January 19, sleet and ice.
We got up in the morning to find sleet/snow pellets falling. Temps were in the teens with light winds out of the east. During the noon hour the sleet turned to freezing drizzle and things started to ice up. Schools were let out early as traffic accidents began to be paged over the scanner. I had called the NWS first to tell them about the precip changeover, then about the traffic accidents . I also gave KSAL a heads up with the worseing road conditions. Liz and Jeremy got their bus routes done safely. I drove Liz to work at 4:00 pm in the pickup as I had comitments in town also. The truck wipers and defroster could not keep up with the freezing drizzle---I had to hunch over to look out the bottom part of the windshield. Traffic speeds on I-70 ranged to 45 to 55 mph. We made it to Salina on time (barely) and finally the drizzle tapered off and quit.
Feb. 1,snow and wind and cold.
Another artic outbreak with 1-2" of snow. Snow is blowing across the interstate as I took Liz to work.
This is what things looked like when I brought Liz home from work on the two lane road instead of I-70.
February 8, snow and cold.
Yesterday's forecast for today called for 4-5" of snow. Unlike most snow events here in central Kansas where the low pressure moves out of the southwest through northern Ok., this storm dropped straight south along the lee of the rockies. This storm must have stalled because by 8 am. this morning there was 4" on the ground and it snowed steadily all day. Tonight, before I came in, I measured 8" of fluffy snow. We were saved from major problems with this storm as the winds didn't exceed roughly 15 mph all day. I made several snow depth reports to the NWS Wichita as well as live reports on KSAL. KSAL used a portion of my morning report on their noon news. So, after missing most all the major snow falls this winter, we finally got bullseyed with this storm. It's 2 degrees out now as I type this at 7 pm. I expect lower temps after it clears up tomorrow, then a slow warming is expected into the future.
Liz took this picture on I-70 as she went to work.
Radio station award.
February 18-20, chaser convention.
I took Jeremy to the national storm chasers convention along with Kody T. and Michael H. Highlights were Vortex-II presentations by Dr. Kosiba and Dr.Richardson as well talking with the TVN (storm chasers Discovery channel) guys. I also had specific conversations about severe weather with Tim Marshall, Jon Davies, Mike Umschied and Dr. Richardson. Also neat was meeting Dave Hoadley, who is one of the "origional" (first) chasers. I also met some fire fighters from California as well as Randy Denzer (a well knowen chaser) and we swapped some fire fighting stories. Liz stayed home to help feed cattle so Jeremy could come with me for the first time. We had a good time.
Vortex II presentation about the Goshen,Wy. tornado.
More tornado wind measurments by Reed Timmer.
Picture of Kody standing by a Oklahoma TV chase truck.
April 3, driving through a severe thunderstorm in Topeka.
Spc had a slight risk from Salina to Illinois today with a moderate risk from Topeka to northeast Missouri. After church, Liz, Jeremy and I went to Liz's dad's birthday gathering in Topeka. I went because I saw the tornado/hail potential had lessened in the Salina area. Dews at Salina dropped from 59 that morning to 45 by 1 pm as the dry line surged east. As we were getting ready to leave at 6:30, radar showed a storm exploding around Manhatten and becoming severe warned. As we were driving west on I-70 we drove under the flanking line with a small precip shaft on the north side of Topeka. The severe part of this storm was just north of us. Mixed with the rain shaft, I saw dust flying, then light debris coming right at us. I told Liz to look out, high winds are going to hit and slowed down some. We got shaken by 50 mph + winds, rain, and gravel/debri stuff that sounded like hail hitting the car. This lasted around 30-45 seconds and then we were out of it! As the temps were in the 90s and the cloud bases were high, I suspected a microburst. After clearing Topeka, I talked with Denise S.---she was following a severe storm in the northern Marion county. Severe storms lined out from Topeka to south of Wichita and moved east. Tomorrow there is an outbreak forecasted for the Mississippi through Tennessee valley region. It's finally April!
Liz took this picture of the storm's anvil after we had driven through the storm line around the Topeka area.
April 9, severe thunderstorm warning, Barton, Rice, eastern Ellsworth and Saline county.
SPC had a slight risk out for central Kansas this day. Dew points were in the mid 60's for the first time this spring. I was working a fire for most of the afternoon then went home and checked the radar in Iowa where most of the action was. Zooming the radar out I was suprised to see a storm in the Greensburg area. Soon it was severe warned and was moving northeast at 50 mph. I left home alone as Jeremy was tired from fighting fire and Kody had a head start towards the storm. I set up north of Lyons, in Rice county and let the core pass over me. The storm was high based and had lots of hail from what Kody experienced in the St. John area. I got some nickle to a couple of quarter sized hail and relayed this info to the NWS in Wichita. I drove to highway 4 and caught up with the hail core again---more nickles. The NWS moved the warning up through Saline county and KSAL started covering the storm. I made multiple live reports as I strove to keep up with the storm. I was falling behind the storm but I could see it was weakening, both on radar, and looking out the window. The warning was dropped as the storm passed over the Salina area. I made it home around 9:30 and watched the storm mayhem in Iowa.
April 14, thunderstorm/tornado warnings within a tornado watch.
The Storm Prediction Center had a slight risk outlook today for central Kansas. A dryline was supposed to arc from northwest to southeast and push northeast through central Kansas. Around 2 pm a tornado watch was issued for all of central Kansas. I had my pickup loaded and ready to go at this time. After 3 pm, storms started to build in the Ellsworth-Russell-Lincoln county area so I took off west bound on I-70. A severe thunderstorm warning was issued for Ellsworth county for a intense storm south of Ellsworth moving north. I got off I-70 at the Vesper exit, driving south to get lined up with the advancing core. KSAL started live coverage when a storm became severe warned south of Salina, ie. the next storm down the arcing line. I made multiple live reports as the Ellsworth storm passed over me dropping generous amounts of dime to nickel hail. I drove back to I-70 on highway 14, spotting up to golf ball hail lying in the ditch just south of '70. I drove eastward to check out storms that were crossing 70 to my east. Again, at the 156 exit, I ran into copious amounts of dime hail and heavy rain which I reported live. At exit 233 (home exit) I turned north to follow the warned storm in eastern Lincoln county. Watching the back side of this storm as I drove north I could see a wall cloud develop in the Beverly vacinity. I pulled over and stopped northeast of Westfall so I could take a picture of the wall cloud and fat tail cloud feeding in the lowering. My camera would not work, like it's battery was low. I went back live on KSAL stateing that I saw a wall cloud to my north, then drove north again. I pulled over again to watch the lowering north when I glanced northeast to look at the next storm moving up in the "arc", there was a funnel hanging down from the flat cloud base. I was undecided on what to do---call it in or video it. I thought "its been 2 years since I videoed a funnel, I'm videoing". I got greedy and tried to dial my cell phone while videoing and screwed up my steady shot of the ever changing funnel. I put the camera down and joined coverage as Justin D. reported he saw a funnel. We were on opposite sides of the funnel giving our views of it when it dissapated. I scrambled north then east to keep up with the storm, driving through Tescott when a funnel was sighted east of Salina! I turned east to try to get ahead of the Salina storm when a report of a house being hit south of Tescott came in. Justin was east of me and in better position so I turned back as Todd P. wanted me to find the damaged house. Denise S. called me at this time stateing she was in Abilene and what to do. I looked at my radar and saw a very ugly storm south of the town that was severe warned. Experience told me with these "arcing" storms moving northwest, that when the first storm tornados, then the next storm southeast will "hose", then the next, then the next. So we had funnels in the Tescott area, then the Salina area---Abilene would be next! I told Denise to move just west of town and let the storm pass and she would be able to see structure. About then the storm was tornado warned and Denise and Justin, who was coming in from the west on highway 18 covered the storm live in good fashion. After looking back and forth, south of Tescott, I found the house that was damaged. It was on Lockard Rd. in northwest Saline county. A small part of the roof was ripped off, shingles blown off and the south and north soffets were blown out. A nearby wooden shed was destroyed as well as trees blown over. I talked to the family who was working in the basement when the wind hit. The husband went up and outside and saw a funnel just to his north. I took pictures,(my still camera now worked) then gave a live report on the radio. I also called the NWS Wichita and gave them a report. After that, the storms moved out of the area and radio coverage ended. An addition to this account. A couple of days later, I talked to the Beverly spotters. They confirmed my sighting of a wall cloud and even a funnel dropped for a moment just east of town. Chance, from the NWS surveyed the damaged house and confirmed an EF-0 tornado. So the funnel Justin and I were watching, although the visible part didn't touch the ground, circulation WAS on the ground doing damage! Also people living southeast of the damaged house on Lockard Rd. reported to me that they also had damage which is interesting because I didn't see funnels in that area although I was watching the Beverly wall cloud intently and may have missed something to my east.
Picture of the storm that moved into Lincoln Co. before it crossed I-70. It produced a wall cloud in the Beverly area later on.
Picture of roof of house damaged on Lockhard Rd.
Picture of the destroyed shed north of the house.
Picture of debri caught in the fence.
Part of the roof laying on the ground.
Insulation was blown out of the roof onto the gas can.
April 22, severe thunderstorm warning Ellsworth--Lincoln and Saline counties.
SPC had a slight risk outlook for this night, stateing elevated hail storms after midnight. At around 2 am, I was awakened by the weather radio for this warning. I called up the radar on the computer and saw an intense small storm just south of my farm. I thought, "well, I'm going to collect on my hail insurance on my wheat"! I grabbed my stuff, loaded the pickup and took off. I drove east to line up with the core but the storm enlarged greatly and it's core weakened. KSAL went on live coverage which I joined twice talking about heavy rain, no hail or wind. I then talked with Jim C. at the NWS Wichita, he said that he was going to drop the warning early so I went home to find .50" of much needed rain.
May 11, severe thunderstorm watch and severe warnings Barton-Ellsworth-Lincoln counties. A chase bust.
SPC had a moderate risk in the morning, then lowered to a slight risk for central Kansas this day. I thought the action was going to happen after the noon hour so I ok'ed an errand for grandma in Salina. As soon as I started on the errand, a severe warning popped for Barton county, indicating large hail. Thinking this was an anomily storm I did my stuff in Salina. Due to the severe potential, I had loaded the truck with my equipment before leaving for town. I started the radar on the computer and saw that a line of severe storms now extended from southeast of Ellsworth to Russell moving north. Then, much to my alarm, a storm developed a hook just west of Ellsworth and I'm just leaving Salina. I floored the pickup and called Jeremy to be at my house to go on the chase. I then called my sister who was driving to my place to chase, to move it. Minutes later I picked up Jeremy and we took off for Lincoln county where the storms were located. The hook echo dissolved after about 3 updates on the radar fortunatly. We drove through Westfall, finding heavy rain but no hail. We met my sister east of Lincoln on highway 18 where she jumped in and rode with us. By now the storms were north of us moving away at 50 mph so I soon broke off the chase. I even missed the live coverage on KSAL because I had the radio turned down too low so didn't contribute anything to their coverage. Drat! We dropped my sister off at her car then ate a late dinner in Lincoln. The rest of the day, high clouds reduced instability and we had no futher storms, a chase bust.
Picture of my truck with retreating storm taken off of highway 18 where we picked up my sister.
May 19, tornado warnings abound, HP. mess Russell/Lincoln counties.
SPC had a moderate risk for central Kansas this afternoon. A tornado watch was issued for all of central and west central Kansas around 1:30. Storms fired northwest of Great Bend and became tornado warned for Russell county, then Lincoln county. These tornado warned storms were high precipitation messes with embedded circulations all over. I drove to Bunker Hill, then back to Wilson dam, trying to maintain position on the storms. Tornado reports started to come in fast and furious in the Wilson dam/Sylvan Grove area. I did live reports on KSAL when my low battery phone worked. I also gave reports to the NWS in Wichita. I snapped a picture of a funnel cloud northeast of Sylvan grove that popped down unexpectedly. I joined up with Kody and Jeremy at Lincoln. We set up north of Beverly and Jeremy filmed some incredible flat cloud base rotation. Hope that comes out ok. We followed the storms through and just north of Minneapolis, punching the core looking for reported basebal hail. Peas were the only hail we found.
I took this picture of the Discovery channel's TIV parked along the Wilson dam.
Picture of the funnel I saw in the Sylvan Grove area.
May 24, numerous tornado warnings within a tornado watch.
SPC had a "moderate" risk outlook for central Kansas as well as a "high risk" for south central Kansas/Oklahoma. By 2:30 PDS tornado watches were issued from central Kansas to north-central Texas. I now-casted for Kody T. as he positioned himself on the Kan/Oklahoma line south of Wichita. Soon storms were moving out of Oklahoma towards the Barton county area. Jeremy came down and we loaded the truck and took off southwestbound. A broken north/south line of severe storms was moving towards Great Bend as we closed in from the east on highway 4. Several more storms were developing all over the immediate area in central Kansas. The tail end storm became tornado warned southwest of Great Bend at this time so we set up just east of highway 156 on highway 4 thinking that we would let the worst part slide right by us to our west. Scanner traffic on Jeremy's phone indicated a tornado on the ground, just southwest of Great Bend. We couldn't see a thing as the storm was rolling over us with blinding rain at 50 mph. We held our ground along highway 4 listening to all the rotation calls on the scanner to our south. Soon the rain let up enough for us to see structure to our south. I got out of the truck so I could see better all around when I saw a spinning vortex just to our east!! I yelled to Jeremy to shoot video while I grabbed my camera and snapped a still picture. The vortex was initially detached but streatched upward and attached itself to the lowering on the cloud base. After 30 seconds or so, it vanished. I went on live radio as KSAL started covering the storms as the tornado warnings were expanded into Ellsworth county. We followed the storms northward but they weakened suddenly so we shifted back westward as new storms were t-warned south of Russell. We drove to Russell, then dropped south as another tornado warned storm was heading towards the Great Bend/Hoisington area. We pulled into Hoisington at the same time as the storm did. Heavy rain and increasing wind dropped visibility to nill. I turned around on the south side of town because scanner traffic indicated spotters being blown off the road between Hoisington and Great Bend. By the time we got back to the north side of town, the wind was blowing rain horizontal and the truck was rocking. We videoed some flags really flapping as I made a report to the Wichita NWS. We turned east on highway 4 to get ahead of the mess and finally outran the storm at Claflin. Tornado warnings were issued for Ellsworth, Lincoln and Saline counties for brief rain wrapped tornadoes. I made live reports on KSAL about rain and winds as we stayed just ahead of the advancing line from Claflin to Ellsworth to Brookville. We broke off the chase when the winds knocked KSAL off the air.
Picture of the vortex/funnel I spotted just east of our parked truck. A moment later the vortex streatched upward and attached to the cloud base.
Picture of a north south line of storms located south of Russell. The south end of these storms was tornado warned.
May 30, severe thunderstorm warnings within a PDS thunderstorm watch.
SPC had a slight risk outlook for Memorial day here in central Kansas. Severe storms in Nebraska built down into west central Kansas and a watch was issued for central Kansas. At first, I missed the PDS wording until a warning was issued for Russell county and heard about it as I drove westward on I-70. I set up in front of the oncoming severe line at the Wilson exit. Although severe warnings was issued for Ellsworth, Barton and Lincoln counties, I encountered no severe or inclemate weather. I made several live reports on KSAL as the storms moved towards Saline county and weakend. I also made a couple of reports to Wichita NWS. Soon all warnings were dropped and I went home---a whimper of a PDS T-storm watch, the first one of those I had ever seen.
June 1, tornado warnings---severe thunderstorm warnings and flash floods.
SPC initially had no risk, but expanded a slight risk from western Kansas into central Kansas. I was getting ready to leave home for a meeting in Salina when the weather radio toned for a tornado watch. Checking the radar I saw storms exploding in the Hill City area, moving northeast. As I drove to Salina, the storms became severe and one was tornado warned. I conferred with Kody T. and he headed northwest to check things out. Around 7ish, the meeting ended, I fueled the truck in Salina and rushed home. A tornado warned storm was moving towards northern Lincoln county, with severe storms streatching back to northwest of Russell. I got on I-70 intending to join Kody when the Russell storm became tornado warned also. During this time severe storms were northeast of McPherson moving northeast. Denise S. was keeping an eye on these storms. As I passed the Wilson exit, I began to see lowerings and wall clouds northeast of Russell. I charged north at the Bunker Hill exit, seeing a ragged wall cloud with funnels to my northwest. I pulled over 3 miles north of Bunker Hill and snapped a couple of fast pictures. Very soon after this the wall cloud dissolved quickly and the storm organised into a high precip beast, with a new wall cloud forming to my northeast in the rain, with a "wrapping" shelf cloud surrounding the rotating storm. I went on live on KSAL several times while I was in this area. I rushed back to '70, then east to try to get ahead of the storm again. I turned north at the Wilson exit to try to get on the high ground southeast of lake Wilson so I could see structure. The storm was still tornado warned. When I approached the dam area the storm rolled over me. It had a circular shelf cloud that was really nasty looking. I stated live on the radio for people in the lake Wilson area to take cover. I turned east on the blacktop road leading to Sylvan Grove intending to try to get ahead of the storm but was in blinding rain/hail which slowed me down. The circulation in the storm was reported right over me at this time but I had strong northwest winds so most likely any tornados would be to my southeast. I reached the "T" intersection with highway 181 south of Sylvan when I drove out of the rain and hail. Justin D. was reporting a funnel cloud around 5 miles to my south and I rejoined radio coverage while looking for that. I stopped at the intersection of Bison/181 to more carefully look for funnels ect when a gustnado swriled up a 50 yard column of dust right across the road from me and moved away. I REALLY eyeballed this for connection to the cloud base---there was none. Again I went live describing the gustnado on KSAL. By now it was almost completely dark. I got back on I-70 east bound to get ahead of the slow moving storm when reports of damageing winds came in from Lincoln. Severe warnings were extended to Ellsworth and Saline counties at this time. I set up north of Glendale and waited to see if the strong winds would reach western Saline county and I could alert Salina to this. Luckily no high winds came and I reported this on the radio. I was watching the west side of the storm on radar in the Wilson area again---it had a very intense core right over I-70. I punched this core on '70 between the Ellsworth/Vesper exits. There was blinding rain and copious hail and winds bringing traffic to a standstill. I got off at the Vesper exit then headed back east to check on the core again. This time I found construction cones blowen all over the highway impeding traffic. I went on the radio warning about all of this as well as making reports to the NWS about the wind. As I passed the 156 exit I began to see lots of water when the lightning flashed. When I turned off of exit 233 to go home there was 50 yards of rushing water over the road south of the exit. I drove out in the water a ways, but it was looking too deep. I backed up to the exit and went east to try to get around the high water. I reported my high water encounter on KSAL then called Saline county dispatch warning them to check on high water in the western part of Saline county. I drove west on Armstrong road driving through shallow water three different times and made it home. Liz brought in the rain gauge---there was over 4" in it!
Picture of wall cloud/funnels/vorticies? taken 3 miles north of Bunker Hill looking northwest.
Picture of a wall cloud with a storm located northeast of McPherson. This storm moved right over Abilene producing soft ball hail and funnel clouds. Denise S. picture.
Kody's picture of a wall cloud up in northwest Lincoln county taken earlier in the evening. It seemed that the wall clouds from the storms to the northwest were more "ragged" in appearance with attendant shelf clouds. These storms were more HPish and outflowish where the Abilene storm was more isolated and LPish.
June 9, killing storms but a landspout suprise.
SPC had a slight risk outlook today. By 3 pm. a tornado watch was issued for Abilene/Clay Center on east and a severe thunderstorm watch was issued for Saline, Rice and McPherson counties. I was planting milo and had Kody T. watching the radar. Storms developed south of Hutchison and became severe warned. They were too far away for me to chase. Kody then called that radar was beginning to show a return in southwest Dickenson county. I saw a solid tower in that area. I grabbed the truck and picked up Kody heading east on I-70 to catch up with the storm south of Abilene. As we neared Abilene, new towers were forming in the area over I-70. Suddenly I saw a landspout just south of the highway in the Abilene area. Kody started to snap pictures as I accelerated foreward. There was a hollow toube conected to the cloud base but was faint to see except near the ground. At first, it looked like the "spout" was in the town, but as we closed in we saw it was on the ground about 1 mile east. It dissapated as we drew abrest of it just off the highway. We continued on and tried to catch up to the now severe warned storm in southeast Dickenson county. It died at the same time we caught up with it in the White City area. The same thing happened yesterday when Kody and I chased a storm in the southern Dickenson county area. Today the landspout was was an unexpected prize.
Kody's picture of the landspout tornado. The picture was darkened to show the hollow toube up near the cloud base as well as the dust plume near the ground right by the McDonalds sign. I don't think anyone at least on I-70, realized what was going on with the landspout probably thinking it was just a dust devil.
June 16, still killing storms but the storm shot back.
I woke up this day to thunder and rain. At around 8:15 a severe warning was issued for Lincoln county. I drove north and "sampled" the south side of this storm---rain and small hail. I gave a report to the NWS and KSN about what I saw. Soon the storm weakened and I went home. SPC had a slight risk for central Kansas today. By 4 to 5 oclock, storms erupted around the Dodge City area, became severe and moved northeast. Kody called to see if I wanted to kill some storms and I said "come on out". Severe storms were moving into Barton/Russell counties. We set up in front of these storms south of Dorrance recieving wind and rain, then the storm weakened, an effective kill by us. Driving back home the NWS Wichita kept moving severe warnings east to Lincoln and Ellsworth counties! What! The text said collapsing storms were creating damageing winds. Winds to 65 mph were reported in Lincoln county! We set up at the Ellsworth exit on I-70 and measured 40 + mph winds. I relayed this to the NWS and KSAL. We dropped south to Ellsworth as there was one little red center just west of town. This too, weakened as we got on scene. We went home at this time. While I was eating supper, the warning was extended to Saline county stating high winds were occuring. The winds at my house kicked up at this time so I drove out to the end of my driveway and measured a 50 mph gust. I joined live coverage on KSAL stateing my 50 mph wind measurement, warning listeners of possible tree limbs breaking and scattered power outages as well as difficult driving on I-70. As I talked, the temperature rose 8 degrees---a mini heat burst! The winds blew for an hour, averaging 30 to 40+ mph with periotic lulls. Then KSAL was reporting some wind damage in Salina as well as outlying areas. They also started to report power outages. This time the dying storms took the last shot.
June 17, double trouble, severe warnings and tornado warning, central Kansas.
SPC had a slight risk outlook for this day. By afternoon cape was 5000 but shear was modest but increasing. Around 7 pm. I was cooling off at the house after working on my combine. I kept watching the computer radar for signs of storms firing. SPC's meso discussion stated a watch might be necessary when storms initiated. I kept refreshing the computer radar---nothing. As I got some water in the kitchen, I looked out the window and saw storm towers to my south and east. Out the door I went. Scattered storms extended from southeast of Salina to southwest of McPherson. As I neared Salina on I-70 Wichita NWS issued severe warnings for southern Saline county and all of McPherson county. I blasted south on I-70 watching the tail end storm southwest of McPherson start "hooking". KSAL went live coverage at this time. From the Lindsborg exit on south to Mac., I drove through the severe storm. I joined live coverage, talking about the heavy rain strong winds and hail I was driving through. The tempo went up a notch when a tornado warning was issued for MacP. county indicating the "hooking storm. I drove out of the rain/hail core around Pawnee rd. sighting a northeast-southwest orientated shelf cloud with ragged "fingers". One of the fingers suddenly spun up into a funnel just to my east, extended down about halfway to the ground then pulled back up the the shelf cloud base. This little "spin down" lasted about 30 seconds. I went on live radio again, talking about the funnel as well as sireons going in McPherson. I pulled off of 135 at the 56 exit and parked, still live on the radio. I could see a wall cloud southwest of town but rain and hail was moving in from the north again blanking my view. A lightning bolt struck a light pole just to my south. I startled so loud that the station announcer stopped his discussion and asked me what happened. I told him about the lightning strike and warned people how electrical the storm was. I dropped south again to try to get out of the rain/hail but was overtaken with rain and low visibility. At this time the tornado warning was dropped which was good for me since I couldn't see anything anyways! Now a severe warning was issued again for central Saline county for a storm moving out of McPherson county due north! So, there were storms around Mac. moving southeast and a storm in Saline county moving north at the same time! Wierd! (I think the Saline storm was a left split off the tornado warned storm at McPherson). I charged back north on 135 as a purple hail core appeared on my laptop radar image. This storm was only moving 15 mph so it was still over Salina when I caught up with it and joined live coverage on KSAL. On the north side of Salina, the hail core passed over me pounding me with quarter sized hail with one golf ball thonking the truck. I took the Niles exit north off of I-70 to get ahead of the storm again. At Bennington, I crossed the core again on highway 18. More dime, nickel and quarter sized hail. After the storm passed Bennington it weakened rapidly so I went home. I saw all the severe warned storms in western Kansas on the home computer then went to bed. At 2 am. the weather radio toned for severe storms for Lincoln, Russell and Barton counties. I dressed and headed west on I-70. I set up at the Ellsworth exit but these storms weakened as they moved over me. The NWS kept issuing warnings that included Saline county. I kept doing live reports stating just heavy thunderstorms---nothing severe. I did reports from Ellsworth to Salina until finally the warnings were dropped. I got home at 4 am. doing double duty covering severe storms.
This was a picture of the southwestern-most storm as I left home to begin my first chase of the day. Picture looking south.
July 2, severe thunderstorm warning Ellsworth/western Saline counties.
SPC had no risk outlook this day. Liz and I were in Topeka for the day and watched a severe storm on the laptop slowly move through Ellsworth county as we came home. Jeremy called that he had very high winds and rain. I relayed this to Wichita NWS. When we got west of Salina I joined live coverage on KSAL describing conditions on I-70. The warning was dropped about the time we got home.
A neat cake was created for my 60th birthday party. It's kind of cool knowing that all we know about tornados has occurred in my lifetime!
July 31, severe thunderstorm warning southwest Ellsworth county.
Spc had no risk outlook for today nor were there any watches. Just "pop corn" type severe storms when the temps are over 100. We've had several bouts of this type of severe (microbursts), in the last two weeks. I haven't been chaseing those as by the time I get on scene, the storm has weakened and is no longer severe. Today, in the late afternoon, as I was prepareing to go to the field to work, I saw a storm southwest that had a solid rain core. I decided to chase and try for some microburst pictures. As I got into the truck, a warning was toned for southwest Ellsworth county, stateing damage wind potential around Hollyrood. I hurried as fast as I could and stopped on a hill east of Ellsworth and shot pictures of the rain shafts spawning microbursts. I then drove to Holyrood as I heard reports of damage in that area. I found a semi blown over off the highway (156) just south of Holyrood. I also found trees snapped off in town as well as a porch awning blown off a house. I gave multiple reports to Wichita NWS as KSAL did not cover this event.
I took this picture east of Ellsworth looking southwest towards Hollyrood. Notice the curls on the sloping rain shaft probably indicating extra turblence from the microburst.
A second small rain shaft developed northeast of the Hollyrood storm. Here a blob of rain is decending and will hit the ground and curl outward.
I found this semi turned over 3/4 of a mile southwest of Hollyrood. Firefighters told me that the driver was not hurt too badly.
This tree was snapped on the west side of Hollyrood.
The awning was ripped off this house.
The awning came to rest at the far end of the house.
August 9, tornado/severe warnings, Russell through Hutchinson.
SPC had a slight risk outlook for this day. Supercells fired in southwest Nebraska and moved southeast. We had a funeral to attend in the afternoon, then some family visited for a while. I kept an eye to the radar, knowing that a couple of the storms would move into central Kansas. These storms were warned the whole time they were approaching central Kansas. Kody called stateing he was going to meet the storms in the Russell area. He called again saying he could see lots of rotation with the storm moving south through Russell. Hail and high winds were the highlights of this storm. When the warning was extended to western Ellsworth county, I bid our guests adios and headed for the storm. I rechecked in with Kody who now said he could see a wall cloud as well as experiencing increasing inflow into the storm! Accelerator down!!! While still talking with Kody, a tornado warning was issued. KSAL started live coverage which I joined in when I was still 20 miles from the storm. I talked about the striations in the storm that I could see in the fading twilight as well as Kody's sighting of a wall cloud. At this time the radar presentation showed a thick hook with a velositiy couplet. This storm was really electrical too. I closed with the storm on highway 156 just north of Hollyrood. Kody called stateing he saw a funnel halfway down, just west of Hollyrood! I started recieving heavy rain and increasing west winds as I approached the north side of the town. Winds kept increasing then I saw a double power flash on the east side of Hollyrood! Hail began falling as the west wind started to rock the truck! I pulled off of 156 and pointed my truck into the wind and hail, stopped and went live on the radio describing what I was seeing, warning people to take cover. The wind driven hail was creating a roar, making it hard to hear anything. While still talking live on KSAL, the wind abruptly switched to the due north. The speed was around 60 to 70 mph. People later told me I sounded excited on the radio at this time. Two times in the past, I've been on the north side of supercells when the wind switched from west to north. Both times there were tornados on the ground southeast of my position. (Both those times were on 6-11-08). I have yet to hear that any tornados were confirmed in the Hollyrood area so thats good. As the storm moved towards Lyons the tornado warning was dropped but high wind reports kept coming in. Kody had his own hair raiser with the storm north of Lyons. I fell behind the storm after Hollyrood and never caught up with it again although I kept feeding info. to the radio station and called the NWS Wichita once. Coverage on KSAL ended at 10 pm. I met up with Kody near the highway 4/14 junction and we shared storys as well as looking at his pictures. I got to bed around 11:30 but then more warned storms moved into the area around 2 am. I covered these storms for KSAL while driving on I-70 in Ellsworth/Lincoln counties. I got home about 4 am. after doing double duty reporting on severe storms.
Supercell storm shaped like frisbee stacks, looking west when the storm was south of Russell. There was lots of wind damage in the town of Russell. I was getting ready to leave home around this time. Kody's picture.
Radar reflectivity image of the storm just before hitting Hollyrood. I was around Ellsworth at this time heading southwest while the storm was moving southeast. We met at Hollyrood!