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4/20/04: REPORTS

Granville, IL Wedge Tornado 4/20/0
Tuesday April 20, 2004
Video/Photo(s) By: Jerry Funfsinn -- Creativejetstream.com

This is a small segment or video currently feeding into BNVN at this time from IL. This large tornado was filmed near Granville, IL. More to come as more video feeds in.

Video Gallery: http://www.weathervine.com/severe/4_20_04.html






Jeff Gammons
 
20 April 04

Wow....what a day. I started out around 1230 heading towards Tulsa with a target area of Bartlesville. I reached Bville and downloaded some updated data, watching the cell go up along I35 and soon after the cell go up in Osage Co. I decided to go after the one in Osage and headed east on hwy 60. I met up with the cell just east of Pawhuska, at this time it was forming a nice wall cloud. I also met up with Geoffrey Callhoun and we decided to caravan for the rest of the day. We stayed with this cell for a little over an hour. It began to look linear and after speaking to Lance Maxwell (who did a great job NOWCASTING for me), we decided to leave this one and head S. for the cell going up SE of Tulsa.

We jumped oh hwy 11 and raced off towards Tulsa we punched the core as we turned W on I412 and then S on hwy 97. After traveling a few miles on 97 through blinding rain and hail we heard reports of tornado on the ground approx. 1 mile to our SW. We could not see a thing so stopped in our tracks and watched for any sign of a tornado. Unable to locate one and the rain letting up we continued S on 97, looking to our E we could see the Wall Cloud rotating vigorously, I am told that was a second area of rotation. Trying to stay with that storm through Tulsa proved to be a feat we could not do, getting lost we decided to head SE for the cell near Stroud.

Lance guided us out of Tulsa and onto hwy 75 heading south towards Beggs. We watched the monster storm to our SW and raced down hwy 75, we arrived in Beggs and began to head west on hwy 16 just long enough to see we would need to go further S to avoid hail core. This was around 2000 and it was getting dark, so we headed east on 16 to 75 and turned S. We stopped just far enough S on 75 to safely watch this Monster from a distance. We were treated to a great light show, this cell was extremely electrically charged, after watching for a while headed home.

Well the day was long and without a tornado sighting, but I would not classify as a failure b/c I saw some great storms and perhaps a rain wrapped tornado. I will post the pics of wall clouds and other pics soon.
 
Originally posted by Jeff Gammons
Granville, IL Wedge Tornado 4/20/0
Tuesday April 20, 2004
Video/Photo(s) By: Jerry Funfsinn -- Creativejetstream.com

This is a small segment or video currently feeding into BNVN at this time from IL. This large tornado was filmed near Granville, IL. More to come as more video feeds in.

Video Gallery: http://www.weathervine.com/severe/4_20_04.html

Jeff Gammons

Yeah, Looks Like The "New Sheriff" In Town, Had The Day Off!
 
Got off work in T-town late but was on the road by 5:15. Headed out 412 to 99 then south almost to Drumright where we intercepted the wall cloud-ish area of what would be the Sapulpa-Tulsa-BA supercell.

Made a terribly stupid decision to head back north and then east rather than going directly east at Drumright. Anyway, after lots of small hail and tons of rain along 51, we were finally able to dive back south on 75 just in time to drive directly under the nicely sculpted vault and watch another wall-cloudish area pass just north of the US 75 - 71st St intersection. The lowerings looked impressive but I did not appreciate much rotation. Have never been north of the vault before (don't really want to be again), but it was an impressive sight to behold as I finally cleared the core and found clear air.

Cannot comment personally on the purported tornado just north of Sapulpa as I was still attempting to swim out of the core at the time of the reports. However, if the Tulsa news channels' videos are any indication, then this tornado was dubious. What I've seen on the videos thus far showed a wrapping rain curtain and low-hanging scud w/o rotation (the infamous "sheriffnado").

Followed various lowerings and wrapping rain curtains through Tulsa all the way to northern Broken Arrow. Never saw any really strong rotation with any lowerings, and I was inside the rain curtains most of the way through Tulsa. Not even anything I would really call a funnel, honestly. Did see multiple power flashes just east of the BA Expwy - Lynn Lane intersection around 8 pm or so. Could easily have been from straight-line winds, although the power flashes generally occurred in a linear pattern so a low-visibility, rain-wrapped tornado is possible as well. Will wait for damage reports.

Anyway, unless I had my head completely up my arse today, I think the real-time situation was poorly covered by local media. Just too many dubious reports. I would love to be wrong and restore my faith in those whom the public trusts for their weather info. Any help?
 
Brief: Was *totally* caught off guard today and not expecting to chase. Departed Kalamazoo, Michigan around 6pm ET and vectored southwestward on I-94 towards NW Indiana (Lake Co). Intercepted a low-topped tornadic supercell near Cedar Lake, Indiana at dusk; encountering intense CG lightning coupled with a massive LP'esque mini-mothership mesocyclone which came into view directly over HW41 apx 6-8 miles to my north. Amazing I saw anything considering the late departure and traffic encountered on HW30 in Lake Co. Indiana.

Summary - Full:

I have hardly even had time to post my reports from the weekend chase to Iowa and Minnesota; which I was going to begin writing until briefly glancing at ILX 88D via the COD.edu webpage. Unaware of the tornadic situation unfolding across northern and central IL until around 5pm ET; I debated chasing due to the proximity of nightfall around 8-830pm CT. The massive low-topped supercell near Peru, IL (along I-80) sold me.... quickly grabbing my camera gear, tripod, and maps... I streaked out the door (fortunately wearing pants) and made my way southwestward. Before departing, I noticed new cells firing up S of Kankakee, IL; either SVR or TOR warned... alas, those were in the back of my mind while driving SW on I-94 in Michigan.

Stopped to fill up the tank in Michigan City, Indiana; and noted on video the amazing amount of visible shear in the atmosphere just N of the warm front. I was in grunge, but peaks of blue/sunshine occasionally filtered through as I made my way into Indiana. Phoned Chris Novy whom graciously informed me of new TOR warned convection just to my SW. Received the NOAA tones and a TOR warning for Lake/Newton Co. in NW Indiana. NWR stated that "a large and destructive tornado was on the ground"; a statement I have never encountered until tonight in NE IL/NW IN. That got the blood boiling as I was slowed by Sunday'esque drivers along I-94/80. Deciding the better play/easier intercept would be the supercells entering NW IN; I committed to the Kankakee storm and shot south on I-65. The northern supercell/updraft tower came into view at dusk as I exited on HW30 and headed west. This feature quickly became obscured, as Novy informed me the stronger tornadic supercell was just to my SW.

Attempted to get through Merrillville/Independence Hill, IN as quickly as possible; as I was hitting HW30 in post-rush hour -- dinner hour (many people were out). Hit all red lights on HW30; annoying me; but I continued on... shooting south on HW41. Novy called back, informing me the 88D couplet was just to my SW between Kreitzburg and Brunswick; thus meaning I had to drop S (HW41 is a great N-S highway BTW) in a hurry. Noticed a large inflow band directly to my south, flowing west into the murky abyss which was a large meso/wall cloud (not visible yet). Stopped a few times to get my barings/check the surroundings; didn't feel safe in 30kt easterly inflow so I dropped south. Now S of HW2 and HW41, I pulled off, along with a truck of local fireman (spotters whom inquired what I was looking at). I informed them about the situation, and it was about this time a large LP'esque mini-mothership came into view directly over HW41 (view was N/NW). Rolled video, but have yet to review what the result was (as I boosted the shutter to 1/3 a second). The local spotters called this into their spotter net, and I proceeded to turn around and head N.

Shot east on HW2 towards Lowell with the "mini-mothership" (resembling a miniature version of Pampa, TX on 23-May-2002) just to my N/NE. The cell rapidly lost intensity once I was driving northbound on I-65 towards it... intermittent lightning noted.

Was SHOCKED and saddened to learn about the large and deadly tornadoes across N. CEN Illinois today. Like most people; I was unaware of the developing severe weather situation until the event was in progress. What *really* shocked me was that SPC totally missed this... *yet* LOT NWSFO (Chicago) did a *fantastic* job of getting the warnings out on a last minute/and timely basis!

*MANY* thanks to nowcasters Chris Novy and Scott Kampas... your eyes on the electronic sky were extremely valuable, considering I was chasing alone... at night!

It just goes to show that no matter how much technological and meteorological know how is in place, the atmosphere dictates it's own behavior and does not adhere to the electronic boundaries set fourth by we humans. My sincere condolences to those lost in the winds of this terrible Tuesday in N. IL and the upper midwest. Yet on the other spectrum, congratz to all those whom chased and witnessed nature in all its fury and awe.

..Blake..

Blake W. Naftel - KC8VPG
[email protected]
www.mammatus.com
 
Pretty tough day not knowing where tail-end Charlie storm would be - and with storms just backbuilding further and further SW anyway. Set up northeast of Tulsa area - wanting to avoid the Tulsa metro area as well as bad road network of Osage County - but by the time storms came into play here it was getting dark and I was way out of position for stuff that kept building further and further SW. Lightning display was quite intense after dark. Also got into some marble to dime sized hail just west of Henryetta on the way back.
 
Wow, I sure didn't expect, of all things, to see my first tornado today. But I did, and it was a beauty. Backlit, and from an isolated cell with decent terrain. You just don't get that in Indiana very often. There's not a whole lot to say though, Mike Kruze and I headed south around 3:30 to look for some cold air funnels, and ended up on this isolated cell in extreme southern Boone Co, IN. The cell we originally were on ended up producing a tornado up in Kokomo, and this one hit Jamestown. Pics are linked below:

http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~bcotton/wx/chase/20apr04/


Ben
 
Originally posted by Eric Edgar
Got off work in T-town late but was on the road by 5:15. Headed out 412 to 99 then south almost to Drumright where we intercepted the wall cloud-ish area of what would be the Sapulpa-Tulsa-BA supercell.

Made a terribly stupid decision to head back north and then east rather than going directly east at Drumright. Anyway, after lots of small hail and tons of rain along 51, we were finally able to dive back south on 75 just in time to drive directly under the nicely sculpted vault and watch another wall-cloudish area pass just north of the US 75 - 71st St intersection. The lowerings looked impressive but I did not appreciate much rotation. Have never been north of the vault before (don't really want to be again), but it was an impressive sight to behold as I finally cleared the core and found clear air.

Cannot comment personally on the purported tornado just north of Sapulpa as I was still attempting to swim out of the core at the time of the reports. However, if the Tulsa news channels' videos are any indication, then this tornado was dubious. What I've seen on the videos thus far showed a wrapping rain curtain and low-hanging scud w/o rotation (the infamous \"sheriffnado\").

Followed various lowerings and wrapping rain curtains through Tulsa all the way to northern Broken Arrow. Never saw any really strong rotation with any lowerings, and I was inside the rain curtains most of the way through Tulsa. Not even anything I would really call a funnel, honestly. Did see multiple power flashes just east of the BA Expwy - Lynn Lane intersection around 8 pm or so. Could easily have been from straight-line winds, although the power flashes generally occurred in a linear pattern so a low-visibility, rain-wrapped tornado is possible as well. Will wait for damage reports.

Anyway, unless I had my head completely up my arse today, I think the real-time situation was poorly covered by local media. Just too many dubious reports. I would love to be wrong and restore my faith in those whom the public trusts for their weather info. Any help?

I don't know about the Tulsa stations' coverage, but OKC's was great as usual. The video I saw on KWTV of the tornado near Sapulpa looked like...well, a tornado.
 
Just a quick summary of yesterday's events:

Followed many of the non-tornadic thunderstorms in S. Kansas into N. Oklahoma. Headed south from Bartlesville upon hearing about the tornadic thunderstorm near Tulsa. Cell just west of us was tornado warned so we stuck around and watched the rapidly rotating wall cloud pass directly over Ramona, OK. About 10 min after the warning was issued(~7:30), a tornado touched down (mostly rain wrapped) about 3 or 4 to the east of Ramona(or near Talala). I have video of this event and plan on posting a few images once I get a few free hours.

Gabe
 
Last night was my first attempt at a chase. I knew I probably wouldn't see much but I was mezmerized the whole time just with the lightning. I left work in Kansas City at about 5:30pm and started to head south, which was a mistake because as soon as I got into traffic there was a bulletin that the storm was almost to Harrisonville so I needed to head east quick. I got to 50 hwy and went east to Warrensburg, passing under a thick cloud layer but not much was going on other than the lightning, which was quite a show. Once I got to Warrensburg it was pooring but almost dark so I decided to head home. Not much of a chase but it was fun.
 
I stayed in SE Kansas yesterday and i regret it. My initial target area was a Coffeyville-Bartlesville line and i should have kept to it. The only thing i saw was a 12 mile long shelf cloud w/ 40 mile/hour wind and heavy rain. Hopefully today south of tulsa will be better.
 
WOW!!!!!!!!!

As sheer coincidence would happen I was with my chase partner in Davenport for what was going to be a meeting with storm spotters in the Quad Cities, IL area. This is a detailed account and summary of what we experienced. Photos to follow later. The Chase Team that had to quickly get going was myself and Jacki Earnest, nowcasted by Daniel Earnest.

At around 10 in the morning the day started as drab as possible. 49 degrees and moderate rain, lots of stratus. In fact, we had just joked about going on a successful "stratus chase", and thought that would be the only excitement we would get out of the day......

We went to the public library to check on data and forecasts. There was, as noted, no indications at all we were to go to Illinois.... we thought the warm front would get close to our region but not quite make it through....... the NWS had no indication of severe wx in our area except for the "low probability" of such.... severe wx was possible to the south in Missouri, we contemplated heading south toward knoxville, Missouri...but based on the low probabilities we decided against it..

So.....we wasted time and basically just decided to enjoy the day until the stormspotter meeting. Until I looked outside and noticed the clouds were taking on "that look".

I said "That aint good" meaning "This is great". Immediately flicked on the NOAA Weather Radio to be surprised by a new SVR watch. We were ecstatic. Little did we know.....

We high tailed it to the library to get info.....and were we shocked to hear reports of a "Large Tornado" on the ground to our southeast. However, the tornadic storms were too far away to catch at that point, and it was getting later in the afternoon. So we targeted a strong storm developing just southeast of Iowa CIity, hoping we would get some show there.

We drove west on 6 to I 80 and noticed the clouds building dramatically, and soon a large anvil appeared. Turning north on 38, we were greeted with an awesome wall cloud to the north. We turned west on a county road and stopped to watch.

We were able to visually confirm a large bowl-shaped wall cloud. Also , a funnel rached down halfway to the ground at that point. We are terming this as a "possible tornado" due to its proximity to the ground and tohe fact we could not confirm a ground circulation. Soon, this and its parent accessory cloud dissipated....and we turned around and headed south to the tail end of this developing line.

WOW..

The most amazing, amazing shelf cloud was now in progress on what had evolved into a dramatio squall line. This baby was rolling...backlit by solid precipitation and isolated hail shafts, this was the sight to see. Once in a while a funnel-like vortex structure would form in the roll cloud. Little if any in the way of CG however alot of IC lightning.

AS the storms overtook us in that magic area between shelf cloud and precipitation, we were greeted to absolutely mezmerizing cloud turbulence as a result of the outflow. It was absolutely unworldly. Ive seen this before, but not this pronounced or well defined. AMAZING.

Heading back, we heard of more confirmed tornadoes to our east and were saddened that we missed some of the action. We were more saddened and angry that there were fatalities....no chaser in his or her right mind wants to hear that.

All in all a very successful chase with great pictures. We were treated well on this chase of April 20 in Eastern Iowa..

Jeff Miller/Jacki Earnest
J Squared Chase Team
www.ozark24.com
 
Congratulations to everyone for such incredible intercepts yesterday - will be a day to remember for sure. Enjoyed the landspout pics, mike ... sweet! ... I wonder, though - if this was a mini supe, which it looks like - couldn't this be considered as a tornado? It doesn't look like there is any defined meso on that storm (and in fact it looks a little high), but it's in the right place with an RFD coming up behind it ... just wondering if this could be classified as a tor if it was coming from a mini supercell ... was there any storm-scale rotation indicated on radar in the storm? -

Congratulations to Ben on his first sighting - - and to those in Oklahoma yesterday too ... you have an exciting couple of days lined up down there.
 
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