Welcome to my storm chase page

Since I was a child, I have been fascinated by storms and severe weather. After graduation from college in 1974 I attended my first spotter training provided by the National Weather Service and began to call in reports of severe weather in my area. A few years later I became a weather watcher for KSN TV channel 3 in Wichita and attended their spotter training. I began to chase storms in the mid 1980s because I wanted to see tornadoes but no tornadoes were occurring around my fixed spotting site. Up until 2004 I had caught only 3 tornadoes, but caught up with 9 in 2004 and 3 in 2005. In the early “dry” years that I chased I did gain experience and my chasing has evolved to the present time where I am a storm reporter for the KSAL radio group in Salina as well as spotting for KSN in Wichita. When storm season arrives, I will post accounts and pictures from my chases.

© Henry Diehl

Best catch of 2004. Southern Russell County, Kansas. July 7th.

April 10,catching up.

We haven't had much severe here in central Kansas this spring so far. Typical low moisture, high shear early spring situation. Was hoping for a "sleeper" day today but the models keep choking convection in Kansas on the south side of the warm front. 51 dew point this morning just won't make it although I will intently watch the radar this late pm/evening for anything south of the Nebraska border in the enhanced outlook. As we had stormy winter, I was hoping for some early severe for once but it has stayed mainly south. Listening and reading from several meteorologist, it seems with the overall el-nino pattern we're in, shoves our severe into mid to late May/June this year, yet another waiting game. Storm Chasers Convention highlights: 1. Chaser con. was held in Wichita this year with seemingly great success. 2. Liz and I was able to attend, wheel chair and all. 3. Saw lots of old friends again as last convention, I got my new liver and couldn't attend. 4. KSN weather people were all there all the time so I got to talk with them a lot. 5. The best presentation was a panel discussion with Law Enforcement and Emergency Managers taking questions from the storm chasers. It was a chance for each side to look each other in the eyes and evaluate. It was extremely productive. I have advocated for the storm chasers with these very people at the integrated weather team meetings for years. Forums like this need to continue as I think both sides are assets to each other instead of enemies. Storm chase community needs to reign in the "bad apples" chasers which would help. 6. It sounds like the Hill's will have one more Chaser con. back in Denver next year, then retire from putting it on. I don't know if any one else will pick it up after they retire. Time will tell. ADVANCED SPOTTER TRAINING last night, Salina, Kansas. Highlites. 1.Seven forecasters from Wichita NWS came for this presentation. 2. Topics covered were super cell formation--reading of balloon soundings/hodographs, a look back at tornado events and what caused them, new thinking about tornado genesis. 3. A fairly good crowd attended. 4. This winter, I've studied utube presentations on this new thinking of tornado genesis. While there are fascinating stuff going on in the forward flank stream wise vorticity current which feeds the existing tornado. They are not showing the rope out stage that I see at the end of most tornados. Also, Jeremy's video of the beginning of the Bennington tornado with rain sheets wrapping around the south side (rear flank downdraft) before the tornado condensed and planted. That still suggests to me the RFD has some input yet.