to hit them. I thought they were flying so weird because they were trying to get out of the hail, but as soon as I turned the corner onto 71 I realized that they were desperately trying to get away from the tornado, which became immediately visible.

I'm going to try to put into words what this sounded like now. I got out of the car and had to switch my camcorder to night vision to get the tornado stills. As I'm standing there, first I hear the wind whistle, which was no big deal. But then there was a sudden rush of air and a screaming roar. This sounded to me almost like the combination between someone screaming at the top of their lungs and a jet engine together at the same time. And I recognized the Doppler effect in the noise, in that it sounded like the jet was flying down the runway toward me - the noise had a DEFINITE pinpointed location on top of the hill ... just like the sound a truck has as it's moving toward you. That's when I knew that it was coming my way ... and if you look at the three vid caps, you'll actually notice the funnel getting progressively larger as it heads my way ... you can also clearly make out a well-defined RFD at the top of the funnel. That's when I booked south and flashed my lights at folks ... as soon as I went south, several bands of wrapping rain hit my car as well, and I could tell because of the circular motion of the rain that they were wrapping the tube tight up against it.

Anyway, that's the rest of the story ... I'll never forget that noise. It's burned into my brain forever.

I'm going back up today to get some damage shots after a dentist appointment this morning. Hope to see at least a few chasers in Lincoln tomorrow in the morning ... I'm sure more than one of us will be heading out quickly in the afternoon to hopefully make it to what looks like an ideal tornado producing setup at this point.
[/b]

Far from raking you over the coals, I'm rather marveling that this sort of thing doesn't happen more often - particularly for chasers but for the general public as well. One thing I've noticed in my chasing and the cahse videos I've watched is that there are a lot of cars on major highways that never seem to notice there's a tornado near the road. Some of them may be chasers, but I get the impression that many are members of the general public who don't realize what they are seeing. I'd like to hear from my SPC, NSSL, and WFO colleagues on this.

I wonder how many people on Highway 71 saw what you did and didn't have a clue to what it really was?

I've had a few experiences similar to this, though not quite as hairy as crossing the bow of a tornado at close range as you did. My nastiest one was 5/27/2001 in the People Chaser derecho. I don't normally have a nowcaster, and my lack of situational awareness that night got me into big trouble. I didn't realize that the system had evolved into a derecho, and despite the fact that I could barely keep ahead of it driving 60+ mph it really didn't register how fast it was moving. Additionally, after it got dark there were CG's well out in front of the gust front, which led me to believe other cells were forming ahead of the line. To make a long story short, I got broadsided by the derecho on I-40 and probably drove into the RFD of an embddded HP psychobeast for good measure. Not fun!

Another such experience was 5/22/2004. I was coming down U. S. 81 south of Hebron, Nebraska just before dark, cutting in front of a cell coming out of Republic County, Kansas. I started to get dime-sized hail, which made me rather nervous as there are no places to shelter from hail along that stretch of road. I get south just across the Kansas border and look westward, and there is a stacked-plate supercell in the distant dusk with a hose hanging out the bottom (I think Melissa Moon and others were in that area with the same view). What astounded me were the people coming eastward on a dirt road, then turning northward on 81 into the darkness on a collision course with this supercell. And not only with this supercell. Lurking in the dark was the Hallam psychobeast and the Furnas county supercell, now at the head of a backbuilding squall line. I headed south at that point. :)

Two closing comments: "Severe thunderstorms can produce tornadoes with little or no warning". :) And "If you can hear this, you are much too close!".

Moderators, my apologies if this is not the right place for this and it needs to be moved to the weather and chasing section.

Jack Beven
Tropical Prediction Center
 
I'll have to look. I remember seeing a PNS for the tornadoes near and east of Edmond, but don't remember seeing anything from west of there. I know I didn't see it, but that doesn't necessarily mean it wasn't released. I've asked a couple of my chase partners and they don't remember seeing one either. One of my friends (with a connection at OUN) said that WFO OUN was unsure how to classify some of the damage out near Geary, so they were investigating it further.

EDIT: I know at least I didn't see it since I posted about the exact same thing in the 5/29/04 REPORTS thread. I'm still reasonably confident that it at least didn't get disseminated like typically occurs, though again I may have missed it (I was looking pretty hard for it, though).
[/b]

I am pretty sure Jeff is correct. I was on that storm and looked and looked for a PNS, in part to see whether anyone was able to confirm that a couple funnels I saw touched down. The only thing I ever saw was the report that appeared in Storm Data.
 
I am pretty sure Jeff is correct. I was on that storm and looked and looked for a PNS, in part to see whether anyone was able to confirm that a couple funnels I saw touched down. The only thing I ever saw was the report that appeared in Storm Data.
[/b]

Jeff is defintley correct, as I storm chased with him on the 5-29-04 OK beast. I waited for both an LSR (short term) and a PNS (long-term) with confirmation of tornado tracks from that day for well over 1 month..2 months...3 months...6 months...and it never showed until Storm Data. I don't know if it was relased and somehow I missed it, but as was the case with the above accounts, we never saw anything on it.

And that brings me to the 3-30 event. Basing for groups in SC OK, I saw the "no-doubter" Velma tornado that Shane Adams eluded to in the above post. The OUN warning desk has a bank of TVs and it should be noted that the actual tor warning came out shortly after good chopper video from KFOR (broadcasting live on the internet) showed intense cloud base rotation AND spinups at the surface. In the rotation of this "halfway down" funnel was clearly a farm house.

Brings up an interesting question...and I'm not calling anyone out or anything...but it really needs to be asked. Are we trying to avoid having a high false alarm ratio or are we protecting the public? Is that why we aren't seeing this reported? Sure, it's great to have a live picture...its the best spotter report you can get, but the radar signatures were pretty clear cut, and given the kinematic and thermodynamic enviornment along with the presentation of the storm at the time of the incident, it makes you wonder.
 
Brings up an interesting question...and I'm not calling anyone out or anything...but it really needs to be asked. Are we trying to avoid having a high false alarm ratio or are we protecting the public? Is that why we aren't seeing this reported? Sure, it's great to have a live picture...its the best spotter report you can get, but the radar signatures were pretty clear cut, and given the kinematic and thermodynamic enviornment along with the presentation of the storm at the time of the incident...and I digress. [/b]

As far as I know, there also was no PNS regarding the 3-20 tornado east of Taloga. IIRC, it hit a barn, so it did cause some damage. There was zero lead-time with this tornado, however. This obviously is NOT a comment about the fact that there was no lead time, since mini-supercells are often hard to examine on the 88D radars to begin with, especially on days that are atypical (such as that 3-20 cold core day). I emailed someone at OUN last year about their policy, and was told that they do not really release PNSs for short-lived tornadoes or tornadoes that don't produce much damage. As I said in another thread (I think, or maybe it was in this thread), I'd like to see this policy change, since other offices don't seem to have a problem releasing some more info about all tornadoes in their CWA, even if it is just a quick blurb about a short-lived one.

EDIT: As a moderator note... I know this thread may be digressing from the 3/30 event (my posts included). But this topic is intertwined with the 3/30 event (see Chad's post above, for example), so I think splitting this up this discussion would likely cause more confusion (and degrade clarity) than would leaving the posts in this thread. The DISC thread type was designed as a catch-all for discussion about an event. As long as discussion pertains to the event (which I think this current one does, as do Jack Beven's comments in regard to Mike P's experiences), it can go in here.
 
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