4/21/05 Reports: NE,KS,MO

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Larry J. Kosch

Mod Note: Please keep Report threads limited to CHASES.

Edit: Original post edited out)

We had heavy rains, little if any hail or wind, that moved thru the Lincoln NE area about 5:30-6:00. Don't know how much we got, but it was a gutter buster! Lincoln got close to two inches of rain in a short period of time. Other areas of SE Nebraska such as Nebraska City and Falls City got closer to four inches of rain.

Here are some photos I shot from my front yard in Lincoln NE:

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That's not baseball sized hail!! That's the flash effect from my camera during the heavy rains.
My Buick Century is getting a car wash!!

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A shot of my neighbor's mailbox and the rain falling.

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Did I mention how it was a gutter buster??
This is probably a plugged drain due to tree seeds clogging up the pipes.
Time to clean the gutters!

Thanks. LJK
 
I drove 177 miles today. Saw lots of convection and even managed to intercept the warm front as it made its way north (I'm pretty sure anyway). Also discovered the small town of Haddam where the nice lady at the post office told me how to get myself unlost. My camera wasn't working properly (both displays are malfunctioning) so what pictures I did take look like crap so I won't bother uploading them. I did get myself under an updraft early on, but it petered out before it really got going. I did see a whole bunch of turkeys. I'm going to start carrying a gun with me. If I don't get a tornado at least I'll get lunch.

I made the mistake of shooting south to Washington, KS to try and play the warm front. Should have stayed in Jefferson County. I also really should buy a Kansas map.

Total miles: 177
Total gas used: little over a quarter tank (w00t)
Total wildlife: Friggin turkeys everywhere.
Convection: All over the damn place.
Total tornadoes: 0
Total hail: 0
Total rain: 0
Total total: total
 
AAArrg!!! What is with HP supercells and rain wrapped tornadoes!

I was on many storms today, from the development of the storm near Manhattan, I was on that one from Topeka northward, then on to the Horton storm, then on to the Lancaster/Atchison/Potter storm, then on to the Weston storm. (Thanks to everybody who told me where to go)

I saw lots of rotation, most evident in the Atchison/Potter storm. But the rotation is not the big catch, while driving down US Highway 73 between Kansas Highways 74 and 192 about 3 miles from Leavenworth county, I pulled over to the side of the road and witnessed some ground rotation about 100-200 feet in front of me and just right after that (2-3 seconds), blinding rain poured down and I saw the rain rotate around a column just to the front of me. And by that time, a tremendous dash of wind came through, almost broke my windshield wiper by bending it back far enough. I also witnessed a lot of tree limbs being snaped from some trees along with some shingles from a house being blown away, and all that while my car is slightly shaking. Tornado? I am thinking so, looking at radial velocities from archived radar data, there was extreme rotation in the area that I was at (rain wrapped tornado, ugh). Unfortunately, I do not have any video of the event because my camcorder thought it was interesting to not work on me because of some condensation problem :evil:

Some pictures from today:

Storm Development (storm developing NE of Manhattan from first CU to supercell)
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TOR-Warned Storm (4 miles east of Potter)
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Seeing all those TOR reports in SE Kansas makes me wish I kept my "changed" target of this morning to Coffeyville. Oh well, can't win 'em all.

Miles: 430
Tornadoes: 1
Hail: 3 times golf-ball sized, 2 times quarter-sized
Wind: Felt at least 60-70MPH winds
 
This afternoon I got in about 2 1/2 hours worth of good chase time. I left around 4:30 PM and reached Desoto, KS by 4:40 PM. There I intercepted a decent storm, which was mainly a hail producer. I got about half dollar size hail out of it, but sadly no tornadic activity. 5:40 PM the tornado warnings came out for Clay, Jackson, and Platte Counties in MO. I intercepted that storm at MO Hwy 9 and I-635. I observed a nice rotating wall cloud, with a funnel aloft. The storm quickly moved east-northeast and dissapated. Looks like the severe threat has ended for the area, I just wish it would have lasted longer, maybe I would have had a better chance of seeing some tornado activity, but I'm not calling this one a complete bust. The severe weather season is just beginning and more chase days lie ahead, so I'm not too worried about it. Unfortunately I'm unable to post any photos as my camera decided that it wanted to quit working.

Miles: 56
Gas Used: 1/2 tank
Tornadoes: none
Hail-Half dollar to golfball size
Winds-20-50 MPH
 
Not much time to write ... will post more later ... got at least one tornado, possibly two, and the worst hail core I've been in south of Atchison, Kansas ... my car is one big dent right now ... the storm is still just south of us, but I need to edit some of this video ... BEAST of a storm. Made the mistake of cracking the window for a pic during the hail when a 1" piece flew through and hit my leg at mach 1 ... now I have a big welt that I'm sure will be a bruise tomorrow ... the hail covered the ground like a bad snowstorm ....


Edit:
Alright ... all calmed down now. :) Time for the full report and a few shots. We had targeted NE Kansas/NW Missouri today and decided to head west toward what became the Atchison cell as it was forming to the southwest of Hiawatha, Kansas. We got under the anvil ... saw some nice crisp mammatus, and headed south on 75 to intercept the rotation, meeting a couple fellow chasers from the board here (Ryan Pfannuch I think?). Interestingly, near Horton there was what appeared to be a house on fire JUST EAST of the primary rotation on the storm, with firetrucks and police surrounding the place. I was hoping the storm would spare them while they were trying to do their job and it narrowily did. I was not anticipating such a right turn in this storm, moving it to the southeast. We followed directly east, then south, then east, then south again. Each time getting lost in horrible wrapping downdraft and then re-emerging into the cage to see the meso again. To the west of Atchison the storm produced ground circulation in the middle of some light wrapping rain, and then again south of Atchison it produced again, this time with a condensation funnel ... Ben, you describe your position really close to the location where we observed this ... we were just north of you. It's difficult to make out in the photos/video, simply because we were surrounded by rain and hail (YUCK!) ... but then the real fun begins. The hail core caught up with us in a BIG way. There was nowhere to go but to take shelter to the side of a large oak that offered minimal protection. My car still has a million new dents thanks to today's storm. The hail piled up like snow around us, mixed with limbs, leaves, etc. The storm continued a southerly turn over the river and we decided that the meso was appearing too disheveled at this point and wanted to get home and work on the vid. Were glad to catch what we did, but these super HP storms wear me out big time ...

One of the other COOLEST things we saw today was a fence post that had been struck by lightning ... both it and the ground around it was on fire ... we weren't worried about the fire spreading, though ... it was about to get smacked with rain on a scale that Noah would have been proud of.

Sorry for so many pics ...

Mammatus SW of Hiawatha:
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Developing wall cloud:
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Brief, wrapped ground circulation west of Atchison:
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South of Atchison (east of 59 in the river bluffs):
(Note: GPS positioning places this tornado apx. 11.9 south of Atchison, near Potter, Kansas, to the north of the Leavenworth county line.)
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Hail (notice hail fog forming above the piles of hail - very cool):
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I drove down towards the St. Louis area to play the warm front. Sat around Carollton, IL around 4 PM. Beautiful supercell developed in eastern Missouri, and headed straight for me. But then, something happened. I dont know how, or why, but it went poof. Gone. Everything then shifted south, and I had nothing left to play with. The warm front became silenced...and the SPC quit talking about western Illinois. I sat there for two hours, before leaving around 7PM. One hour later, a storm explodes over my very target, and drops golfball sized hail. Grumble..oh well. Still April I guess...first bust of the season was bound to occur sometime. Just wish it wasnt after 300 long miles.
 
Peggy and I targeted NE KS today and ended up on the right mover that went through Atchison KS. As the cell moved East towards Atchison/ Leavenworth we punched through the strong meso winds, wrapped golf ball hail and hail fog (which was cool). Just south of Atchison we popped out under a very low base with strong rising motion, rotation, and lowerings above us. Almost immediately we were engulfed by rain curtains. We crossed the river near Leavenworth and continued following the beastly HP driving through heavy rain, hail, and strong winds to finally abort just south of Liberty. The mammatus were incredible as we pulled in for dinner!

I would love to hear reports from the tornadic storm down in SE Kansas that looked so great on radar!

Mel
 
04/21/2005 St Mary NE Chase Report

I'll keep this short and to the point. Chased with Dean Cosgrove today and we targeted the area around Beatrice NE. The Kansas storms were just too far out of reach.

We were on several of the storms that were looking to produce but just did not have it in them. Then we got on the storm east of Beatrice and got cored. Lots of new hail dents in my new jeep. Oh well... It had to happen sooner or later, its a chase truck.

We followed the storms up to Nebraska City were they just were not worth chasing anymore. Dean headed back towards home in Curtis NE and I bailed for Minneapolis. 1100 mile round trip today but it was not for nothing. I got some sweet dash cam footage of the hail and my new dash cam mount is "Rock Solid". Ask me in July what it is and I'll let the secret out then but til then... I also got to try out my new PD-170 in the field and that camera is nice. Video quality I think is better then the VX 2100 and is better in low light then most of the HD cams.

I posted a video of the chase up on http://www.lightningboy.com
 
I got on 4 TOR-warned storms in the general area of Jefferson City, MO today. None produced tornadoes; all were prolific hail producers, ranging in size from 1.25 to 2.5". The most impressive storm was in Osage Co., which produced a well-defined, round-based wall cloud. This storm and most of the others moved/built southeast, cycling and backbuilding as one meso would wrap up in rain to be replaced by another to the southeast. As this happened on the Osage Co. storm near Loose Creek, I tried, coming from the west, to nudge the back edge of the wrapping precip to get position on the updraft base to the SE of the wrapping meso, but got turned back by the hail - mostly 1/4 - 1/2 inch but a few dimes; but both the size and amount were increasing enough I didn't want to press my luck by going any further. LSRs revealed golfballs reported just a few miles away, so I think discertion was the better part of valor in this case.

Here is a picture of the wall cloud on the Osage Co. storm, taken from east of Jefferson City on route 50:

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A full report with about a half-dozen video captures is now available at:

http://www.siue.edu/~jfarley/Chase42105.htm

Or, you can follow the link from my main Weather Observation page at:

http://www.siue.edu/~jfarley/wxobs.htm

I may post some additional pics later, and will update this post if/when I do.
 
Wow!! Fun day. Will keep this short as I am tired and have to get up pretty early tomorrow morning to leave for Kansas City for some MLB!! :)

In short, intercepted 3- possibly 4 tornadoes in SE Allen/SW Bourbon counties in KS... one from a very close distance. Time's were between 6-7pm.

Targeted EC/SE KS this afternoon, possibly forecasting development a bit too far north, luckily was able to adjust and make this a successful chase. Sat around the Burlington-Yates Center region until around 5pm.. towers came and went.. none ever became established. Noticed the backing winds in SE KS and the obvious convective tops/radar echos beginning to show up, decided to head South and blow off earlier target area (good call). Arrived in NE Allen county and unfortunently was hearing reports of tornadoes like crazy with the farthest south cell.. decided it was too far away and went against the N-S storm rule that the storm to my south would rob the storm nearer Iola of great inflow, it did, however it did not keep it from producing quite a show. The farther south storm was also 30 miles away and would require a core punch to intercept (wx worx was indicating 2 inch hail hmm..) decided to position myself for the storm in SE allen county with appeared quite weak for a time on radar. Drove East of Iola in Eastern Allen county experiencing some very heavy rains and at last, a pea size hail core. What was really awesome was coming out of the hail core and being greeted by the site of a MASSIVE low-hanging wall cloud right in front of me, classic supercell! Headed east and passed right under the wall cloud and positioned myself just east of it in SW Bourbon county. Pulled over on a side road to take some pictures of the wall cloud/noting some increasing rotation within. A couple minutes later, decided it was getting too close and also seemed to be moving at a fairly fast clip so I pulled out, next thing I know, my girlfriend shouts "look look.. I saw something!!" A tree was blocking my view and I pulled back up, I was greeted by the site of a fastly protruding funnel 1/4 mile or so (maybe not even that far, literally in the field I was parked outside of) I looked quickly on the ground and noted defined dust being kicked up on the ground indicating definiate tornado. Video review indicates it did not show the debris (only showed tornado for about 3-4 seconds worth, I left very fast) however I can confirm 100% there was a substancial amount of dirt/grass/whatever getting kicked up. No quicker then about 5 seconds, I decided I better move and fast, not only was it close, it was indeed moving farily dang fast (estimate 20-25mph or so) continued east all the while my girlfriend was taping the tornado (with 3/4 condensation or so) out the side window, it continued on east for about 5 or 6 more min occasionally developing condensation every minute or so very near the ground (I would guarantee it had a circulation a good amount of it's life on the ground, albeit weak, I was just in a moving car headed away from the scene and was tough to see. Finally tornado #1 weakened and a couple minutes later, tornado #2 quickly formed to it's NE maybe a 1/2 mile or so.. this tornado also took on a rope appearence and exhibited full condensation to the ground at one stage for a few seconds.. this tornado much like the first continued for about 5 minutes before fully dissipating. A few minutes later yet another funnel formed near the same area... this funnel was also 1/2-3/4 condensation at points, it is hard to nail down if it had ground interaction however. Continued east, a couple more miles, and set up tripod on a hill (first real tripod chance all day) and watched the wall cloud rapidly rotate north of me, a couple funnels formed however quickly dissapated. Another funnel formed on the SW end of the wall cloud a couple minutes later, this funnel took on almost an elephant trunk look for a couple minutes. A hill obstructed my view from the ground, however at one point the funnel had full condensation and I am very positive this had ground interaction taking place, therefore, I would call this tornado #3. The storm finally blew itself apart near Fort Scott.

Interesting day, I am hearing reports a large tornado was indeed with the farther south storm, that's great, I am sure it was a great show down there today. I am positive the storm farther south negatively affected my storm, surface winds were nearly non-existent much of the time this event was ongoing, the storm however was determined to produce and it put on a very nice show, especially being up close. All things considered, I consider today to be one of my most rewarding chases. I went from a blown forecast to adjusting and intercepting 3 tornadoes and a very enjoyable experience!
 
John, I was on the TOR warned storm that went from southern Cooper County, MO into southern Boone near Ashland. We got a late start as I was tied up in Physics lab until 3:15. Got out just in time to catch the nice hook developing on radar. Nothing like chasing in your back yard. Did get caught up in the golfball sized hail about 3 miles south of Ashland as we were trying to get south of the storm. Got some nice shots of the meso but it never did drop a torn. Was considering dropping down onto the storm you were on east of Jeff City but Hwy 50 east of there is pretty horrible. Decided to come back up to Columbia and head west toward KC to see if we could catch something as they headed east. Came up on a TOR warned storm in SW Carroll county northwest of Marshall. Got shots of a nice wall cloud but it was starting to get dark by then. Got caught up in some small hail and decided to get out of there before it got worse. Stopped in Boonville for a bite to eat and got to watch one heck of a CG show on the way back to Columbia. Wish I had a video camera as some of the bolts were simply amazing. For not seeing any torns, I still would call today a success.

Updated to add photos:

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The last one was taken near dark which is why it's pretty grainy. Haven't gotten the 35mm shots back yet. Hopefully they will be a little better quality.
 
I finally got the monkey off my back. I targeted SE Kansas today and got on the Neosho county storm and saw two tornadoes. I had to approach the storm from the West and I didn't have time to get East of the mesocyclone before a tornado blocked that path. I can't remember any exact locations, but the first tornado was about 2 miles East of me when it touched down. Here is a picture when I was about 1-2 miles away.
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The picture quality isn't good because I had to grab pictures from my video and I tried to manually adjust the white balance and it screwed up the picture quality. The contrast on the first tornado was crap because of my adjusting the white balance and there was also a bright clear notch from the RFD that threw off the color on this portion of the video, so I had to darken it. Don't try to mess with your white balance for the first time when chasing. I never got out my digital camera today. I had my hands full with video and with trying to keep up with the storm.
Here is another picture from about a half mile to the West of the tornado.
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There was a house on the South side of the road that had just been hit when I took the last picture. You could see the debris from it wrap around the back side of the tornado. If I wouldn't have screwed with my white balance you would be able to see it. Here is a picture of the house as I drove by.
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I ran up to the house to make sure everyone was OK. There was a truck sitting on its rear bumper with the front of the car in a tree. It was pretty cool. The people who lived there were fine. The guy and his two little girls seemed like they were in shock. I couldn't even get them to answer my question until the 3rd time I asked it. One of the girls was crying and although I did have my video camera in my hand I didn't think it would be appropriate to start shooting video of their ruined house 30 seconds after it got hit. I really wish I would have gotten at least a quick clip of the truck propped up vertical against the tree. A little further down the road there was a cow that bit the dust. He was laying in the ditch dead while the rest of his herd ran down the road.

The second tornado was a thin white tornado. I still hadn't managed to get East of the mesocyclone so I was stuck again on the West side of the tornado. Here is a picture shortly after it touched down.
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This is when things started to get hairy. The road network got really bad after I took that picture. There was a river in front of me and the only place to cross was North of my location a couple of miles so I had to punch through the core to get back to the tornado. There was already precipitation wrapped around the backside of the tornado when I lost sight of it before I crossed the river. About half a mile after I crossed the bridge, I looked at the radar and saw that the storm had developed a hook echo. I was pretty nervous since I knew the tornado was rain wrapped and fairly strong. As I approached the intersection immediately after the bridge the tornado appeared through the rain about 200 yards in front of me. It kind of scared me a little. If I had gone straight without seeing it I could have been in a lot of trouble. It was about 75 yards wide at the ground and had a pretty intense circulation. After the tornado died out I followed the storm until a little after 7 and then took off so I could get video back to the station.
The locals were out in full force today. I had several block the road in front of me, one drove 10 miles an hour down the middle of the road in front of me so I couldn't pass while a tornado was on the ground about a mile in front of us, and a whole bunch of locals were parked on the side of the road staring at the flanking line cloud base while a wall cloud was rotating behind them in the opposite direction. The last one was kind of funny. I am sure some people had a problem with my driving today so I probably shouldn't be pointing fingers. After being 0 for 5 this season and with an 800 mile bust on Wednesday, I was incredibly excited to be on a tornado again and I was driving like a mad man trying to keep up with the storm.
Sorry to go on for so long, I will wrap it up. It was an incredible chase and I was thrilled to see my first tornadoes of the season. Both tornadoes were pretty strong. A guy who knows what he is talking about said the first one that hit the house would probably be rated a high end F2 or low end F3. The second tornado was pretty strong too. It didn't look like much as a rope when it first touched down, but once it was rain wrapped it had more of a stove pipe shape and the circulation was very strong at the surface. The only downside to the chase was that I ended up losing part of my cell phone antenna when I drove through the branches of a tree that had fallen on the road. If you want to see the video it should be on CNN and TWC tomorrow.
 
We targeted Chanute, KS in anticipation of a meslow/DL buldge pushing east throughout the afternoon in SC Kansas. Chad Lawson, Jo Radel, and myself met up with J.R. Hehnly in Norman, then headed to the target. We blew a right rear tire west of Stroud, and quickly threw on the doughnut and limped the 12 miles east into town. "Bill" at Stroud Tire & Auto Supply was very courteous, and had us fixed up in short order.Later in the trip we stopped at Nowata, OK for a fill-up. There we ran into Steve Bluford and friend, who were checking data. They said they were staying in the area to see what would develop. We said our goodbyes once the tanks were full and were off again.

We found a nice spot off of US169 just north of Chanute, and sat there to watch how things developed. Within 15 minutes, a storm fired 20 miles south of us, west of Parsons. We left immediately back south on US169 to KS47, where we turned east. As we drove east, the storm was severe-warned. We drove to US59, and turned south. A few miles later, the base came into view. It was a classic RFB and had some interesting scud activity, so we were hopeful. However trees were becoming a huge problem, so we opted to take a county road west. For the next 5-10 minutes, we stair-stepped the county roads WSW to get in closer to the updraft. After some more visibility isues (again involving trees), we finally made it out in front of this thing with a clear view.

By the time we had found a place to stop, the striations in the updraft were evident; this storm was spinning like a top. The base was still high, but within minutes began to lower rapidly. Scud developed quickly and was pulled into the updraft as a wallcloud formed almost instantly. Rotation was still increasing and we knew it was just a matter of a few moments. A large cone funnel developed, and by this time it was just west of us by maybe a half-mile. Rotation increased even further, and was now violent. JR was just north of us facing north, while we were facing south. We stayed until we lost our nerve and then raced south about 50-100 yards, while JR stood his ground. We turned the car around to point north, and I half worridly/half angerly shouted into the radio to JR to "get the hell outta there!!!" "His lone reply during my repeated pleas was "I'm ok." LOL

The funnel moved over the road, just north of us, when the first condensation finger formed in the air above JR, then touched the ground just to the right of him, starting a whirl of grass and tree debris. I still don't think JR realized how close he was to this thing. The tornado then became a multiple vortex with the large truncated cone above, as it writhed in the field about 300 yards to the northeast. It began to intensify, and a glance upwards showed the tornado was coming from just the east side of the circulation; the entire violent circulation was much wider, and a large and strengthening tornado seemed imminent from this small multi-vortex. As the tornado began to move off to the ENE, RFD crashed us hard and we began to lose visibility as the rain/hail wrap overtook us. After a brief break in the winds, they hit even harder, filled with rain. Just as the top winds hit us (60-70mph from the NW), JR got stuck doing a six-point turn. We had been bailing out to the south in reverse as this happened, but stopped once we saw he was stuck (what we could've done for him I don't know, but we weren't going to leave him there to the storm all alone). Fortunately, his 4-wheel drive did its job and he was able to free himself within 30 seconds, and both vehicles bailed out and continued south. Driving, we'd lost the tornado in the wrap around...but as we came to our next east option and turned, we looked back NE to discover a large stovepipe tornado. (We aren't sure if this was the same tornado or not, but at the time I assumed it was the same one.)

We moved east as the tornado grew larger, to the biggest size of its lifecycle. At its largest/strongest point, it looked very similar to the May 24, 1973 Union City tornado. WE flanked it from the SW over the raminder of its life, as it slowly, gracegully, almost stubbornly roped out. We turned north and were surprised to see the tornado had made a bit of a "comeback" and once again had a snakey funnel 3/4 to the ground. As this phase finally began to ropeout for good, it looked a lot like the crazy farmer video from Nebraska.

We came back to US59 and crossed over, continuing east. Within a mile, the next tornado was down, a graceful, slender white snake. We came in right behind it, as it seemed to stall and sort of meandor around the meso in a circle. As this happened, we came into a clear area right behind it, as it writhed just beyond a distant treeline less than a mile east of us. We got out and shot video, as the rotation became violent. The skinny white snake suddenly anchored into the ground and began spewing a huge red dirt debris whirl, and as this was happening the tornado's raor could be heard. We shot video until we started getting pounded by heavy hail again, as the tornado became completely wrapped up and vanished into a thick core of rain/hail. We moved east again, and either the same tornado re-emerged from the core or a new one developed, as suddenly we had a strong/violent tornado directly across the road from us. We drove east until we feared driving into it, then held up and watched it move north of the road. Shortly after this, it wrapped up and vanished, and we carefully crept east behind it.

About a mile later our chase was stopped by downed trees completely blocking the road. A few chasers ahead of us in the small convoy that had been stopped were outside trying to move the heavy tree limbs. We jumped out and asisted them, to no avail. This was an entire tree, and it wasn't going anywhere. A short time later some men showed up with a chain-saw and made quikc work of the blocking tree. As this was happening, we discovered that our right FRONT tire was flat - that's two flats in the same day now. JR and I did a NASCAR tire change to get the doughnut back on, then all the 4-wheel drive guys plowed around what was left of the tree through the thick mud path other vehicles before us had made. Last to come through was Chad and Jo in Chad's Ford Taurus, as I ran behind them and pushed to keep the momentum up. I nearly fell and busted my a** just as they brokw free of the mud, but at least our chase was back on.

We never recovered in time to see the other tornado reported near Cherokee, but what we had seen was more than enough. In Pittsburg, we desperately sought out anyone who could repair the full-sized tire but had no luck. We were facing a 275-mile drive back home with a doughnut at 60mph. We pulled into a Good Year shop where a semi truck loaded with tires was sitting with its lights on. No employees were there to help us, but we met a nice woman who just happened to be getting dropped off to pick up her car. She offered us to stay at her place for the night, but we kindly declined, as we all had work the next day. We decided to just limp the car home, but first a stop for pizza and a beer to celebrate. The nice lady told us Pizza Hut was our only option.

As we were finishing our meal, the manager came to out table and asked "are you guys stormtrackers?" We replied that yes we were, and he said "you've got a phone call from someone at WAL-MART." We were flabergasted. As it turned out, the kind woman at Good Year had gone to Wally World, told them of our delima, and gotten someone to agree to fix our tire. It had to have been her; no one else knew we were at Pizza Hut.

We went to WAL-MART, got the tire fixed for FREE, and headed home. This chase was the most amazing tornado experience of my life, it topped Mulvane.
 
Just got back from a southeastern KS / southwestern MO chase. Since it is 4:45am, I'll keep this short until I have time to write a full review later today.

Headed out with Gabe Garfield around 12:30 after finally deciding on ne OK over area near I40 and southward. Optimistic about the SSE sfc winds in far ne OK and se KS. TCU struggled with the cap / weak convergence for a while, with lots of turkey towers. Had one storm that look nice north of Miama, and headed towards there. That storm fell apart rapidly, so we continued north into se KS. Talked to Phil back in OUN, notifying us of tornado warnings for storms to our west and north. The "storm" to our immediate west near Chetopah looked like trash, and we heard of a large tornado on the ground northeast of Parsons. Busted northward to catch up, and, over the next few hours, saw MANY wall-clouds, RFD occlusions, and the like. For the most part, the storm appeared to be HP, with wrapping rain curtains and plenty of precip in the RFD region, as well as in the inflow region. It seemed as though we had experienced three RFD punches while near Cherokee -- the first one wet and cold, the second one warm and dry, and the last one wet and cool. At any rate, we followed the storm from northeastern Labette co, into far southern Crawford co, then east-southeastward across northern Jasper. I heard of several tornado reports on ham, though I seriously doubt many of them. We were lookin at the action area for the vast majority of the time (when not fighting trees), and I never saw any tornado, despite the numerous reports. There was a time when I think someone reported a tornado that was actually smoke/vapor from a smoke-stack...

Since it was pretty much dark by the time we reached just south of Jasper, we were going to call it a day. To our south, however, we noticed a very blocky wall-cloud. We figured we could stick with this storm for a bit longer, so we moved east and south on a semi-zig-zag pattern. SGF kept saying this thing was moving east, but I think it had an ESE motion. A few very large wall-clouds from southeast of Jasper to north of Avilla. We were going to let the storm pass us in Avilla, but when strong winds and falling leaves, branches, etc, hit us, we hauled east towards Miller... Now wanting to get out of harm's way, we tried jogging south on 97 towards I44. We stopped 5-6 miles north of Stotts City to watch the action, as it appeared that an RFD punch was occurring to our immediate north. At this time, we saw one VERY low wall-cloud feature to our north, though there seemed to be rising scud and rotation everywhere from out north to our west. The RFD hit us quickly (well, I think it was the RFD, haven't checked out radar yet), again with VERY strong winds and falling leaves, branches, etc. We were actually ALMOST stopped by a train north of Stotts City, though I was just about on the tracks when the red lights started blinking. At any rate, we hauled south towardsI44, then west to call it a day. On the way towards Sarcoxie, we experience rainfall like I have never experience so far. To say that it was raining in sheets is a huge understatement. Whatever the case, with SGF continuing to say that a tornado appeared very likely given radar images, we were glad to be out of a situation in which we always felt like the storm was chasing us.

The lightning activity with this storm was the most intense I have ever witnessed! CC and CG lightning seemed nearly continuous for most of the time southeast of Jasper... It was absolutely incredible. I have never, never seen a storm with as much lightning as this one had.

All in all, a little disappointing that we missed the big tornado from this storm by about 15-20 minutes, and also disappointing that this thing didn't seem to produce after that one. That said, multiple meso occlusions and many wall-clouds made the trip worth it.
 
Had a close to home chase today as i live in Iola (allen County). Headed out aroond 130pm to the west and many cu were going up but none developing towers yet. Looked at data about 245 and decided to head north to Burlington. Saw Philip Flory so i stopped and introduced myself and went on our way. Went north of burlington and stopped near Wolf Creek power plant (at this time i was thinking about the atomic twister movie :D ). Saw some storms go up well to our northeast prob on the missouri side. Receieved a call from Mike Parker about storms going up south of Iola so we flew down 16th rd in Coffey county over to Garnett and then headed south down 169 to the 59/31 JCT. WE can see the storm very clearly now. Just north of moran in allen county got hit with pea sized hail and torrential rain for about 3 minutes on a small storm. Kept driving down 59. About 8 or 9 miles south i looked west and saw 2 tornadoes approx 2 miles east in the SE Allen,NE NEosho,Sw Bourbon county intersection. Turned at Savonburg and headed east. Not sure which road i turned south on but i ended up near Philip on HWY 39. Stopped and filmed for a while. Then it started to move northeast of our location and you could see the rain curtains wrapping around the north side of the wallcloud. Continued to try and stay with this funnel but the road sucked. I lost site of the storm and it disappeared as i drove into Ft Scott with the Sirens still sounding in town. That didnt deter alot of folks, there was hella traffic on US 69 coming into town and people were all standing outside looking around. Congrats too all who saw the other tornadic storms in southern neosho county. Thank you to Mike Parker for the great nowcasting. He helped us get on this storm.

Miles 233
Gas 5/8 of a tank
2 maybe 3 tornadoes
My friend Cory got to see his first Nader on this Chase
 
Well, nothing like trying to chase down a right-turning giant HP from behind. I met up with Dick McGowan in Overland Park around 1:30. Our plan was to get out to Lawrence just west of the metro area and then decide whether to head to SE KS (I had tentatively targeted Coffeyville area) or play the south end of the first watch box in NE KS. By the time we got to Lawrence, the answer was clear as the v-notched anvil of the isolated, well-developed storm NW of Topeka came into view. Reports had it moving ENE at 20mph, so it seemed like an intercept from the S was going to be a cupcake. Took the turnpike to Topeka, then headed N on US 75. By the time we reached Horton, heard report of funnel cloud spotted near Corning, still NW of us in Nemaha County, so we took a west jog which turned out to be mistake that would haunt us. Over the next 2-3 hours, we chased the storm from behind, trying to outflank it by zigzaging E and S. On our southward jogs, the back side curvature of the meso came into view, and we saw scud pushed by outflow then turning and wrapping back underneath the storm. From radio reports, we believed we were tailing the RFD. Each time we made an eastward push, ran into curtain of rain and hail and did not try to punch through because we didn't want to run right into something we couldn't see. By the time we reached Atchison, we had a dilemna of where to cross the MO river. By this time, the storm was moving at 40mph, we headed S to Leavenworth and crossed over, now hearing reports of terminals at KCI airport being evacuated. Terrain was now becoming very hilly, and although warnings kept coming, we decided to call off the chase once we saw the comforting blue signs of the interstate to take us home. Although it was frustrating, and maybe we erred on the side of caution, it was an interesting perspective on a storm.
 
Well, I drove 350 miles today, and all the action ended up less than two miles south of my home. Oh well, it happens to the best. I started the day around 11:30 am and headed west out of Pittsburg, Kansas to my target area of Yates Center, Kansas. Around 3:30 pm I was sitting in Yates Center checking data, and noticed winds at my location were out of the west soutwest. I made the decision to head east towards Iola, Kansas. I checked data again in Iola, Kansas and Allen County had just been included in the Kansas City area Tornado Watch. My next decision was the biggest mistake I had made all day.

I headed north out of Iola on US 169 towards Osawatomie, Kansas, thinking that I could possibly catch up with the Tornado Warned storms in central Missouri. I would have caught up with those storms, but the road network east of Osawatomie pretty much screwed me over. The only county road that would take me straight to the Missouri state line was closed for construction. At this point, I thought my chase day was a bust for sure. I finally made it to US 69 higway, but the Central Missouri storms had already booked it to my north and east and out of my reach. I made the decision to head home on US 69 highway.

As I travelled south, the huge supercells in Neosho County became more and more visible. I stopped in Pleasonton, Kansas to check data using wifi, and Nexrad was showing an awsome hook on the storm in central Neosho County. My only hope of seeing anything with this storm was hauling butt south and possibly core puching the storm.

I continued travelling south on US 69 and when I arrived in Ft. Scott, Kansas they were already sounding their storm sirens. In continued south through town, knowing that the Bourbon County tornado warned storm's inflow would soon be cut off from supercell in Neosho County. I followed State Highway 7 south through Girard, Kansas and finally saw my first wall cloud of the day to my southwest from the intersection of state highway 7 and 126. Get this, I made my way south by slipping past all the large hail and rain with these storms, so no core punch was necessary afterall.

In order to stay east and south of the rotating wall cloud, I head east on K-126 Highway and then shortly I head back south to get a better vantage point. I ended up on K-103 Highway to the east of Weir, Kansas, and pretty much followed the wall cloud and Meso circulation into Missouri, near Asbury, Missouri.

Hopefully I got some good video (haven't had time to check it yet) of the wall clouds I saw today. I followed the wall cloud to a location just southeast of Nashville, Missouri, on 43 highway. It was getting too dark for me to continue, so I headed for home. I will have a more complete chase account and photos posted on this chase, hopfully in a couple of days.

Wall Cloud Approximately 3 Miles North-Northeast of Weir, Kansas

[Broken External Image]:http://rparsons.photosite.com/~photos/tn/8982_348.ts1114186638347.jpg


Wall Cloud Approximately 1 Mile North Of Asbury, Missouri

[Broken External Image]:http://rparsons.photosite.com/~photos/tn/8981_348.ts1114186771457.jpg
 
**Most recent Update - added video to the website of the night tornado and here are also some more notes about the event**

I have now reviewed my dashcam footage from 4-21 and 4-25. In my opinion it pretty much proves the
night tornado I believed I saw that night in Missouri. Note that SPC never added this one to the
log; however I did submit a tornado report to NWS in Springfield via their website - so not sure
what's up with that.

Here's the situation. I was following the storms which had been dropping tornadoes earlier in south
eastern KS and it got dark on me. I decided to cautiously follow the storms into Missouri at night
to see what I could see even though I knew MO's reputation for hills and trees. Before I crossed
over into MO I witnessed a couple of different wallclouds and lowerings on the KS side that went
east into the darkness. Soon after that there were tornado warnings for the area near Jasper, MO. I
contined east and the NWS radio said the tornado should be near Miller at 9:40. There was also a new
tornado warning issued for the area south of Miller and perhaps nearer Mount Vernon. About 9:52 I
was about halfway between Avilla and Miller on hwy 96 and I saw a turquois green power transformer
flash and began seeing a large lowering and what appeared to be a fairly large tornado on the ground
to my southeast as I was headed in pursuit east. Originally I thought it was 5 to 7 miles away, but
after reviewing the pictures and video and seeing the trees in the foreground distance it appears it
is probably less than 2 miles.

Given power transformer flash, an obvious lowering to ground, and same location as the tornado
warning I think this pretty much verifies it.

Here's a link to the video. This is only Window Media format slightly over 1 mb because the mpeg
file is 77 mb and the avi file is up to 600mb!! So there is some quality loss. In the initial scene
where I say 'This is it!' or something to that effect if you look closely to the left side of the
tornado you may be able to see some of the greenish hue of the power transformer flash. This
doesn't seem to show up well on video though. It was very distinct and obvious by eye and that's
why I reacted the way I did. I can kind of see it a bit on the avi version. After that though not
sure if it carries much to the wmv version. Also the wmv is set for display at 320x240 so full
screen probably isn't the best idea.

http://www.tornadoxtreme.com/2005_Chases/A...April21st05.wmv

Note: I may also post a brief video of some of the wallclouds associated with Monday's MayPearl
storm.

**End Most recent Update**

[Broken External Image]:http://www.tornadoxtreme.com/2005_Chases/April_21st_05/IMG_01792_ninbig.jpg
This is a short post because I'm still out in the field in Springfield, MO. I'll update later. I've been having bad trouble with asthma and allergies keeping me from being out on the road last few days and therefore in position for Thursday. I tried to make it to the triple point but I left too late, and was a bit further north than I hoped, and I had to keep stopping to try and breathe as it felt like I was driving with a plastic bag over my head at times. When I realized I couldn't make the ongoing storms and tornado warnings up toward KS and my lower level cu was disappearing north of OKC near the KS border I knew I had to get east. Cells began to develop in se KS and ne OK as I meandered along stopping to breathe occasionally. I finally realized I could possibly catch the storms before dark so I started speeding up.

I took hwy 160 to hit 69 north near Crestline right before sunset. Stuff was ongoing mostly to my north and northeast and I couldn't make out a lot because of moisture, failing light, and dark storm clouds. The area behind me began to build and a couple of tornado warnings were issued north of me related to the Cherokee area. I tried to get in and make out detail but couldn't. The cores were getting larger to my west and southwest and the NWS radio was discussing new tornado warnings related to these if the storm strengthened. I bailed west on 160 between nice looking lowered wall clouds and a funnel lowering on the south of the road not far from me. The two lowered areas looked cool in the backlit sunlight but there wasn't that much of it. I should have grabbed a picture then but was afraid I would be run over by potential developing tornado. Once I got far enough west I turned around and stopped and pulled out my digital cam and was surprised that it could take pictures in almost total darkness.

I followed the area east back across into MO as new tornado warnings were issued for Jasper headed for Miller. Once I was in Carthage I knew I could make Miller, or at least close if I tried hard. I boogied east and closed the distance with somewhat intense lighting starting to strengthen ahead of me. I ran the dashcam. Along the southern side of the road and ahead of me when I was still about 4 or 5 miles from Miller I could see a lowering and intense strikes associated with it. A tornado warning was issued for this area near Mount Vernon, MO. The storm was supposed to be at Miller at 9:40. At about 9:52 I saw a greenish purple power transformer flash at what looked like ground level and directly under the lowered area. I'm pretty sure it was a tornado on the ground. Once or twice I thought I could see a narrow wedge shape, and I also jumped out a bit later and took some shots with my digital camera. Like Xray vision it shot the lowered wallcloud and appears to also show a slanted condensation area extending down into the foreground trees. I got one shot like this with and arcing CG bolt that looks pretty cool. I'll probably post later. I should have called it in but I thought I'd see it better later which of course I never did. When I get home I'll review the cam footage which probably isn't that good because I don't know how to set it to low light. I need to study up and get some cheat notes to carry with me in the field. I did later file a report with Springfield NWS of what I saw.

One note, this is the second time I've chases MO. First time was in the ne corner. I always said I'd never chase MO cause I thought it was terrible winding roads, hills, and trees. So, instead I chase it in the dark in a tornadic thunderstorm - LOL go figure. Strangely though the route I took was mostly flat with fewer trees and many open farming fields with good visibility.

Update:
I've completed updating my website and extracting out a picture from my Rebel XT to post from the night hunt in Missouri.
http://www.tornadoxtreme.com/2005_Chases/A...il_21st_05.html

That shot was taken in total darkness - no moon and was handheld.

One comment....you folks in Oklahoma City sure have it easy as I have to drive 6 hours just to get to 'Go'. Sometimes that sucks a bit. Thinking about it on the drive home OKC is situated in striking distance in any direction. Sure you could argue later in the season it's all up in NE or even further north but it's still closer by 6 hours than me. My original target from the night before based off the 0Z ETA was Emporia, KS. I was up quite a while trying to decide if it would be really decent, and even longer really trying to make up my mind on the best spot to head for. I didn't get to bed until after 1AM CDT. I had hoped to get out early like 5AM but with the asthma and antihistamines I couldn't wake up. I didn't leave until about 8:20. I made pretty good time other than really having to stop a couple of times cause I couldn't breathe and thought I was going to have to call the EMT's. I think I lost at least 2 hours that way. I was initially hoping to target near the triple point or perhaps just a bit south of there on the dryline. Turned out the front was also further north than I had hoped. Activity did start up at the boundary intersection as expected fairly early and continued to intensify during the day. The southeast Kansas destination where the storms fired was not all that far from my original destination, but I was just out of position and needed to get east and into the better air faster. It really pays to be at your target destination in plenty of time to allow for adjustments and monitoring and redeployment especially when that target is about 13 hours away. Had I been feeling better I would have been out the previous days and would have been much closer with less driving than the one day shot I made.

Read your account Shane, and good call on Chanute, KS as a target. Sounds like a fun chase. All in all mine was good other than I had limited daylight time to chase and was often gasping for air.

Allergies / asthma has been better last 2 days and hopefully it will stay that way; however I fear that the Mexican smoke is just around the corner.
 
Storms 04/21/05

Target area: Beatrice Nebraska
Tornado warnings encountered during chase?: Yes
Witnessed:
1. Atleast 2 wall clouds
2. Hail ranging from dimes to golfballs!
3. Tree on fire just after being hit by lightning
4. Tons of awsome CG!
5. Tons of flash flooding!

Link to where people can go to see SOME of the pics I took on this awsome day! :

http://photobucket.com/albums/y72/Supercel...tures%20042105/
 
[Broken External Image]:http://www.extremeinstability.com/stormpics/05-4-21-3243.jpg
Supercell near Tobias(I think).

[Broken External Image]:http://www.extremeinstability.com/stormpics/05-4-21-2.jpg
Road not to get on in a Mustang. I can't believe we got out of that.

[Broken External Image]:http://www.extremeinstability.com/stormpics/05-4-21-3250.jpg
As you can see this wasn't the greatest of chase days.

Congrats to those who nabbed the tubes in se KS.

http://www.extremeinstability.com/05-4-21.htm
More pics and an account.
 
I had arrived in Neb City about 4ish, headed south on US-75 and was just about to call it a day when another DITOR was issued for Otoe County. Crabbed on state roads to SW of Neb City, this area was west of where OAX's nowcast said the 'most dangerous' part should be, but this was the most visible part of the storm:

[Broken External Image]:http://www.opensecrets.us/DSC01374.JPG

The clouds were moving SE, while the rain curtains were moving N.

This was just WSW of Neb City:

[Broken External Image]:http://www.opensecrets.us/05042101nebcityhaildrift.JPG
[Broken External Image]:http://www.opensecrets.us/05042102nebcityhailfog.JPG

Nice hail fog--sad to note that the moisture was just sitting in the field--not being ingested into the storm, dang it...

I never got hailed on myself--saw no reason to lose visibility and a windshield for a storm that I never had much confidence in to begin with.

Ran into Mike H. et al at the Conoco at the IA-2 exit on I-29--raining too hard to chat and nothing to talk about in the first place! Ah, well--it is only April, after all!
 
I left COU for Kansas City with two targets in mind, SE Kansas and NE Kansas. When I got to KC the SPC had issued the MD and watch for NE Kansas along the warm front near the triple point. Still being early in the day we decided to play this extent of the system. We went up to St. Joe and then across 36 to Seneca, KS when the storms started to initiate just to our South. We got right on them and saw some great rotation and a brief torn. Full chase account for the day can be found here:

http://www.missouri.edu/%7Edwhc46/stormcha...April212005.htm

Dan
 
I took the afternoon off from the office in anticipation of my first chase of the season. I was not disappointed as I didn't have to travel too far. I was leaving just as the MD came out for NE KS.

I left Manhattan headed east on Hwy 24, which just happened to be the way to my house :) A quick stop and a peek at the computer and I was out the door. I chose to go east on 24 and then north because we already had good backing winds and small towers were already starting to form. I went north on Hwy 63 I believe, and parked myself just south and east of Onaga.

I was watching a small cell develop to my west, and it had just began to get a small rain shaft. I wasn't convinced it would do much more. I got a call from Darin Brunin who confirmed it looked to have good structure from his vantage point in Lawrence.

I ran into a few chasers from St. Paul, MN and Ken McCallister from OK, and we watched it grow into supercell form. It soon became obvious that there was good inflow and strong updraft. A wall cloud persisted for about 45 minutes and did everything but touch down. It did seem to get cut off by the RFD at one point, but soon separated itself enough to continue its good motion.

Eventually this storm went onto produce some large hail, which I had a slight encounter with, lol. Even got into some thick hail fog on Hwy 9. I broke off the chase after a wrong turn put me in a position where I could not catch up, and it became an HP mess anyway. I ventured back through Topeka and found my way home via 24.

All in all not a bad start to the season!

Tim

2b274ccbbc20c06bab4f484952038e3b.jpg

fd56ac3c888a7a08c0256c423e01496d.jpg

38fae37c5b4f4622cff6e208b31470ad.jpg
 
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