6/09/2009 REPORTS: KS/MO/CO

Joey Ketcham

Tyler Costantini and I decided to target Southeast Kansas today and am glad we did. We got on several tornado warned cells around the Allen, Bourbon and Crawford counties area and got to see some very amazing storm structure as the shelf cloud approached as, probably the best pictures I've ever taken of a shelf cloud. Within the storm itself it was an HP mess, we ran into torrential rain, hail and strong winds and at one point did see a wall cloud but really nothing that was really very well organized with strong rotation. There were some tornado reports in the area, but I have doubts about those. These storms were so rain wrapped that I don't see how anyone could see a tornado unless they were right up next to the tornado itself. Overall, it was a successful chase. We got on some tornado warned storms, saw great structures and got some good pictures. Best of all, it was right in our backyard and was back at home by 5:30PM.

Up along the Crawford/Bourbon County line

Up in Moran, KS
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DDC Supercell

What a weird past few hours!!! And awesome! I went home at 4pm since there was nothing on the scope, and told the swing shift to call me in when anything happened.... so the DDC supercell-to-be formed southwest of town, and I followed it into town until they called me in. Just as I was called in, the supercell came into town... and the structure was top-notch. Kinda similar to the 29 April Garden City storm! First ever chase, then go into work to work the same supercell... awesome! I got golfball hail pounded upon when I pulled into the WFO driveway. Very surreal. Photos coming when I get home. Whew!
Colorado cell

Mods: please add Colorado.

Huge storm developed around 23z. Formed off the mountains NW of Denver and moved NE. Dropped reported quarter sized hail around Milliken, CO and had reports of funnels. Anyone know if this did drop one?

Was not tornado warned for too long. I came from the north so I grabbed some shots of this shelf out front of it.


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You always know it's a weak chase when I spend more time snapping photos than I do shooting video, today the camcorder never even left the bag. When there's nothing under it worthwhile, It's always neat to get on the backside of a updraft when the suns shinning on it...



Back from a S. Kansas wet bustola. Highlight of trip was a brief round of golfball hail near Benedict KS and some pretty good lightning displays. Gave up the chase at Pittsburg KS and drove off just as the wx radio went off for a TOR warning for you guessed it....Pittsburg KS. I figured it was probably a wet mess anyways and after dark so headed on home.
DCC Supercell

Left work in the middle of a job to chase storm developing near Dodge City. Took one shot from work in downtown looking west. Then drove to west of town for a shot under the developing wall cloud. Then Drove east of town to stay ahead of it but was getting hit by hail larger than golf balls, some distance east of the updraft. lost drivers side mirror and added a few more dents. About 10 miles east of Dodge stopped to look back and saw spin up under rapid rotation. After looking at the picture of this looks like a small funnel above spin up. Then picture of dust getting pulled up about 4 miles NW of Greensburg. stayed with the storm to east of Greensburg where it died.


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Below is the storm structure from the Dodge City to Greensburg supercell as the storm was entering Dodge City. This was a fine 1-hour, 30-mile round trip gentleman's chase. No more than a few minutes after this image was taken, I drove toward this supercell to go into work to help out with severe wx operations! I didn't beat the golfball to 2" diameter hail... and have the battle scars to prove it.


In the WFO DDC parking lot about 5 minutes after the previous image:

Mike U
Got on the first storms in Eastern kansas around 1 ish if I recall. Saw our first nice funnel on the storm while heading south and it went right over the highway we were on. Pretty exciting. We thought we were in for an awesome chase day at this point.

Tried to make a report but Spotter Network wouldn't let me. I took the test and passed it. Go figure.

After that, went back and got on storm 2 and followed it close to the Mo. border. Then we shot back west just in time to set up in Grenola for the second round around 4 or 5 ish.

Saw 2 nice funnels at the same time around a lowering we were watching and expecting to do its thing East of the Grenola location. Followed the storm some more and got some awesome spinning meso shots.

Followed the storm as it went extreme HP just like the others until about Thayer or Independence, Ks. Decided to head home.

No tornadoes, 3 decent funnels and some light hail.
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Started the day at my target of Wellington. Had some clearing to my east and GR3 was showing those first towers near El Dorado. Meanwhile, looking west was sickening. Lots of cloud cover. So I make my way east on 160 and by the time I'm getting through Winfield there are towers popping all around me. I decide to take the easiest and quickest catch which was a cell going up in Cowley County. Moved to the Grenola area for the intercept and it ended up being a good play. I think I was directly across the street from Fred. Like he said, it was really rotating and looked like it would drop for awhile. Not this season! I was also part of the herd that followed "the blob" to Independence. Looked very strong but it was nothing special so I called it a night. Then observed an interested storm coming from Osage County, OK that seemed to completely redevelop from nothing and then fell apart just as fast.
Overall not a bad chase. The play on the Grenola storm was a good one and I think I made the most of another day that just wasn't meant to be. Sigh...
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Well round one was about noonish which was this beauty moving across the county which some of you encountered further SE and started spawning some of the warnings:

Which led to plenty of flash flooding, trees and power poles down and various damage:

Round two led me to a failed storm in Wilson County:

Then the one everyone was on in Elk County:

Which I finally gave up on and drove through to find a an oil tank struck by lightning. Its a wonder the firemen weren't struck by lightning trying to put it out. (the video was a test of a small HD card cam that wouldnt stay focused). There are a few videos I took with close strikes but this one gives you the idea especially when the wind had just changed and the rain and hail started falling real hard. This was South of Fredonia a ways. A few more on my youtube.

Original target was Pratt, KS. Afternoon chasing yielded a "storm of insanity" as seen NW of Greensburg. Might have been a big time tornado day if south moving boundary had not interacted with the storm, eventually exposing its innards, a.k.a. barber pole core rotation feature as seen in the picture.


I chased the Elk City, Kansas tor-warned storm. Watched as a nice wall cloud transitioned into a broad, green shelf. After the storm morphed to outflow, I decided to plow straight through the core and come home on KS 75. Got a few decent shots that I'll upload if the urge gets me. Still a very disappointing chase. I'm tired of all the instability and the lack of wind organization this year, so I'm thinking that it's time to officially give up on 2009 ... the first year in the last ten that I haven't seen a tornado. I just don't have the time to keep looking for them.
Chased in SE Kansas...watched some outflow dominant garbage storms and went home...stopped S of Independence and got a few lightning shots....