Archive for May 2016

5/24/16 & 5/25/16 – Colorado Supercell and Large Kansas Tornado   Leave a comment

This next weather system was to bring in multiple days of severe weather to the plains. From the 22nd to the 26 I pursued storms these are the days that I captured that were the most powerful.
May 24 was forecast for storms from Oklahoma to the Nebraska Panhandle. I opted for the northern area since it was closest to where I was. Storm initiation was a little bit farther west than I had anticipated, but was not a problem.
I watched as storms were on the horizon in Colorado. As I got within range of the storms the tail end storm was still maturing but had the atmosphere all to itself. I watched this storm develop and become an impressive supercell. The area roads were dry and a good network going in after the storm intensified I had to scramble and find a better spot to avoid the hail, unfortunately the road network only allowed me to let the storm pass.


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I ended up catching up to the storm in NE Colorado. The storm had still maintained and was tapping into some richer moisture. I ended up following the storm eastward. With some possible touchdowns witnessed.


May 25 ended up being a powerful tornado. The reason was extreme instability was making its way into central Kansas with a dryline moving into the area. These features along with the moderate upper level winds ended up producing an Isolated large thunderstorm. The storm intensified and developed a large mesocyclone as well as a long tracked tornado that traveled a distance of 26 miles. Here are some of the images I captured of the storm, some of the roads were too muddy to travel on. I’m grateful no persons were injured. These storms are relatively rare but they do occur every year somewhere. The last large tornado of this magnitude in the area was near Bennington, KS in 2013 but was relatively stationary.


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Posted May 28, 2016 by droobx in Storms

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5/21/16 West Central Kansas Supercell and Tornadoes   Leave a comment

After a fresh start in Nebraska I drove down to Kansas around the I-70 corridor. The winds were backed in this high plains region and a decent Rockies surface low. Dew points in the low 60’s made their way up to the area I had decided on. After waiting patiently cumulus towers started initiating. Initially the main storm was enshrouded by rain. The roads at this time were pretty well saturated by the first two cells that passed through the area, yet the roads were still solid enough to proceed on with the right vehichle.

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Soon the cell started getting some visible rotation to it and I witnessed a multivortex type rotation and then a small tornado planted down (I believe another tornado was possibly ongoing in the rain).
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After the tornado spun off into the meso precipitation I changed position in order to get a better structure shot of the supercell. This is generally a good rule especially when you have storms of this magnitude. Here is a scene at a distance with a possible tornado obscured by rain.
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Here is another structure shot with an enshrouded tornado under the meso. Inflow winds at this time felt like they were 50-60mph where I was.
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This storm remained relatively slow moving if not stationary. I’m sure it produced multiple tornadoes obscured by rain. If the roads weren’t rain soaked I might have tried a different veiw but for the most part I’m satisfied with how this day went. I don’t know if there was any structural damage since it did seem to be out in the open fields.

Posted May 23, 2016 by droobx in Storms

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5/16/16 High Plains: Supercell with Tornado in the OK Panhandle   Leave a comment

I witnessed a decent tornadic supercell on 5/16/16. After chasing some relatively non-eventful storm days, I ended up making another trip down to the SW Kansas area where I was hoping the models would be correct. With the overnight storms previously leaving a relatively cool, moist boundary there was an area to the West that was showing signs of good surface heating. Sure enough some storms initiated and eventually reached severe criteria near the dryline/higher elevation of SE Colorado. I caught up with the dominate storm near Boise City, OK. Sure enough I was suprisingly pleased to see a very solid updraft even from a distance. I got to document some of this structure as well as capture a “bears cage” tornado before having to reposition to avoid the advancing hail core.
Here are the still images and video captures of the storm:


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After my reposition two of the storms had merged and ended up having two mesocyclones that were tornado warned, yet the storms had taken on a more high based nature. I believe there was a tornado documented that I missed but I did get behind the storm and had to bail out due to hail. This was an excellent storm chase in open country on the high plains.

Posted May 18, 2016 by droobx in Storms

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