July 6th 2016 – Nebraska Sandhills Supercell and tornadoes   Leave a comment

July 6th 2016, my initial assesment of this day was it was looking a little more promising to be able to chase a supercell with the surface winds backed and the warm moist air to sustain deep moist convection. It was also looking like a severe outbreak that was going to eventually form into a derecho wind event. By the time I made it to near the Badlands storms were beginning to develop about equal distance from where I was. I saw one thunderstorm top in SW South Dakota. I chose that and made my way slowly south.
By the time I made it in range of the storm it had started on a more Southeast course. At this time radar looked weak; little did I know that this was because the storm had moved too far from the station and wasn’t showing the whole reflection.
I had made it to the 61 and kept driving south with a secondary storm looming. So visually I knew I had to keep going south. Eventually I gained visual on the target supercell and witnessed the rope out of a tornado from quite a distance. This tornado was documented near the Chadron/Haysprings area of Nebraska.
The Nebraska Sandhills are an amazing geographical landscape should be examined on Google maps. Not a lot of farming/farm roads, but there are a few N/S roads on an area made up of prairie sand and grass. It’s a very hilly terrain with frequent valleys and peaks.
I did make one attempt to get closer by trying a side road but I decided by the time I would have made it anywhere the precipitation would be over me. After pulling off on viewpoint area I was finally rewarded with a tornado on the ground. Since I don’t have the optics of the video camera anymore I do have my wide angle so even though the tornado was decent viewing at the distance from the naked eye the wide angle images need to be cropped to get a better idea of the shape of the tornado which for the most part was a trunk tornado. Here is a group of cropped images:


After the tornado dissipated The storm was actually getting closer to the road I was on due to the Southeast course it was on. Eventually at one place I stopped the storm seemed to have a dragging wall cloud yet I knew it meant business because of some vorticies coming down and a rotating rain curtain.

Here’s an image of the storm with some some vorticies coming down.

Here’s some images of the next tornado evolution. This storm had a very pronounced mesocyclone and an ominous tornado underneath.

The storm eventually crossed over the road and I decided to go with what I have seen. I’m still processing what I have witnessed and got to see a powerful storm without any damage. This is definitely a finale to this storm season.
In summary I believe with the tornadoes this storm produced as well as from other storms this can be considered a small outbreak for this region of Nebraska.

Posted July 8, 2016 by droobx in Storms

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