March 30, 06 Paydirt!
This day started early with a thunderstorm watch around 3:30 am. The weather radio roused me and I turned on the computer to the radar. It showed thunderstorms firing west of Hays but none went severe. Checked SPC at 8 am to find we were on the west end of a moderate risk but no thunderstorms were happening, mother nature seemed to be waiting. Got my morning feeding on the farm done by 11 am in between watching the radar on the computer. Somewhat out of the blue a PDS tornado watch was issued for central and eastern Kansas. I readied the chase truck and grabbed Jeremy when a severe thunderstorm warning was issued for northern Ellsworth county. We drove up to I-70 exit 233 went west and drove up to a non-rotating wall cloud that passed into southern Lincoln co. At this time the weather radio toned for a tornado warning for radar indicated there was a storm back south by Kanopolis lake. We reversed direction to get east of this storm and went into storm reporter mode with KSAL radio making several on air reports while following this storm into Ottowa Co. Drove through several bouts of heavy rain and dime to nickel hail but luckily no cloud base rotation was seen. Radio coverage ended at 1 pm. We then headed south on I-35 towards tornadic storm in Reno/McPherson/Marion Co. I decided to get ahead of this storm by taking highway 4 east through Gypsum to highway 15 then south on 15. At this time the weather radio toned a tornado warning for rotation NW of Durham, Jeremy exclaimed that this was just to our south. Almost immediately I saw a wall cloud/funnel straight ahead over the highway about a mile and a half away. We pulled over at the at the Tampa turn off and watched/filmed the funnel lower halfway to the ground with a debris swirl picking up under it. It stayed on the ground for a mile just missing a farmstead and lifted, almost hitting a truck approaching toward us from Tampa. During this time I contacted KSN and the National Weather service-Wichita and made reports. We then tried to keep up with this storm driving at times up to 70 mph on highway 77 and couldn't catch up with it, so at this time we broke off the chase and ate a belated dinner in Herington.
© Henry Diehl
non-rotating wall cloud in northern Ellsworth Co.
© Henry Diehl
Funnel cloud west of Tampa.
© Henry Diehl
Tornado on the ground west of Tampa.
April 6, Storms blow through central Kansas.
I got up very early this morning, turned on computer to see that SPC (storm prediction center) had upgraded the northeast third of Kansas to a "high risk" designation for severe storms. Central Kansas was on the edge of a moderate risk with the text claiming dryline/storms moving through around the noon hour similar to what happened last Thursday. The problem was I was to give a storm talk to Salina South jr. high from 1-2 pm. After calling the school to inform them I might not be able to come if storms developed and conferring with Jason my chase partner that we might chase east central/northeast Kansas later in the afternoon I completed my am farm work. Before heading to Salina at 11:30 I could not make sense of what the atmosphere was doing ie no watches, discussions, storms, low pressure at the surface was not doing what was progged. Again, Mom nature was waiting. At 1 pm. as I was starting my presentation to a room full of kids, my fire pager toned for a tornado watch including Saline co. What timeing! I turned up the pager and let them listen to the text then discussed what a tornado watch meant. At 2 pm. the class was over and a school administrator let me use her computer to check where the watch was and if any storms had started. There was a heavy cell nw of Huchinson so I knew I'd be in storm report mode as it was moving north. Looping the radar showed a storm split with the nw storm moving into eastern Ellsworth/western Saline co. becoming severe while the eastern split held its ground in western Mc.Pherson co. Consulting by phone with Todd P. of KSAL I decided to go to the southern part of the county while he covered the storm passing through the west side. I was concerned that the right split would become dominate and set up on a hill with excellent visibility to the south. The storm moved in becoming severe and I made multiple on air reports from my position as the storm kept back-building dropping dime-nickle hail three different times. My chase partner arrived and I started watching his laptop radar scans when a huge classic hook evolved just north of Salina. My heart just dropped! Soon tornado reports started 6-10 miles northeast of Salina and continued through Clay Center. Here I was, on the south side of the county, backbuilding rain masking any structure of the storm to the north. I think Salina was LUCKY! I picked up Jeremy on the south side of Salina and we went east to a storm around Herington just like the previous week, but this storm zipping along at a measley 80 mph so we didn't catch it. Broke off the chase at Junction City after seeing a lot of hail on the ground from the storm we couldn't catch. I have never seen storms move this fast EVER! Got home to find it didn't rain, what a bummer.
April 23, Hail storm/tornado warning Saline county.
This day started out with central Kansas located in the middle of a slight risk outlook. I got home from church around 3 pm and started to follow the storms in southwest Kansas moving in my direction. A severe thunderstorm watch was issued for central through southwest Kansas with Saline county located on the northeast edge. I went ahead and did my evening chores early to get them out of the way in case I could chase storms if there were any in the area. I had just got back on line on the computer when the power went out, our transformer quit! SPC issued a discussion that rapid thunderstorm developement was expected through central Kansas shortly then the transformer blew. While troubleshooting the power outage I heard thunder to the northwest!! I walked out north of the farm stead and saw a pretty high-based storm developing. I called my chase partner and he came right out and as we left home a severe thunderstorm warning was issued for eastern Lincoln Co. just to our north. We drove to Beverly, to check this storm out--just some moderate rain was encountered. We then noticed visually and on radar that a storm was building to our south so we went east to Tescott and dropped south to get in front of this storm. We set up 2 miles north of Glendale noticing a wall cloud forming to our west southwest. I told Jason that we were in the area where the heavy hail would be and would check that out then move on. Soon heavy rain with dime size hail started with the hail increasing to half dollar size. We saw a small toube form for a few seconds on the north side of the wall cloud similar to some "high in the sky low precipitation supercells vorticies" I've seen before. I made reports to KSN and the NWS Wichita, asking them if they saw any rotation on radar the answer was "not much". We then moved to Glendale looking for shelter from hail that was pouring down up to golf ball size. I parked under a tree in Glendale finding some shelter and called KSAL radio and went on air warning about the large hail falling in the northwest part of Saline county hoping to give folks time to "button up". It hailed for it seemed like 15 minutes in the Glendale area turning the ground white. We then bolted south to interstate but was blocked by cars packed under the overpass. I wanted to go east on I-70 to get ahead of the storm so I entered the west bound ramp and with no traffic, crossed the medium and went east-bound. MISTAKE! About 3 miles eastbound weather radio toned for a tornado warning based on rotation 6 miles north of Brookville which was 6 miles south of the exit I'd just left. Jason and I was in the soup(rain) and couldn't see good back to the southwest so sprinted foreward to the next exit and turned south setting up in front of the wall cloud between state st. and highway 40. I made several on air reports from this position as the storm weakened and the warning was dropped. Unfortionately my dash camera malfunctioned---I think it blew it's transformer, and my digital camers pics were fuzzy due to rain/hail so can't post good pics of this event. A post script of this event----sometime when cars are piled up under overpasses a tornado will come along and catch up folks trying to get out of the way but can't get through!!
Hail damage to wheat taken two miles west and one mile north of Glendale.
May 8, chase bust!
After watching tornado warnings for northwest Kansas and around Dodge City the evening before, (within a severe thunderstorm watch) I was excited about the "slight risk" outlook for central Kansas for Monday pm. When a tornado watch was issued for western/central Kansas I looked at some parameters,(good but little 1 kilometer helicity) and called my chase partner and four of us set out for target northwest of Hays,(where cold front/dryline intersected). Storms formed along cold front first, then went down the dryline, quickly lineing out into a squall line with high wind reports the only severe occurring. We stayed ahead of the line back to Saline county prepaired to cover the storm on radio but the line weakened so no severe for Saline county occurred. We did get a half of inch of needed rain out of the storm though. Pattern change to dry weather for next week or so---does that mean a active memorial day weekend like many years past? We'll see.
Memorial Day heavy rain chase.
After reading Mike Umscheid's blog Monday afternoon about the possibilities of landspout tornados in central Kansas as well as a thunderstorm watch issued for central/southcentral Kansas and with towers going up to my east and south, and it "WAS" Memorial day weekend, I had to go out and chase. I started out solo since Jeremy was with friends and my chase partner didn't answer his cell phone. I decided to head for Rice Co. where storms were strongest but, when passing Brookville, my fire pager toned for a tree pile fire. I reluctantly stopped in Brookville and took a fire truck to the scene nervously watching the towers grow around me as well as skies darkening to the southwest. After some time I was released from the scene, returning to Brookville and now wondering where to go. I called home and Liz said the action was in Barton Co. so I decided to go to Lake Knopolis and south/west from there. I passed a small shower in northeast Ellsworth Co. enroute to the lake and the farther I went away from it the stronger it got. South of the Lake jason, my chase partner called saying he was at my house and that a storm was intensifying just to the west. I reversed direction and while I was cutting across country towards home a severe thunderstorm warning was issued for se Lincoln Co. mentioning the town of Westfall. I picked up Jason and we drove to Westfall where the first storm had just exited but another one formed to the south and moved in. Heavy rain began as Jason and I watched an interesting lowering to our southeast. NWS continued the warning mentioning Westfall and Beverly again so I made reports to NWS and KSN stating heavy rain no hail not much wind. We moved 4 miles NE of westfall both to keep the lowering to our SE in sight and to follow the training storm cores. At this point we recieved up to quarter sized hail with the heavy rain and this was reported as well. We headed back to my place around 9:30ish as the lowering (wall cloud?) diminished and the training storms were moving easttowards home and I needed to pull my irrigation pump out of the creek just in case. At 10:30 Jason went home but then a thunderstorm warning was issued for Saline Co. on a storm SW of Brookville. I got back in the truck and drove to Brookville then east to just west of Salina, encountering heavy rain some pea hail but deadly lightning. Touched base by phone to the radio station and the NWS about what I saw and returned home at midnight. Then a new warning was issued for Saline Co. based on another cell in the "train" west of Brookville. I stayed home. At least parts of central Kansas have recieved benificial pond filling rains with hopefully more to come this Tuesday night.
Cloud hole/RFD slot north of Hays taken on May 8, chase.
Lowering of interest southeast of Westfall, Kansas looking to the southeast.
June 5-6 midnight run.
A complex of storms moved into central Kansas around 11 o-clock with a severe thunderstorm warning issued for Linclon Co. I drove up into that area (Beverly to Lincoln to Westfall) mainly to check out possibilities of high winds that were expected. While east of Lincoln I was westbound when lightning illuminated a scary looking scud cloud that made a column clear to the ground! Haven't looked at film from dash cam yet but it might make a good teaching tool. Hope the movie picked it up. Other than this, no hail, no wind, but brilliant lightning strokes all around making this chase interesting. Some good heavy rain was noted and all this was reported to NWS, TV and radio station. If movie was good and my chase partner can do it I'll post a picture of this chase.
June 16, Harvest ends, time for a storm chase!
We were cutting the last of this years wheat, Friday afternoon, with one eye on the western horizon where storm clouds were building. After parking the last combine and trucks under the sheds, I checked the radar on the computer and saw that a severe thunderstorm warning was issued for Ellsworth/Lincoln countys with the weather radio stating high straight line winds. I went to the bedroom to change out of my dirty clothes, and listened to Lincoln county spotters talking about high winds kicking up large clouds of dust. I loaded cameras into the chase truck and headed to Westfall (again)! Nearing the east side of Westfall I could see a quasi-shelf cloud with lots of dust riseing up around three miles west of the little town. I passed through the town then sprinted south 1 mile to a hill to set up. The truch was shakeing some with the wind comeing out of the storm as I jumped out with my wind gauge to measure the wind speed. As I held the gauge up my hat blew off into the ditch with the reading beginning at 30 mph and increasing by 5s till it settled at 50 mph. I hopped back into the truck and reported this to the NWS and TV station then snopped a couple of pictures of the dust flying past the elevator in Westfall. I then drove east bound trying to keep up with the wind shift and ended back in my home area when thunderstorm warnings were posted for SW Saline county clear down to Wichita. I reported to the radio station my wind gust measurement in Lincoln county and the current wind speeds in western Saline county, (around 40 mph measured). I dropped south to Brookville and set up there sending in reports to the radio station encountering only periodic rain and gusty winds of 30 mph. When the warning expired, I went home making my last report live when my cell phone fell apart cutting me off on my only live broadcast!! Well you can't win them all. Got home to only .30" rain in the gauge.
June 16, dust blowing by Westfall.
June 21 Ellsworth county hailstorm/central Kansas heavy rain event.
This day started with the storm prediction center issuing a "slight risk" outlook for all of central Kansas, stating large hail damageing winds possible during late afternoon/evening time period. The noticeable thing about this day in central Kansas was dewpoint! Salina, Russell, and Great Bend all had 66 or 67 degree dews all afternoon which we haven't had this spring. Around 5 pm I saw a storm fire up by Concordia and towers going up to my southwest. At this time all of central Kansas was put in a severe thunderstorm watch. I began watching the radar on the computer and saw a storm fire in southern Ellsworth county. Jeremy and I loaded cameras and headed for Ellsworth after listening to Mark Bogner (KSN meterologist) say that this storm should go severe. In route, the weather radio toned for a severe thunder storm warning for the Ellsworth area. We arrived in Ellsworth and took the road to Kanopolis encountering sporatic bouts of hail, mostly quarter size, with a few up to golf balls. We took refuge under a tree in Kanopolis and I made reports to the TV and Radio stations about the intense hail that was falling at the time. The storm split, with the north storm dissapating in southern Lincoln county and the right "splitter" tracking east. During a lull in the hail, we drove north to highway 40, then east to get ahead of the right split storm, thinking it would move into southwest Saline county and we would be in position to cover it for the radio station in Salina. This storm died too! Jeremy wondered why storms kept dying as they moved towards our home area all the time and I said we hadn't caught up with the percentages yet. We didn't know it then but our percentage was about to assume lottery proportions! At this time I decided to chase the Cloud/Clay county storms, which were tornado warned and moving more south making for an easier intercept. By the time we got to highway 18 north of Abilene this storm was back building westward toward Minneapolis and becoming outflow dominate. I decided to go west toward at the time, the tail end storm, which looked promising since the Clay county storm was no longer tornado warned. At Bennington we saw a range fire north of town with fire trucks enroute probably started by lightning and fanned by 35 mph winds from the storm. We set up north of Bennington watching in awe at all the wicked lightning bolts strikeing around as the line of storms moved south into northern Saline county. We headed south to cover the storms in Saline county if they went severe with new storms building south and west of us congealing into a large linear slow moving system as seen on radar. I pulled on to I-70 on the north side of Salina heading west to cover a severe thunderstorm warning for southern Lincoln county which was moving into northwest Saline county. At mile marker 246 we drove into a wall of rain instantly reducing visibility to zero---I mean blind! I didn't know where I was traveling (VERY SLOW) until I felt the rumble strips along the side of the road and then barely saw the white line on the road edge and followed that for a mile until the rain let up some. I reported this to the radio station warning I-70 traffic what to expect in my area. We needed to get home and move some equipment away from low water areas at the farm which we did in the pouring rain, then made reports of low-land flooding to Saline county emergency management and the radio station. Around 11 pm the rain let up and ended around midnight with a storm total of 3.50" at our house. Finally the rain percentages have evened out somewhat at our farm.
August 2, Lincoln County high wind event.
With the high temps we've had this summer and periodic bouts of instability and a cool front in the vicinity we have had several severe thunderstorm warnings for downburst winds near rain cores. August 2nd was no exception. Thunderstorms started to develop in the late afternoon when I got in from the field and after looking on radar on the computer I saw this bright red and perfectly round cell just southwest of the town of Lincoln. The weather radio toned for a severe thunderstorm warning for Lincoln Co. stating strong winds and quarter sized hail. I grabbed my phone and camera, jumped into the truck and pulled out of the yard. Looking north from my driveway I saw a spectacular supercell storm and immediately stopped to snap a picture. I then sped north to southeast of Lincoln listening to the weather radio state that 100 mph winds were measured in Lincoln and significant damage occurred. I stopped and snapped another picture, watching spectacular white scud clouds fly out from underneath the storm in a fan-like pattern. It would have made a cool video but I didn't take time to get my video camera. I then went on live on KSAL radio describing what I saw and watched the storm move into Ottawa Co. and weaken. All in all, a cool looking storm for mid summer with little wind shear.
Lincoln County storm taken from my driveway.
A closer shot of Lincoln County storm southeast of Beverly.
August 18, Saline County severe thunderstorm/heavy rain event.
Jeremy and I were in Salina doing some banking and getting farm repairs when we saw a storm building southwest of town. The temperature was in the low 100s and the dew points in the upper 60s so another high wind setup seemed in offing. We picked up Jeremy's girlfriend and was getting the last repair piece made when the weather radio toned a severe thunderstorm warning for Saline Co. stating the storm south of Brookville moving northeast. We headed out of town southwestward and set up 1 mile north of Smolan. I made a report on the radio about what we were seeing and moved to the north side of this storm encountering wind damage and high water which also was reported live. Then other storms developed and "trained through the same area creating more of a flooding threat as well as being severe warned for hail and high winds. We followed these storms as they backbuilt into Ellsworth county and made multiple on air reports about was happening. This was Meghan's (Jeremy's girlfriend) first storm chase, (she was stuck with us anyways) so she was pretty excited and when this night was over we received 4" of badly needed rain at our farm! Yeah!!
Severe storm west of Salina.
Wind damage west of Salina.
<Friday August 25, Tornado warning Ellsworth/Saline County.
This day started with SPC placing central Kansas in a slight risk for severe thunderstorms. I finished baling feed in Saline county anxiously watching instability clouds(accas) form to my south and went home around 6 pm. After checking the computer, I saw that central Kansas was on the north side of a severe thunderstorm watch with a storm popping up in Russell county moving eastward into Lincoln county. The NWS Wichita issued a significant weather advisery for this storm. I decided that this storm had the potential to become severe, so grabbed the cameras, loaded the chase pickup and soon was westbound on I-70. Jeremy was in Salina and my chase partner was away from his phone so I went solo. I hadnít traveled but 4 or 5 miles when the weather radio toned for a severe thunderstorm warning for ne Ellsworth and southern Lincoln counties. Ok, so far so good! I pulled off 70 onto highway 14 and went to the highest point near that junction. I saw a lowering/wall cloud to my northwest with a vigorous tail feeding in on the north side. I snapped a couple of pictures inbetween conversations with the NWS Wichita and KSN meterologist Dave Freeman asking them if they saw rotation with the storm. They both said yes! At that time I saw a rear flank downdraft curling clouds downward on the sw side of the wall cloud but didnít see much rotation with the wall cloud. The storm was moving east southeast directly for me when it seemed to exhale and turned south crossing I-70 a mile or so to my west and speeded up. For some reason my video cam ejected while running and jammed being inop the rest of the chase. I jumped on 70 eastbound to 156 exit to get ahead of the storm . After driving southbound 3 or 4 miles on 156 the core passed south of my location still moving southeast. At this time a tornado warning was issued for NE Ellsworth/western Saline county stating radar detected rotation like 7 miles southeast of Westfall which was back to my northeast!! It was raining and hailing cats and dogs as I turned around and headed back to I-70. To get east ahead of the storm. I made my first broadcast on the radio driving east on 70 stating the rain and hail I was in urgeing drivers to not drive into the mess I was driving in. I called Dave at KSN and he said I was too far north to get south. I sped to the Brookville exit after talking with Jeremy who was tracking the wall cloud northwest of Brookville a ways, and turned south. I caught up with him 1 mile north of Brookville on a hill and began continous coverage on KSAL of where the wall cloud was. Jeremy and his friend Meghan jumped in with me in Brookville and we tracked the lowering/wall cloud SW of Brookville through the Smoky Hill Weapons range to SW of Smolan to Assaria where we broke off the chase and radio coverage ended at 9:15 . Jason, my chase partner joined us at Brookville and Jeremy communicated with him over the FM radio since I was on the hot mike all the time. All in all it was a nerve wracking time---being in good position then loosing position due to bad road network and gaining it back again. A small tornado was seen a few miles NE of Ellsworth which would have been just south of me while I was on 156 but due to rain caused low visibility, I didnít see it. Got home to see we received an inch of rain---allright!!
A postscript to this storm was the roar/rumble like a jet, that this storm made as heard by numerous people. Iím not sure what made the roar, but the people thought it was a tornado in most cases. Also Emergency management from Saline Co. saw 3 different hook echoes SW of Salina at the same time on their radar.
Wall cloud with tail taken in southern Lincoln County.
Supercells in September
September 15. A severe setup evolved today for Kansas and Nebraska. Finally, there was decent shear for the first time since last spring. Only problem to this situation was I had to go to a wedding in the late afternoon/evening in east central Kansas so couldn't be on hand for the expected development of storms out around southwest/westcentral Kansas. I got my son and his girlfriend as well as my chase partner "hyped up" to cover the area west of home when storms fired. Of course, with all that trouble no storms developed during the daylight hours while I was gone except some nasty looking storms in central Nebraska. While I was driving home Fri. evening I heard of a tornado watch posted for southwest Kansas through southwest part of central Kansas. When I got home at 11:30, the radar showed around 4 to 5 supercells south and west of Great Bend (some tornado warned) moving northeast. I intercepted the northern storm west of Ellsworth around 12:30 am. and promply killed it. Went back home to see the southern supercells still going strong around Hutchinson at 1:15 am. Later we got .70" rain during the rest of the night. Saturday, Sept. 16, SPC is forecasting a severe outbreak for the Iowa area this afternoon with a trailing line pulling back into central Kansas this late afternoon/evening. We'll see.
Severe storms move through central Kansas.
September 16. SPC highlighted eastern Dakotas/Nebraska through Iowa with a moderate risk Saturday morning as well as covering most of central Kansas through north central Texas with a slight risk for severe storms. Upon returning home from the state fair in Hutchison at 5 pm I could see that storms were trying to build to the west/southwest of my home. I checked the computer and saw that SPC forcasters were preparing to issue a tornado watch for central/southwest Kansas based on instability (90 degree temp/68 dew point) and shear,(50 -60 kt at 18,000 ft) and a dryline in the vacinity. I called Jason, my chase partner, and he came out immediatly. Jason, Jeremy and I left the house around 6 pm and headed towards Great Bend since strong storms had developed east of Dodge City and were moving northeast. When we reached Ellsworth new storms erupted southwest of us about 10 miles so we just pulled off hiway 156 south of town and watched them grow. It was cool to see the shear aloft tilt the storms over almost 45 degree and I tried to snap a picture of this but was so close I couldn't get the whole storm in the picture. The weather radio toned for a severe thunderstorm warning for Ellsworth county pinpointing the storm just to our southwest. I held my ground and let the storm pass directly overhead (it was not a large storm) to see how intense it was. We encountered nickle sized hail for about 2 minutes and this was reported to KSN and the National weather office at Wichita. We then followed the storm into Lincoln county making on air reports to KSAL radio, stopping to snap lightning pictures east of Westfal. By this time storms were popping up all over central Kansas quickly becoming severe and just as quickly fading in intensity. Jason brought along his laptop/cell phone combo and kept the radar updated constantly. This was a real help in deciding which storms to go to and how severe they looked making talking about them live easier when on air. We covered severe storms moving into southwest Saline county then went back to the Ellsworth area to cover a storm moving through that area again(measured winds to 40 mph). I dropped Jason off at home around 11:00 then traveled east back into Saline co. to cover another thunderstorm warning when KSAL was knocked off the air so didn't report on this storm. Got home at midnight after chaseing storms for 6 hours traveling in a big circle through Ellsworth--Lincoln--Saline--McPherson--Ellsworth and Saline counties. Whew! Fortunately no tornadoes formed and not much rotation at all in all the storms of this evening. I think with southwest surface winds with west southwest upper level winds, (unidrictional flow) plus maybe not steep enough laps rates kept rotation at a minimum. Got 1.35" rain out of this event so ever more denting the drought.
Rainshaft in Ellsworth County.
Lightning from severe storm in Lincoln County Sept.16.
September 21, Tornado warnings in central Kansas.
This day started with SPC highlighting central Kansas with a slight risk outlook. A upper cold core low was moving out of Colorado into western Kansas similar to April 10, 2005 when a mini tornado outbreak happened in west central Kansas. The differences was that today was cooler in tempertures and dew points were a little less from what I remember. I kept watching the radar--surface obs--and satelite on the computer seeing how the storm would evolve when the satelite picture showed a dry slot cutting up into west central Kansas almost identical to April 10, 05 only this clearing was taking place in the morning. Due to this earlier arrival I sensed that "if" severe storms/tornadoes formed, they would be farther east in central Kansas instead of west central Kansas April 10. After finishing dinner at 1 pm, the radar showed storms in the Hays area with more forming in a line back to the southeast. SPC meso discussion stated possible tornado development from low topped supercells showing horrendous shear at 500 mb. and 1 kl helicity up to around 400 in central Kansas. I left immediatly west bound on I-70 to intercept storms crossing the highway in the Russell area and was half way there when the weather radio toned for a tornado sighting in the Russell area. I reached the Bunker Hill exit east of Russell and saw a lowering already several miles north of Russell so I pulled off and drove 5 miles north and watched the storm move on out of the Russell county area. At this time Jeremy called from home stating he saw storms moving into the Ellsworth county area and strengthening. I returned to I-70 and hurried back east to cover these storms if they went severe when I noticed a small, very rounded storm south of interstate at the Sylvan Grove exit. I pulled off and snapped a couple of pictures of this storm then went on eastbound. Two minutes later the weather radio toned for a tornado warning based on radar indicated rotation for the very storm I had just stopped and looked at! Nothing happened with this storm as it raced north so I kept heading east to cover new tornado warnings for southwest Saline/eastern Ellsworth counties. I pulled off at my home exit,(233) went north a bit and set up to watch the storms move into Lincoln county. I met Dave Ewold-(hope I spelled right) from Oklahoma and visited with him briefly as we watched the storm pass. More tornado warned storms were moving into southwest Saline county so I picked up Jeremy at home and busted east to State St. and Brookville rd. where I made on air descriptions of the storms for KSAL then went south to 1 mile north of Brookville going on air to say that the worst of the storm would stay west of town. At this time Jason, my chase partner caught up with us and said that he heard of rotation detected near Glendale. We looked north saw a rounded turbulent cloud base with some downdraft cutting in east of Glendale so charged north to I-70 then east seeing rotation of the cloud base to my north and reporting this fact. I realized that Todd P. was in the Hedville area so I crossed the medium and went back to the Glendale exit then north where I verified that the storm had cleared Glendale and was east of Tescott. As we were crossing into Ottawa county I was watching a lowering to my east and Jeremy said there it goes but I couldn't tell if there was rotation or not with the lowering until the lowering turned into a perfect funnel shape. We got on a hill and pulled over, rolled down the window and I DID see rotation then! I reported a funnel (live on radio) and it dropped to just over halfway to the ground with one thin spin-up under it. As it lifted, the tip moved horizontially and rolled vigorously on its side then dissapated. Whow! My video carma followed me, when I handed the digital camera to Jeremy to hand to Jason, Jeremy hit the stop button on our video camera and missed much of the show. ARGH! Fortunately Jason got good video so will have to "borrow" his. All in all an exciting day!
Rotating storm at Sylvan Grove Exit.
Funnel cloud at Northern Saline/Southern Ottawa County line.