MN and SD storms – 2016 & 2017   Leave a comment

Here’s are two images from 7/5/16 and 1 from 6/13/17. The first was a tornadic supercell in West Central, MN with confirmed tornadoes, I managed to capture one during my reposition but from a distance. The issue was I wanted to stair-step some roads but the farm roads had run out. This happens from time to time especially with big high-precipitation storms. The Second storm was more recent with a relatively fast tornadic supercell coming up from the Nebraska border area. I caught up with the storm and managed to get some photos of the ground scrubbing supercell.
Minnesota:
minn_supercell


minn_supercell


Interesting structure from this Summer storm.
South Dakota:
sd_supercell


Notice the low cloud base of the storm, that coupled with the high precipitation makes for an interesting structure.I assume a tornado occurred at one point but would have been hard to see with the low cloud base.

Posted June 19, 2017 by droobx in Storms

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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:


tornado
tornado
tornado
tornado


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.
multivortex

Here’s some images of the next tornado evolution. This storm had a very pronounced mesocyclone and an ominous tornado underneath.
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tornado
tornado
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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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6/9/16 & 6/11/16 Northern High Plains Storms   Leave a comment

As a upper level storm system moved into the Northern Plains area I was ready to see some supercell storms. The difference was temperatures were in the mid to upper 90’s and moisture was not as prolific.
I spent most of the day in North Dakota watching storms initiate along the ND/MT border, but just not having enough moisture to maintain. After thinking things were done I checked the radar and noticed a storm had a tornado warning and looked strong. I had a brief photo oppurtunity with it around 9 at night near Stanley, ND. After holding off on pursuing the next days storms in central MT. I waited for the “bigger” severe day. A group of storms did initiate in a hot drier environment in SE Montana. After a little later the storm came into contact with more moist environment that was being advected north. Around Baker, MT the storm reintensified and I ended up getting some photos of it.


North Dakota:
nd supercell


nd supercell


Montana:
mt supercell


mt supercell


mt supercell


In the past I have switched from camera to video in the event of a tornado unfortunately, my trusty xha1 may be done.

Posted June 13, 2016 by droobx in Storms

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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.


supercell


supercell


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supercell


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.


tornado
tornado
tornado
tornado
tornado

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.

supercell

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).
supercell

tornado

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.
supercell_tornado

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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supercell

supercell

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supercell

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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supercell


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tornado


tornado


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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First tornadic storm 2016 – North Central Kansas 4/24/16   Leave a comment

I chased in North Central Kansas on 4/24/16. I woke up at a hotel in the Kansas City area. I figured I would drive West on the 36 in case storms fired closer to the Nebraska border.
I ended up seeing a storm that was tornadic North of the I-70 and the West of the 81. I initially viewed a wall cloud with a rapid inflow tail feeding into it. I videoed what may have been a tornado in the rain. I kept up with the storm and took pictures of the storm and eventually left it to pursue some more storms initiating at sunset.
After dodging a couple of hail cores I waited for the evening storms to pass and was done. It turns out this was a more eventful day for me than the 26th which was looking to have a lot of tornado potential but never produced.
First views of the storm with a possible tornado in the rain:


tornadic_supercell


tornadic_supercell


Here is a contrast enhanced of what appears to be a tornado:
tornadic_supercell


Here are a couple of stills later on:



supercell_kansas

Posted April 28, 2016 by droobx in Storms

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