Sunday, May 23, 2010

5/22 South Dakota Tornadoes Report!

Quite simply, this was the best chase of my life! Jon Merage and I were surprised to hear that V2 called a down day so we headed up North, towards Pierre South Dakota. A small patch of CU formed NE of Pierre and developed into a violent supercell. We watched the thing from birth till death. Fortunately, no injuries or deaths were reported but some unfortunate damage was done to farms north of Bowdle.

This storm had incredible structure! This is looking South from the North end of the Hook. Wrapping up so nicely, we just knew this was going to put down tornadoes.

An early tornado South of Highway 12, about 5 miles West of Bowdle. Not sure if this continued and developed into the wedge or not. It almost appeared to be the same circulation. We will have to go over the radar data.

After the tornado crossed Highway 12, we blasted East and turned North on Highway 47. I somehow managed to "click" this shot handheld from the driver's seat enroute to the wedge intercept. The storm really began to look plain nasty at this point.

So, we headed North on 47 and see this earth devouring beast of a tornado. This is at 10mm so it looks much further away.

And here is is at 20mm. Ears popping at this point as they did several times during the chase. The data from our mesonet should be very interesting.

Ok, this is the wedge grinding through a farm North of Bowdle on 47. Very scary moment here as a policeman appeared to drive directly into the circulation towards the damaged farmstead to check for survivors. Fortunately, he appeared a few moments later. No injuries were reported here despite the damage to the farmstead wich looks to be at least EF-3 in strength.

I will have a link up soon to the amazing footage that Jon Merage got. Be sure to stay tuned to that.

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