Storm Stories: Hoisington, KS 4/-21-01

Hi All,

A visitor to my website had recently watched TWC's Storm Stories about the Hoisington tornado, and
asked about the footage. As I recall in past conversations about this we pretty much came
to the conclusion that there was no actual footage of the night tornado shown on that show. Is that
correct?

Brad Carter mentioned his Rush Center footage which was used in the show but this occurred about 1hr
to 45 minutes before the tornado struck town. Dean Cosgrove had a friend that was trapped in town.
Karen Piotrowsky was also trapped in town a few blocks away. The person mentioned by Dean said the
tornado occurred in rain that never stopped and in darkness with only the wind and rain indicating it's
approach. There was no torn watch or warning, and the town's power failed and no siren went off.
From my perspective there was very little to no lightning under the storm such as CG's to
illuminate.

Did this show have any actual Hoisington footage? If you have any additional knowledge, let me know
because I'm curious, and I'm sure others are too.

And of course a link to my old account to refresh memories:
http://www.tornadoxtreme.com/2001_Chases/T...ington__ks.html
 
Two of the guys I chase with have footage of the tornado at night, or at least a brief image of it illuminated by the lightning. I will try and find the tape.
 
They were chasing that night..Jake Snow, Greg McLaughlin I was nowcasting for them, so I know where they were.... Hwy 281 S of Hoisington, their video has what looks to be the tornado to their N, illuminated once or twice by lightning. Radar showed a massive hook. I talked to Jake earlier, we'll try and capture a good image or two from the tape this weekend and post.

Some cool arial shots by Jon Davies... http://members.cox.net/jdavies1/Hoisington...n%20aerials.htm
 
Holy cow!!! I've never seen those damage pics before...almost looks F5, if I didn't know any better (assuming the structures it swept away were sound). I am amazed by how much violence was concentrated into such a small area. It sure would have been incredible to see during the day.

Gabe
 
I'm curious as to how someone could have video of the Hoisington tornado, yet no warning was issued?

If memory serves right, NWS Wichita was trying to play the numbers game with false alarm ratios etc. to make their office look good. I believe a head or two rolled over this one as the storm was tornadic prior to Hosington??

I also heard a version that said a tv meteorologist or the nws warned the wrong area. Anyone know the dirt??

Aaron
 
WeatherData, Inc. issued a tornado warning for its client in the Hoisington area (Westar Energy) well before the tornado formed and touched town. We also assisted one of the Wichita television station in getting a tornado warning on the air. Two other Wichita television stations issued warnings for Hoisington on their own.
 
I'm curious as to how someone could have video of the Hoisington tornado, yet no warning was issued? :?

Tim

Not sure exactly what you mean by this question so I'll answer both:

1) Lots of chasers forecast rather than chase warnings.
2) Not all chasers call in tornadoes to NWS - but I believe most do.
 
Two of the guys I chase with have footage of the tornado at night, or at least a brief image of it illuminated by the lightning. I will try and find the tape.

Ok, cool. But the other question is was any of that footage part of the TWC Storm Stories episode or was it all made up video of other tornadoes such as Great Bend?
 
I never saw a tornado in Greg's video. It looked like a scud to me. I don't think they were close enough to see the actual tornado. None of the low level features in their video seemed consistant with a tornado of that magnitude. It has been a while since I've seen that video, so if Dave can find it, we can take another look and see if there's anything worth posting.
 
Holy cow!!! I've never seen those damage pics before...almost looks F5, if I didn't know any better (assuming the structures it swept away were sound). I am amazed by how much violence was concentrated into such a small area. It sure would have been incredible to see during the day.

Gabe

Yep, it was rated F4. Mine and Gene's position would have been at the top of the bottom picture in that set, between Hoisington and Red Wing. The rotation that Gene saw most likely would have been the tornado as it was leaving to the north.

Here is a diagram of the layout to go along with the pictures:
http://members.cox.net/jdavies1/Hoisington...tonTorPath1.gif

I also showed up there later that season on another chase, and took some damage photos during the daylight of the town at ground level. I don't have any posted online though.
 
Kaythryn Piotrowski was in town as it hit and she had a cool clip up on her site of an apparent telephone pole flying across the street. I saw the clip long ago and was like, DAMN that is a cool clip.
 
I remember that night vividly. My chase partner (back then) August & I were on a chase trip that week and were feeling pretty optimistic with the powerful dynamics & awesome WAA this system was producing, along with the 6 touchdowns on the 20th. We were on our way to the NE KS/SE NE area initially per SPC's MDT risk that day-- never made it out that far in time, so we bunked down at a hotel in Salina. The next day, on the 21st, we didn't see much (any) significant weather the entire day, thanks to the strong mid-level cap, and were pretty discouraged with the whole situation. That evening, in a more hope-against-hope deal, I kept monitoring NEXRAD in SW KS but was afraid that with the strong (60 kt) LLJ & daylight fading away whatever cells did form in that area would just get torn apart. I think back then I kinda naively set all my hopes & expectations on diurnal instability for any tornadic sups to form in, rather than knowing the cap would eventually give. I also hated nightchases (this was back in the day before I got WxWorx), but SPC kept up their MDT risk for the area and I eventually noticed one cell tracking across Pawnee County roughly paralleling SH 56. My friend & I were too bored & peeved just sitting in our room, so we decided to intercept the storm. Started off westbound on I-70, then took 156 to Great Bend. By then, we were hearing spotter reports over the radio of a strong cell headed NE towards Barton County, and the radio was getting harder to listen to with the increasing cracks & hissing. We could see frequent CC bolts in the distance to our SW, but like most other chasers couldn't see the base at all. It was around 9:30 when we got to the junction at Great Bend. Just kept listening to spotter reports over the air, but by the time we positioned ourselves in some obscure parking lot just east of GB, lightning in the storm had increased to the point that even with the radio turned up almost full volume, we could hardly make out the details. As the supercell approached Hoisington, the lightning became so intense it was hard even to watch the cell for more than several seconds at a time. Sort of felt like staring through thick smoke at a nightclub with a high-power strobe on full pulse in the background--only this show covered the entire western sky! CCs were so intense we finally just turned down the radio (almost total intereference now), backtracked a short way NE on 156, parked on the side of the road somewhere between GB & I-70, & waited as the storm passed over Hoisington sometime around 9:45. My partner wanted to get closer to see the base, but something told me this was not the right storm to chance it with (besides the ridiculous lightning, lack of good distance visibility, and no radio, of course :wink: ). One of the miraculous things about that night was Hoisington High was having their prom night, and even with no warning sirens, there was only ONE reported fatality from this storm! Just amazing :shock: ! Anyway, the storm moved off to the NE and quickly lost its punch as it drifted northerly away from the front. We called off the chase & headed back to Denver the next morning. I still have some video of the storm just before the lightning show hit its peak. Too darn bad my friend recorded that over footage of my very 1st tornado (without realizing it, of course)! :evil: :cry: Now that's one night chase I'll never forget!
 
Bill, response #2 was what I was leading towards. If there were indeed chasers in the area why was it not called in? I'm not going to refuel that debate, as it's been worn out, but I still find it sickening that many don't report.

I guess this situation strikes a chord since we went and helped with the cleanup and talked with people who were in disbelief that there had been no warning. After seeing the damage, it's a wonder only one died.

I guess I wouldn't have been able to live with myself if I had seen this coming and not tried to get warning out.

Tim
 
Hosington close call

I seem to remember an account during this tornado by someone. He was at a gas station and did not not know the tornado was bearing down on them. I seem to also remember that they heard the tornado sound and only had a few seconds to get the car next to a wall to ride it out.
Anyone remember who that was and where there account is? I lost it. It is awesome account.
contact me directly as well please besides this message.

Dr.Eric Flescher ([email protected]),Olathe, KS -Storm Satori-http://members.aol.com/kcstormguy/stormsatori/stormsatori.htm
 
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