Friday, May 30, 2008

Fantastic Nightime Tornadoes in Kansas!!!

Another Amazing chase!!! I finally was able to take tripoded shots of a tornado at night with lightning. We were just north of Belleville, Ks. observing this tornado.

Well, this is pretty much the money shot. Focus was a little off and ISO 800 left a little something to be desired but I am thrilled regardless.

Awesome Tornado!!! This image is heavily edited.


Another Killer shot. I was loosing it as I reviewed this image on my camera.

Very Nice Structure! It was hard to tell how many seperate tornadoes were observed.

Action in Kearney, Ne. Earlier in the day.

Nasty looking wall cloud. Not sure if there was a tornado here.

This was sooo close to touching down.

We started the day in Goodland, Ks. noticing that the SPC had their risk way too far east. All it took was an easy drive to Hays and and north to Kearney, NE. The Kearney storm was fierce but visibility was an issue. We watched power flashes and a rain-wrapped tornado pass through north Kearney. We abandoned the storm near Grand Island, Ne. and dropped south to a new supercell near Beloit, Ks. We were pretty late for this one but after shooting lightning in Concordia, Ks. we booked north to Belleville with hopes of a nightime tornado. Obviously, we got our wish and some great shots to boot. A few tornadoes and a possible wedge were observed north of Belleville. This and previous chases in May have all lead to tornadoes. We are going on 5 consecutive chase days with observed tornadoes, Fantastic!! Hopefully the trend will continue with minimal loss of life and minimal damage to property in the effected areas.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

5/24 Oklahoma Tornadoes

2 tornadoes on the ground here. The one in the foreground moved right at us as the other tornado roped out. This storm offered very little in the way of visibility after these tubes.

Our attention quickly focused on this tornado that came right at us.

Majestic tornado in its weakening stage.

A nice CG blasts right through the RFD of the decaying supercell.

Intense lightning right over the highway.

This day offered two potential targets, one to the north in Nebraska and one to the south along an outflow boundary in north/central Oklahoma. We didnt like the instability forecast for Nebraska so we blasted south to Oklahoma where a large tornadic supercell was already ongoing. We were quite late to the storm but that didnt stop us from seeing 2, possibly 3 tornadoes. This was also the only real quality lightning op for us over the 4 days.

Despite a really great stormchase, many people lost their lives and homes in this tornado outbreak. The tornado in Parkersburg that killed at least 6 has been rated an EF-5 by NWS Des Moines, the first in Iowa since 1976. My thoughts are with all who were affected by these tornadic events.

5/23 Tornadoes in kansas

Nasty EF-4 Tornado to the south of Quinter, Ks. On an intercept course with us. This was my first time being chased by a violent tornado.

The tornado went multivortex as it crossed the highway before wedging out north of Quinter.

Contrast enhanced image of one of the tornadoes north of Ness City, Ks.

Another Amazing day! We watched the Quinter, Ks. EF-4 tornado cross I-70 right infront of us. It was a nasty looking cone south of the highway but transformed into a multivortex tornado as it crossed the I-70. Unfortunately, the road network in the area sucked, offering no paved road options north out of Quinter just as we experienced on May 22nd of last year. Many chasers found them selves stuck in the mud around the Quinter area. We blasted east after seeing this tube and dropped south to the next storm. We go stuck behind the ROTATE armada but witnessed two more tornadoes north of Ness City, Ks. The light was very low and I had to use a high ISO so the pictures kinda suck.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

5/22 chase report with 3 tornadoes in kansas

Jon Merage and I woke up in Colby and travelled south to Scott City, Ks. It wasnt long before the first supercell formed to our southeast. We tracked the storm north where we witnessed a brief tornado near Monument Rocks, Ks. We continued north past I-70 where we witnessed the rope-out of a tornado south of Hoxie. After that, we headed east of Hoxie where we filmed the birth and almost full life of a large tornado. The tornado started out as a multi-vortex cone and quickly morphed into a large, full condensation cone with violent movement. Some may have called it a wedge but I like cone better. We tried to follow the storm north but encountered downed power lines and broke off the chase. We are in McCook tonight and wont have far to drive for a very similar setup with fast northerly storm motions. I will have pix up soon.

Significant Tornadoes Possible Today!

Jon and I woke up in Colby, Ks. This morning. We really dont have too far to go but may drop south just a bit. There is a risk for strong tornadoes in southwest and west/central Ks. Will be posting a report later tonight assuming we arent dodging supercells near Mcook, Ne. after dark.

Friday, May 16, 2008

(Update)Nasty Weather Coming Next Week!!!

The GFS just updated here before bedtime. Things are looking better and better for the possibility of an outbreak late nextweek, likely on friday. The ECMWF model is in fairly good agreement with the GFS so this gives me confidence that these models are not full of crap. We are going to be out starting wednesday where there will be a chance for tornadic storms after dark. The cap on wednesday looks crazy now but this could change. Either way, we are in full chase mode starting next week.

This spring has been very active for severe weather in all the wrong places. Unfortunately, we have already had many deaths as a result of tornadoes in Oklahoma and Arkansas. Next week is showing some pretty big potential starting Wednesday and possibly lasting through saturday or longer. The GFS forecast model is painting a pretty picture for us stormchasers but lives could also be in danger. I really havent seen a trough like this since Greensburg. The atmosphere is going to be primed for huge supercells with ample moisture and INCREDIBLE forecasted shear and upper energy.

Really nice mid and upper energy progged for central Kansas on Wedensday with 50-70kts at 500mb.

Decent moisture and a dryline with dry air punching in from the southwest. It will be nice to chase in west/central Kansas for once!

This thing BOMBS out at 978mb!!! Surface temps are going to be nearing 100 in sw Kansas. Im pretty worried about the cap on this day (18c at H7) but we will have some pretty strong forcing. We will have to wait and see how it developes.

Upper winds are INSANE on Friday. Almost 100kts at 500mb!!! And 125kts at 250mb!

Friday just looks downright nasty! Although it may be a squall line with linear forcing perpendicular to the dryline.

This of course could all change but the GFS has been fairly consistant in bringing this trough into the plains. Everything looks to be in phase so it will be interesting to see how strong the cap is and how the surface features set up. Jon Merage and I will be out Wedensday through Saturday or longer. We will go wherever the storms are, including Missouri, Iowa, and Arkansas if nececarry. Im ready for some Naders!!!