9/15/06 REPORTS: KS/NE - rescued*

Apr 8, 2005
Winnipeg, MB
**rescued post**

Dick McGowan

Location: Olathe Kansas
Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 10:47 pm

Darin Brunin and I were on 3 seperate tornado warned cells in Nebraska (The Gibbon storm, Seward Co., and the Hallam scare). We watched a storm from birth to the cell that tracked near Gibbon and further northeast. We were able to keep up with the cell up until SW of Columbus where a tornado was reported. I'll post a full report with pictures later. Great chase, beautiful structure, and hopefully tomorrow will be even better.

Scott, Dick and I were on the Gibbon storm and are about 95% sure there was no tornado with it at that point in its life.

Dan, I hope that your grandma gets everything back in order soon.

Here are some photos

**photos did not make it into cache**

Scott Olson
Location: Brookings, South Dakota
Posted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 12:36 am

Left for Broken Bow early this morning. Chased the intial cells, however it took some time to get in position since cells were firing further south and consolidating. Got in position and chased several supercells, including the Suprise supercell. I was unable to view the tornado since another cell had merged with it. However, Pete McConnell and I were some of the first in Suprise, Nebraska. There was some strong damage in Suprise (likely F2) and the width extended most of the city. Some of the damage witnessed: many tree's snapped, metal siding in road, completely collapsed and twisted metal silo, snapped tornado siren, roof damage to brick building and most substanial was complete destruction of a mobile home. The whole area was just a gigantic mess and the metal frames had been substanially twisted. Radar showed another severe storm and after warning some of the folks, we quickly headed out. We went about 3 SE when we decided to pull off and the let the core push through. Then we reliazed the house we stopped near had also been hit by the tornado, with the garage partially collapsed and out-building damage. We then witnessed a possible cone tornado NW of Ulysees, at least it appeared to be.

It's not suprising that tornadoes occured today, given the wind fields (with 0-1km SRH nearing 200 m2/s2 by 0z indicated by the models this morning.) Though the amount of convection/merging likely mitigated the threat somewhat as storms were constantly encountering rain-cooled air.
Given our attempt to get to the Gibbon mesocyclone, it appeared that it would have been pretty difficult to photograph that tornado. Since, convection formed around that cell.

Dan Christianson
Location: Omaha NE
Posted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 12:52 am

Was late to the chase but got to Suprise NE, definetly ominous looking clouds, at one point what i was seeing had to be a tornado i could see what looked like a debri cloud, and well when i got into suprise the damage, showed , the heavy rain quckly obscured my view so i had to pull off the roadside and let the storm pass, i was getting blasted by heavy rain and wind, my grandma's roof got torn off her house, numerous grain bins just twisted and crunched up, she said she heard a loud roar and minutes later she got out and saw things destroyed, i also heard some gas line's got broken... i saw what may looked like a F-1 weak tornado but lightning illuminated what almost looked like a stovepipe or larger i cant really say much as the rain obscured my view... id love to hear from other's on this chase or cell..

EDIT: just took a look around my grandma's place, 4 large cottonwood tree's down, power poles laying across the road, and heavy damage to the metal shed, roof is bent over and twisted, roof is torn off my grandma's place, im thinking gas lines werent broken now, just some propane tanks leaking.. smells like rotten egg's.. will wait for daylight to see the real damage....

Mike Hollingshead

Location: Blair, Nebraska
Posted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 8:16 am

I'll post a better account later, but for now I'll put these up(have to get ready for the day today).


This was near/east of David City looking west. To the left side of the image in the cut is "something". It would have had to be the south of highway 92, near or just north of Suprisie at this point. There is a wall cloud north of it in very much the same fashion as the wall cloud was on the Hanover storm during its tornado(back in April). Judging from the couple other stills around this time I'm not thinking that that is a large tornado, but perhaps just the way the rain was at that time. It is in the perfect location however with the strong rfd cut right there. These storms were a pain today as they always had new development just south of them and were being directed largely into their own precip as it was. One area would wrap up as a new seemingly seperate updraft would start to do the same thing to the south of it. They did this from the time I was on them near Holdredge. But anyway it is interesting Surprise was evidently a tornado, or at least reported as such on the news(surely there's been no nws survey there yet?). All I know is that isn't far from there at that point, but a new storm was forming just south of this one and may very well have been the one to cause that damage. This one was tornado warned at this time though, and had been for a few minutes. The inflow to this storm was rather incredible at this time. As you'd get a little closer to it they would be screaming from the east, probably sustained above 30 mph with gusts up to 50.


Just a cg infront of the rfd cut. The full sized image is kind of cool as that leader to the left is almost in those trees(yeah I'm sure it is either ahead or behind them in actuality).


This shows the rfd cut a little better. You can see the long, cold, tail cloud coming south in the rain. If you look to the very far left side ahead of the cut you can see a bit of a new lowering. That would be the next area to wrap up and go around, though not the seperate storm to the south. This was the first time of the day I saw anything like this going on. When I do the real account on the site I'll try and show the day stuff and how it was behaving.


Shelf entering Omaha, or just scraping the north side of the city. I was very hungry after having only had one rice crispy bar all day, but this photo op was getting to me, so I had to go with it. I was in Elkhorn when I found the shelf and thought, I bet this looks cool lit up by Omaha a bit.


On the way to Burger King I thought, hey I bet there is a photo op of this over the Omaha skyline. Thanks to Bob Matzen for the heads up on the 911 memorial lights! I turned into Harras Casino in Council Bluffs to shoot this and found I would be stuck there for a while. As soon as I get off the exit ramp police are directing traffic as something just finished showing there. I was like, well crap, I'm not leaving here if I wanted to(crazy long line of cars). But anyway, this was fun to shoot with the stormy sky(something to keep in mind for those chasing around here today....if it still lit up tonight). I've got several but didn't get the bolt with it I was hoping for. There was a brief chance with probably 3 or 4 very close bolts evidently coming out of the anvil of the storm moving ne from Lincoln. I jumped back in the car after the first one as it was a big surprise and could not force myself to get back out and shoot. The view from the car was not as clean as walking over to the River.

Earlier I was in and just east of Kearney as that storm got the tornado warning. I saw what looked like a hook on xm and was like, no that can't be and didn't think it was since no tornado warning was coming out. Then it finally came out as the storm was really organizing and becoming quite round. I believe this one had one tornado report and I'm not sure I buy it. It was very very shelfy to the north where it would have been. It is possible one of the others forming at that time did produce though. I couldn't see a whole lot a bit after Kearney as I was in pouring rain for about the next 2 hours. I did encounter what must have been about 2 inch hail on my way ne up highway 30. I started to squint my eyes as a couple sounded like they were going to break the glass. There weren't that many stones in this but several were fairly big. Oooops, never once thought of my poor radiator while driving in that. This is much longer than I had in mind. Time to end this.

Mike Hollingshead
9/15/06 REPORTS: KS/NE - Page 2 *rescued*

**rescued post**

Ryan McGinnis

Joined: 20 Jun 2004
Posts: 708
Location: Lincoln, NE
Posted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 10:03 pm

We started out in Kearney and headed west on I-80 to try to intersect with a cell that was sliding northeast past the interstate. We ended up doing a U-turn in one of the cop turnouts and stopping at a rest area, as the next exit required driving under the meso and getting on the wrong side of the storm. It wasn't very exciting, structure-wise and was pretty high-based, but it did have an interesting lowering that formed very quickly. This is the storm that ended up going tornado warned after it slid north of Kearney.

We then zipped over to Minden, with the thought of catching the cell behind the cell we met on the Interstate. This turned out to be a rather amusingly wrong idea, as that cell was well north of I-80 before we even got to Minden -- they were racing northeast at 45mph, which made it hard to keep up with, given the lack of northeast roads.

Minden is where we ran into some hail from cells the developed more or less on top of us. Buckets and buckets of peas at first, blown sideways by what I'd call a very stiff breeze. We found a hotel awning, which turned out to be useless against sideways hail. A couple of poor souls on a Goldwing pulled up in front of us and were promptly blown off of their motorcycle, which almost fell on top of the passenger. They were okay though, and once the hail stopped we helped right their bike, then headed off east on the highway.

We should have waited a bit longer though, as we ran into a fairly heavy shaft of nickle-sized hail. So, we waited that out for a bit, figuring we'd mostly missed that storm, and snapped a few shots while we did:

**All the photos were disabled by ImageShack **

We west east to near Hastings, then north to I-80 to try to catch up with the tail-end-charlie. Not a lotta luck. We did catch it on I-80, but by then it looked pretty sad. So, we punched into the rain and wind, exited the interstate at Giltner, and watched the sun set:

Good times! Not a lotta great storms, I'm afraid, but in a year like this, you take what convection you can get. Man, I missed the rain!

Mike Hollingshead

Joined: 10 Dec 2003
Posts: 1816
Location: Blair, Nebraska
Posted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 3:45 am


Rest of the accont/pictures are up.
Mike Hollingshead

Mickey Ptak

Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 755
Location: Bridge Creek, OK
Posted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 10:04 am

I left Bridge Creek, OK (home) at 1:30pm and targeted Arnet, OK for initial target.
I actually ended up just between Arnet and Gage where I sat for three hours watching the CUs bubble up and down. I actually fell a sleep for about ten minutes while waiting (around 4:30). Woke up and felt revived, but the wait continued for another hour and a half but I was intrigued by the persistence of forcing along the Dryline as each CU got taller and taller with each try.

Finally around 6 PM I saw a very healthy tower blowing up to my NW. I had plenty of time to get up there but I had no time to waste because I only had limited amount of day light to work with. I drove north hwy 46 to hwy 64 then back west on 64. About the time that I arrived in Knowles, OK I could see the base of the maturing supercell. At this point nothing screamed supercell at me, but I knew that it was only a matter of time before it would have the potential for tornado activity.

As I drove closer to the cell I noticed a developing inflow tail and a very well defined precip core and rain free base. Needless to say I was getting a little excited at this point, but there was still more to come. A few minutes and hills later I started to notice scud rising up from the pricip core to the RFB (Rain Free Base) and it was moving very fast because I could see it racing and I was still a hazy 10-15 miles away at this point. After fighting with hills and a few good glimpse of the area between each hill the scud became a nice wall cloud after only 2-3 minutes and a very nice RFD / clear slot also developed. I could not tell if there was any rotation in the wall cloud at this time but it was changing shapes with each quick hill passing glance. (See link below for images.) I would however assume that it did have rotation because, well as you can see in one of the images, there is a nice large funnel. I guess some of the media had reported this as a tornado but I just could not see the ground at this time. So as for my personal statistical purposes I am not going to count this as a tornado unless NWS updates the storm reports for this day.

A finally arrived to my north option and from there the storm had cycled down but there were some areas of sporadic and disorganized yet strong rotation. At one point it looked like the storm was developing another RFD slot but it never made much farther than that.
I stopped to talk with a few other chasers (chaser convergence was limited and very nice) and took some time lapse of a storm just to our south while talking.

Then I decided to head into KS and get back on top of the original cell as it was looking a little better. I was hesitant to chase any further due to it almost being dark but I continued anyway. I caught up with the supercell as it was traveling along hwy 54 and I was on hwy 160 just a few miles east of Ashland, KS. Here I observed a well defined wall cloud and a possible funnel. I cannot confirm a tornado due to it being dark and so many hills but I do have an video capture of the meso about 45 seconds after I saw what looked like a funnel. According to my verbal time stamp on the video it was about 9:56 PM.

There you have it, a very fun and interesting chase.

Images: http://www.mesomick.com/pages/sept_15_2006.htm

Scott Olson

Joined: 17 Sep 2004
Posts: 1042
Location: Brookings, South Dakota
Posted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 7:01 pm

Full account and storm/damage pictures at:




From what I heard, the whole town was basically at a football game in another town.

Jeff Snyder


Joined: 09 Dec 2003
Posts: 3855
Location: Norman, OK
Posted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 10:26 pm

Gabe Garfield and I chased in the Meade Co. KS area... We sat in Arnett for a couple of hours in the late afternoon, awaiting convective initiation to our west. We stayed a little farther east than we normally would since we wanted to keep the options open in case a storm sustained itself in the eastern TX panhandle. After watching a storm off in the distance to the WNW for 20-25 minutes, we opted to lock onto this storm since it was past 6pm. So, we headed west and north out of Arnett, eventually stopping north of Englewood, KS, to take some tripoded video and pictures as the storm approached from the WSW. Structure was quite nice, and the colors of the sunset were amazing!

Well, a left-split supercell from a storm in Beaver Co. was rapidly approaching this storm. "Our" supercell's radar appearance continued to improve, with a strong mesocyclone developing, and a low-level mesocyclone organizing nicely. Despite being past sunset, there was a tremendous amount of lightning in the storm, which made spotting much easier. At any rate, a nice wallcloud developed rather quickly as we headed towards Hwy 160. It seriously looked like it was about 5 minutes from producing a tornado. Meanwhile, the left-split supercell slammed into this (Meade Co. / Clark Co.) supercell, and basically destroyed it. We followed the storm for the next hour or two, noting intermittent wallcloud-like features. We gave up on this storm and headed back towards OUN. We did stop just south of Protection, KS, to stand in awe as a lightning-lit updraft(s) to our north stood in front of an extremely starry sky. It's easy to forget the number of stars in the sky when you live in a metro area... It was amazing.

In the end, I thoroughly enjoyed the chase. The supercell had very good structure, and the sunset/stormset was amazing. Unfortunately (or fortunately) it fell just shy of producing a tornado...
Jeff Snyder
University of Oklahoma Graduate Student
Long-time lurker (over 3 years), first-time poster. I know this event was quite a while back, but I just wanted to post these pics and provide a report.

I was unable to leave work early, so I got a pretty late start out of Stillwater. I drove west until I began to see some solid towers to my NW that would go on to become the storm that Mickey Ptak, Gabe Garfield, and Jeff Snyder followed. Being further behind, I knew that I would have a hard time catching up before the storms moved into Kansas. Daylight was about to give way to darkness and my last and only hope was for some sort of Tail End Charlie to develop. The largest and meanest looking convection was well to the southeast near Amarillo, and this storm was taking off into Kansas, leaving me high and dry in the mesas of Western Oklahoma.

But just then I noticed a small but nicely shaped anvil to my west in Lipscomb County in the extreme NE Texas Panhandle. It really didn't look that impressive in person, but on radar it seemed to have a nice little punch to it. It really appeared to be more of a Tail End Schmitty because it was so tiny and unimpressive looking.


I began to track this storm as it was really the only thing I was going to be on top of if it decided to produce anything of interest. It was moving to the northeast at around 20 to 25 mph so it wasn't too difficult to keep up with and stay ahead of. On radar, it continued to show signs of improvement, gaining in strength and intensity with each scan. The northern storm that Mickey, Gabe, and Jeff were watching continued to look very impressive on radar and from my vantage point to the south, and I was jealous that I couldn't be there to see that one in action. It went tornado warned and had plenty of meso and TVS signatures on GR III. Meanwhile, I look to my west at this little thing.


Looking directly west in Beaver County, the brisk SE winds were obviously feeding this thing pretty well, but the light reflections through the storm and it's still unimpressive looking nature left me wondering if I was wasting my time. Meanwhile, I look to my north to see the Meade/Clarke County beast still cranking along with tornado warnings and it looked great from the south, as seen in the picture below.


As I neared the middle of Beaver county, near Slapout, the sun began to set and at that point I realized why I had made a great decision to stay on this storm. I was treated to a light show that has to be a highlight of my chasing career. A crisp, and beautiful convective tower just to my west in the setting sun with nearly constant CC's keeping it well lit on the darkening horizon. It continued to intensify throughout this period, and thus continued to increase the lightning frequency. Man, I love nature.




It was difficult to get these shots as the storm was so close that any time exposure would cause the crisp convective edges to blur with the movement of the storm. This was about as good as I could get until my photography skills improve. The coloring of the scene was spectacular and the pictures just don't do it justice.

I was noticing a developing trend. It seemed that every storm would maintain in Oklahoma, but right when they hit the Kansas border, they really started cranking. The Tail End Schmitty that I was on was no exception. Although it was well dark at this point, I continued to follow it up to the Kansas border. I took these final shots as it moved quickly off to the northeast into Clarke County, KS. The inflow is still clearly defined by the frequent lightning. Soon after I headed back on the long journey home. Once again, no tornadoes, but a spectacular show put on by Mother Nature. It is moments like these that remind me why I do what I do.



Thanks for looking and thanks for all of the great info over the last few years. Here's to a great 2007 season for everyone!!!!