Feb. 2, ground hog day.
Liz and I attended the storm chasers convention held in Norman Ok. a week ago. This was the first time convention was held there. Overall, it wasn't a bad convention. I had hoped to see Ben McMillian or Robin Lorenson, who was on the May 6, 2015 Lincoln county tornado with me. I just hoped to share experiences with them about that day and that storm. Also Dr. Greg Forbs of the weather channel had a medical procedure which would not allow him to fly in a plane. I like to talk with Dr. Greg and ask questions. He also takes a shot at what he thinks the spring tornado season might be. Dr. Howie Bluestein gave an interesting presentation what his Rax-Pol radar has detected in past storms. Also, the oldest living chaser was in attendance, David Hoadly from Virginia. As I age I'm seeing more and more "original" chasers pass away and not long in the future will come a time when the ground level cadre who started this chase hobby will be gone. On our way home from convention, Liz and I stopped at the Wichita National Weather Service and talked with Ken, Chris and Andy. I had questions about the "elevated mixed layer", Nocturnal Jet, and how to access the European weather model. Ken showed me a new (to me) tool on the computer that has promise in showing potential severe episodes several weeks in advance. It bulls eyed the Dallas killer tornado outbreak the day after Christmas and showed a strong indication of severe today in the mid south. I will be following this through the spring.
Another storm chaser loss.
I was talking to Kody on the phone a few days ago when he told me that Herb Stein had passed from cancer. Herb drove the DOW truck for Dr. Wurman and was seen several times on Discovery's storm chasers show. I talked to Herb along the road in a chase in Riley county as well as other times we crossed paths with the Dow in Kansas. His real job was para-medic/firefighter/volunteer which I can identify with.
Radio station award for 2015.
April 6, Advanced spotter training at Salina.
Kody and I went to this training Wed. evening. It was put on by the Wichita NWS. Robb, Kevin and Chris taught a trifecta that lasted 2 1/2 hours. High lights were Kevin's talk about a new hail upgrade of Wichita's radar (installed two days before) and how dual polarization helps in the warning process. My BIG bug-a-boo with the warning process is nation wide where forecasters issue tornado warnings based on strong mid level rotation. Dual-pol radars CAN see debris if they are lofted high enough. Kevin explained how that process works with many examples. Chris presented his study of recent tornado outbreaks from 2007--2011. There were 32 outbreaks that he studied. 30 out of 32 had above normal precip. two weeks prior to the outbreak. The other two had normal precip two weeks prior to the outbreak. Pretty convincing. We are so dry that there is little chance for an outbreak in the plains in April. Although some models are showing a pattern change in a week and a trend to more unsettled weather. Looking further, early May looks interesting so we'll see. Right now the constant 30s dew points in Kansas doesn't make it as far as severe weather. Back to tornado warning false alarms. It is my opinion that until we have instruments that can measure the rear flank downdraft temp. we will not know for sure if a tornado will develop. For a while, we will have to figure dew point temps and cloud base heights to "suggest" possible RFD temps. A PS. to the training. Chris also said new weather satellites will be launched soon to replace ageing inventory. These new satellites will be hyper fast and will really help with the forecasting/warning process.
April 17, Severe weather last Friday.
For the first time, there was severe weather in the western plains. SPC had an enhanced outlook for the Kansas/Colorado border south into Texas. I was busy getting ready to work cattle Sat. but Kody planned on chasing. Kody set up at Elkhart Kansas and waited. A tornado watch was issued for southwest Kansas southwestward into the Texas panhandle. He got on a storm that came out of the northwest Texas panhandle into the Oklahoma panhandle. It, and one storm in eastern Colorado were the only storms to tornado. Kody's recognition of the mesoscale situation was spot on. His pictures below.
Kody's picture of the structure of the storm before producing a tornado.
Tornado with RFD cut above it.
Tornado is now getting rain wrapped.
Thursday, April 21. Threat on the horizon.
I usually post only accounts of chases on this site, but will deviate some this time where I can look back at what I think. Today forecasters are talking about next Tue. of a significant severe outbreak for Kansas and Oklahoma. I've been following models for a few days now in anticipation of action next week. Now with the rain we've had, moisture should be available for the sharp trough that is forecasted to move through Tue. I took a look at some snap shots for spots in Kansas off of forecast models that show instability plus wind shear for Tue. and some of them make my hair bristle! A warm front is progged to lay along I-70 with a dry line bulge west of Wichita. Both areas would be prime for tornados. That being said, models are models. A 75 mile change in placement or timing of the upper trough by 6-7 hours can mean nothing at all for us in central Kansas. Also rain, clouds and a cap can mess things up for severe weather. I get real confident in accuracy about 2 days before an event. By then, the high resolution models will lock down most all the mystery of the forecast for Tue. By the way, there is some suggestion for some severe hail Sunday afternoon.
April 24, hail, hail and more hail.
Spc had a slight risk outlook for a few days then upgraded to an enhanced risk for central Kansas. With unidirectional wind shear and good cape, hail was the severe mode of the day. I got home from church after 2 pm. and started to ready equipment for the chase. Storms started firing around Great Bend and much to my surprise, a tornado watch was issued for all of central Kansas. I drove to Ellsworth, then west on highway 40 to get in front of the northeast moving storms. My goal was to give ground truth for the upgraded hail detection radar at the Wichita NWS. A storm was severe warned located just north of Great Bend moving northeast. Kody was set up south of Ellsworth. It seemed that the storms would ramp up, become severe then as they moved towards me then fade out. Finally, a storm established itself and moved towards Ellsworth. A tornado warning was issued due to a funnel cloud sighting. I set up just west of Ellsworth watching the storm move by to my east. Suddenly a shooting vortex/funnel dropped down to the cloud base then dissipated just north of Ellsworth. I followed the storm northeast up highway 156 and set up on a hill. A part of the storm passed over me slamming me with up to golf ball hail. I dropped back south to highway 40 then east to try to gain position (catch up) on the storm. It turned right and I followed it through north Salina to north of Solomon. The storm was tornado warned the whole way. I kept seeing cloud base rotation but nothing ever came down. North of Solomon, I checked out the core again and was pelted by hail up to just over golf ball size. Going back to Salina, I noticed an interesting storm north by Minneapolis. I drove north of Salina on Ohio Street to a hill and watched this storm for a while. I went home to check damage to my wheat fields at sunset. Then new storms erupted from Salina back to Kanopolis lake. They were soon severe warned and I went back on the chase. The strongest cell of this group was almost stationary northwest of Lindsborg. A report came out from that area of tennis ball hail falling for 30 minutes. I set up on Burma/Coronado heights
road and the storm finally passed over again pelting me with up to golf ball hail. I got home around 10:30. Through all this, I sent info feeds to KSN TV, Wichita NWS as well as giving 14 live reports on KSAL radio.
Storm with flat wall cloud near Minneapolis looking north.
Wall cloud trying to do it---almost.
Jeremy's 4-24 pictures.
Looking west over/near Ellsworth.
Quasi-double wall clouds with tails around Ellsworth. I was on the other (rainy side)at this time.
Wall cloud consolidates, still looking west.
There were lots of cloud base rotation and funnel look-a-likes
Hail crater in mud around 3 miles west of my house.
More hail craters
Tue. April 26,a fizzle for central Kansas.
The much ballyhooed severe outbreak for today ended in not much for central Kansas. SPC had a moderate risk for two days prior to the event. A tornado watch was issued for most of central Kansas at around 1:45 pm. Numerous severe thunderstorms occurred from Oklahoma City to Topeka Kansas, east of the Salina area. I took Caleb, a Saline county emergency management intern with me so he could gain experience identifying and chasing storms. We set up north of Salina and waited for expected storms to form to our north per short range models. Towers developed and we ended just south of Concordia on highway 24. Although robust storms formed to our north and east, they were moving fast away so I headed west for new development west of Beloit. I almost gave up the chase but stayed in the north Beloit area watching towers straining to become storms. Finally the broken line developed a storm to our north. As we watched the radar, I looked south on the flanking line and was startled to see a well shaped funnel. I could tell it was a land spout type funnel and it narrowed and descended halfway to the ground and held there for 5or 6 minutes before dissipating. This was Caleb's first time seeing anything like this and he was really excited as I was too. The storm to our north then really ramped up in intensity and I pointed out many features that it exhibited to Caleb. The storm became out flow dominate and weakened so we called it a chase and headed home. This day had many tornado warned storms from Topeka to Dallas but only two actually produced tornados.
Surprise funnel on the flanking line.
Land spout funnel halfway to the ground.
Go Pro picture take of me giving the land spout a thumbs up seen through a buggy windshield.
Picture taken looking north of a legit. supercell wall cloud. I thought that this might do it too for a moment. It formed around 20 minutes after the landspout dissipated on the flanking line.
Mothers Day tornados.
SPC had a slight risk for this day for a few days, then upgraded to a moderate risk for Kansas/Oklahoma on Saturday. On Mothers Day SPC downgraded to an enhanced risk for central Kansas. By around 3 pm. a tornado watch was issued from Salina westward to far western Kansas. Storms developed north of the western Kansas surface low as well as starting in western Oklahoma. Soon, storms started to fill in between the northwestern Kansas storms and the Oklahoma storms. Meghan and Jeremy came down and we took off westward on I-70 around 5 pm. It has been a long time since they have chased with me. We topped off the fuel tank at Russell and headed south towards an oncoming storm that was severe warned at Kinsley/La Cross. There was a tor warned storm northwest of Hays but I needed to stay with the southern storms that might move into the Salina area because of broadcast purposes. The La Cross storm roared by us to the west and looking at radar the other potential Salina moving storms were dying. Also confirmed tornados were located north/northeast of Hays. I decided to "shoot the bolt", turned around and flew north as I figured the La Cross storm would merge with the tor-warned storm to it's north. It merged. We kept flying north through Walker Ks. on two lane highways until in northern Ellis county the road turned to gravel. I still was able to maintain 60 mph and we closed with a impressive classic/HP super cell to our northwest. A large tornado was reported as we scanned the hazy precip. area for it. We kept seeing intermittent wall clouds on the rain free base to our west as we moved forward. Another updraft area developed 1 mile to our west as we drove through a winding tree-lined county road north. It was like a huge vacuum hose was sucking up cloud tags up into the cloud base without much rotation. I knew that any RFD spin would create a large tornado so was very nervous when we dropped behind a hill and couldn't see west. At this time, a white funnel snaked down to the ground a mile north northeast of us then lifted rapidly. We hit a hill and the updraft area was just to our west, on-coming and almost to the ground. I scooted forward to let this pass just behind us but not too much to run into the circulation ahead of us. At this time we saw a cone tornado 3 miles to our northwest in the rain. This was the end of the Codel or Natoma large tornado as it dissipated soon after we saw it. As one can probably understand, it was very intense for 3 or 4 minutes there. As soon as I could, with heavy rain falling we got to highway 18 and bolted for clear air. No more tornados were seen and satisfied that we caught tornados, I headed home. At around 11 pm. new storms built around Russell, one being tor warned so I went back out giving info feeds to the NWS Wichita and KSAL radio. No tornados were seen and I quit the chase around 2 am.
Picture of the tor-warned storm as we were flying north.
Picture of the east side of classic/HP super cell as we caught up with the storm.
Picture of a wall cloud looking west on the rain free base of the tor warned storm.
Picture of another wall cloud looking west.
Wall cloud/updraft area 1 mile west moving towards us.
Still shot off my go pro of the tornado that touched briefly to our northeast 1 mile away. It's between the two trees. Also, We are behind the hills to the left and can't see the approaching wall/updraft area closing in on us. I was felling a little like meat in a possible tornado sandwich.
We get back on a hill and let the updraft/wall cloud pass behind us and look northwest and see this shrinking tornado in the rain about 3 miles away.
May 24, mini tornado outbreak in southwest Kansas.
SPC had a slight risk for central Kansas while they had an enhanced risk for southwest Kansas. Kody drove out to southwest Kansas and got on the Dodge city tornadic super cell. He saw three tornados on the ground at one time at one point. I intercepted these storms in Russell county when they were severe warned and covered them through Salina on KSAL. Some tree damage was done in Salina but for the most part, the storms remained just below severe limits.
Kodys picture of the Dodge City double tornados.
May 25, tornado mayhem revisited in Ottawa county.
SPC had a slight risk outlook today for central Kansas with a "2%" tornado parameter. This was to be an "off" day for severe with the 26, being a big day. At around 3 pm. SPC issued a discussion about storms forming in central Kansas with high cape and moderate shear. A watch was possible and if storms stayed discrete, tornado potential would be up. I was working in Lincoln county spraying pastures. All the while I was watching the clouds. Several attempts of thunderstorm initiation went on to my west and northwest. Finally around 5 pm. I could see an anvil to my southwest. I drove home and looked at radar. It showed a cell out by Ellsworth, but a stronger cell was showing in the Lincoln area. I loaded the truck and targeted the Lincoln storm as the Ellsworth storm died. I drove north to Tescott, then east on highway 18. The storm was north of Tescott a few miles. It already had a wall cloud but was not rotating much. I took a dirt road north of '18 to close with the wall cloud. Standing outside the truck I saw rotation increasing till there was violent rotation.(Like Bennington 3 years before). I was live on the radio when a elephant trunk funnel dropped to just above the ground just 3/4 mile to my east. looking at the ground I saw a plume of dust swirling. Tornado! This tornado lasted only a minute. Kody was close too and he kept KSAL's meteorologist supplied with up to the second e-mail pictures. I followed the rotation through Bennington on highway 18, making many live reports of what I was seeing. As far as I could tell, no more tornados occurred from this wall cloud as it moved from Ottawa county into Dickenson county. As I was looking at radar, I could see my icon was north of the tip of the hook echo. I looked south and saw a large wall cloud ---and it was rotating. This was located on the flanking line but was not really attached to the original storm visually. KSAL was winding down with it's coverage when they threw it to me and while I was describing the rotation I was seeing a funnel touched down. Second tornado. It dropped near the town of Niles in the northeast Saline county/Ottawa/Dickenson county. I'm driving south towards the tornado to close when I realized it, was moving northerly towards me! On the black top road, I did a three point turn around and sped away north from it. I rejoined coverage on KSAL and watched the tornado rapidly grow from a 200 yard wide cone to a 1/4 mile wide stove pipe shape. The last I could see it in the rain, (I was northwest of it) it was attaining wedge status, maybe as much as a half mile wide. Later, chasers said it got to a mile wide but I can't verify that. I drove back south to check the damage path then east to follow the tornado and look for damaged houses. At this time I was involved in an auto accident and my chase ended. A couple of points about this day. 1. The super cell was the only storm within a 100 mile radius. 2. Before the storm formed, Salina's hourly ob. was temp. 82 dew point 70!!! This was only the 4th day this spring that dew points were above 60. Also, the second tornado stayed on the ground for well over an hour just missing Chapman but doing damage in that area. As far as I know, no serious injuries came from this tornado but that is very premature. PS. The NWS Topeka, rated the first half of the tornado path as EF-3, the second half of the path was rated EF-4 with 180 MPH winds. The tornado just missed Chapman, KS and is reported to blow away the Union Pacific RR tracks on the south side of Chapman!
My picture of the wall cloud and attendant RFD taken between Tescott and the Minneapolis turn off north of highway 18. This is the time where the rotation really picked up. I'm looking to the north/northwest.
Picture taken at the same spot as the one before--only later and just before the one minute tornado touchdown.
Picture of the new wall cloud with huge collar south of highway 18, looking south. Note the hail up to golf balls on the road.
A funnel cloud came down as I closed with the storm. I was able to describe the touchdown when it happened on live radio.
closing in on the tornado.
Getting too close now. This was where the tornado started to get wider. I made a three point turn and bailed back north. After I turned the tornado enlarged from a cone shape to a column, then to a wedge.
Kody's picture of the tornado nearing maximum width.
picture of the tornados velocity couplet. That kind of says it all.
May 26, pretty much a flop.
SPC had a moderate risk outlook for this day with a 15% tornado perameter. A tornado watch was issued in the afternoon. Jeremy, Meghan and I chased severe warned storms that did little. A second line of storms came through and was severe warned but heavy rain was the only product from these storms.
May 27, severe storms Lincoln and Russell counties.
I got home from errands in Salina when Jeremy called stating he saw a land spout funnel in northwest Lincoln county. SPC had us in a slight risk outlook and a severe watch was issued for most all of central and western Kansas. I was curious and drove to Sylvan Grove (Lincoln county) to see if any more would form along a boundary seen on radar in that area. Stronger storms formed in southwest Russell county and I drove that way west ward on I-70. Looking southwest I was surprised to see a LP storm with a blocky wall cloud. I zipped by Russell to Balta Rd. then south to close with the storm. I saw a small group of chasers and stopped. One of them was Mike Umscheid great weather/nature photographer. I visited with Mike for a moment then went on and set up facing the storm. The wall cloud got undercut and dried up but the next storm west had a hefty wall cloud on it. It too got undercut and died. Then three storms in that area merged and developed a squall line with an impressive shelf cloud at dark. I called the chase good and went home.
picture of the LP storm with wall cloud taken east of Russell looking southwest.
I've turned off of I-70 southbound to close.
The wall cloud is dieing probably due to cold air undercutting the updraft.
The second storm to the west had a decent wall cloud and it got undercut also.
July 2, Severe warnings, tornado warnings and flash flood warnings.
SPC had a slight/marginal risk out look for central Kansas this day. I came in from gardening to the weather radio blaring for a severe thunderstorm watch. Later I looked at the radar and saw two tornado warned storms, one at Jetmore and one at LaCross. The LaCross storm looked to move towards Russell. I loaded the truck with my "stuff" and drove west on I-70 to Russell. The storm actually was moving east southeast and slowly. I punched the core and saw a double wall cloud through the rain to my southwest. I turned east to stay ahead of the storm and set up in the Hoisington area. Tornado potential looked good at first, then a shelf cloud would form as the updraft got undercut by northwest winds. Then the storm reorganized and coiled into a spring turning into a BEAST! Mid inflow clouds just rocketed into the center of circulation of the cloud base. One band came roaring in from the northwest, one band came in from the east northeast. Every time the storm cycled to this, a desending reflective rain core appeared right in the area where a tornado would normally occur and I think the cool rain air kept a good RFD from doing it's magic. I kept a running stream of info. to the NWS and KSN Wichita during all this time. The storm moved to Lyons and onward southeast as it waxed and waned---became tornado warned then severe warned, then tornado warned. My last set up on the storm was 3 miles north of Little River where I gave more info on what I was seeing to the NWS. I also made a live feed on KSAL from this location warning about the flooding potential that I saw. As I went home, I made a more complete picture of the potential flooding on KSAL as the NWS issued a flash flood warning for the Barton county west line to McPherson. My still pictures were not as good as I would have liked but I took a lot of video from my Go Pro so some of that should be really good.
Picture taken through the windshield and rain of the first wall cloud I saw from the tornado warned storm. I was driving south from Russell on highway 281 and punched the core to get this first shot.
Picture of the storm ramping up with lots of cloud base rotation. No wall cloud though and the beginning of a desending reflective rain core at the back of the picture.
Southeast of Hoisington. Now there is a big rain core. I think these cores mitigated tornado potential by interfering with the RFDs.
Picture looking south over Little River at a ragged wall cloud on the last tornado warning of the evening.
August 19, severe thunderstorm warning for Lincoln county.
SPC had a slight risk outlook for today stating wind as the main severe threat. Around 2 PM. storms erupted in Russell county and a severe watch was issued. I drove up into Lincoln county just south of Lincoln as a severe warning was issued for Lincoln. I let the storm overtake me and had sub severe wind and heavy rain. I gave info reports to the NWS Wichita and KSAL. As I scooted ahead of the thunderstorm line, the warning was dropped ending my chase. A few days ago I saw that KSAL won 1st place for severe coverage again with our coverage of the Niles/Chapman tornado.
August 23, tornado/funnel jackpot.
SPC had a slight risk for central Kansas today with a 2% tornado parameter. Around 3 pm. they issued a meso discussion for central Kansas for a possible watch. I was planting alfalfa and watching storms get going to my north up by Lincoln. By the time I was ready to chase the severe storms were in extreme southwest Cloud county moving east at 15 mph. I decided to get to southern Cloud county as fast as I could, due to the slow storm movement and the storms had a look to them. This was one of those occasions where you push the envelope of time. When I pulled up to highway 24 on new 81 I had a funnel cloud around 3 miles to my northwest. The wall cloud/funnel changed shape rapidly then narrowed and extended almost to the ground. Another chaser saw rotation on the ground under this funnel so it was a tornado. The funnel dissipated and suddenly I saw a shooting funnel drop down out of the flanking line just east of my set up position. It lasted around a minute. After seeing that, I saw a rounded storm through the trees to my southeast. A new storm. I backed around, cleared the trees and saw a funnel hanging out of that storm. It seemed forever before Topeka issued a tornado warning on these storms. (I even had Wichita NWS relay my funnel sighting to them 15 minutes earlier. I drove east on highway 24 to close with this funnel (which was just south of the highway) and set up on the north side of a 6mile wide saucer storm. I experienced several warm to hot(!!!) RFD surges with rain at this position. I also watched wrapping rain curtains and several cloud base rotations to my near south. Some of the RFD surges had winds at around 50 mph. but no more funnels or tornados happened. I followed the storm past Miltonvale and quit the chase when It was too dark to see. Really neat August chase.
First of a sequence of pictures of the funnel northwest of highway 24 and new 81. Note the visible RFD clear slot above the funnel.
Second picture of the first funnel. Getting ragged.
Third picture of the first funnel which probably was on the ground at this time.
Fourth picture of the ever changing tornado/funnel as a finger stretched down.
Last picture of the first funnel before it dissipated.
Picture of funnel dropping out of the mid flanking line just to my east.
picture of the third funnel looking southeast dropping from a new storm cell. Most all the storms had flying saucer appearance and showed mid level rotation.
October 4, tornado watch for central Kansas>
SPC had an enhanced outlook for this day with a 5% tornado perameter. A tornado watch was issued for all of central Kansas around 3 pm. A storm popped up east of Salina as well as storms popping from Ellsworth to Lincoln. Kody was on the Ellsworth storm so I headed to the east Salina storm. These storms were moving around 45 mph which made keeping up with them a problem. I caught up with the storm north of Abilene (as much as I was going to catch it) and watched some impressive cloud formations including wall clouds with one short lived funnel. KSAL was having phone issues so I gave my reports to Todd and he gave them live for me. Kody called stating he saw a wall cloud in the Lincoln area. I dropped off my storm in northern Dickenson Co. and headed back west to the severe storms moving towards Salina. I set up north of Brookville and watched several scary looking clouds as well as some short lived wall clouds. I drove to Glendale and punched out a strong core looking for and finding pea to dime hail and heavy rain. I then drove towards Salina to get ahead of the broken line of storms using State St. I joined up with Kody at old 40 highway and Burma Rd. We compared notes of what we saw then drove south a couple of miles to watch the next heavy storm that was moving straight to Salina. KSAL had the errant phone lines fixed during this time. At Burma and Magnolia Rds. I saw pea hail and torrential rain and warned Salina about this live on radio. After the storms moved over Salina, I called it a evening.
There were lots of scary looking clouds with the storms today.
There were short lived wall clouds but no organization under them.
I snapped this picture of the back side if the storm while in Salina looking east. Nice mammatus glowing with the sunset.
October 6, tornadofest.
SPC had an enhanced risk outlook today with temps in the low 80s and dews in the upper 60s. (4000 cape and 60 Kt. shear.) Around 3 pm a tornado watch was issued for all of central Kansas and it had strongly worded impacts. I was planting wheat while watching clouds trying to build around then couldn't stand not chasing anymore. I drove to the Bennington area where storms were developing to my north and northwest. Kody was further north on strong cells north of Minneapolis. A storm popped up in southern Saline county moving northeast. I had Elizabeth E. get on that storm while I drove east on I-70 to get ahead of the storm in the Abilene area. Just before Abilene Elizabeth came on the radio and said tornado on the ground! There was no tornado warning issued, nor would there be for 5-6 minutes. I'm always glad that we can talk about a tornado like this and maybe give folks more time to take cover. Driving south through Abilene due to trees and 30 mile speed limit, I was blocked from seeing the tornado. Finally, I cleared Abilene to the south and looked west. Immediately, I saw a large cone shaped tornado with a sheath of debris. The tornado looked closer to me than it really was. I joined live coverage, warning Abilene residents about the oncoming tornado. Luckily, the tornado roped out after 8 to 10 minutes or so. A second tornado was reported on the next storm in the line to the south. I uneasily punched this storms core and saw a funnel to my west. After this, no more tornados were produced. I then drove to Kipp where I heard houses were hit. I found two houses hit with a house just west of Kipp completely swept away. Also Kipp was missed by the tornado by a small number of yards, a close call. Also I talked to firefighters--- there were no injuries but another close call was a school bus driving around Kipp and not seeing the tornado because it was rain wrapped. I took some pictures and went home.
Picture taken looking west after I set up south of Abilene. Rain blowing into my camera distorts image of the tornado in the center of the picture. I held my position here so to keep Abilene informed. I was concerned about the rain in the right side of the picture masking the tornado from the Abilene residents.
Picture taken some time after the first tornado roped out. Storm turned more into a classic/LP super cell.
After the tornado potential diminished, I drove to the Kipp area to check for damage. This picture was the first farm stead hit, that I came across.
Picture of the house west of Kipp that was completely swept away. A braced power pole was the only thing left standing as well as a vehicle laying on it's side. There was no one home at the time of the hit.
Picture of a propane tank laying with all the rest of the pieces of the house spread across the road in the adjacent field.
Picture of a snapped power pole and a jeep in the background blown from the destroyed house west of Kipp.
I've turned around from the destroyed house and am looking east towards Kipp. The tornado just missed the little town and it's Great Plains manufacturing plant.
Kody's picture of the Clay Center super cell's wall cloud. This storm later, just missed hitting Clay Center.
Tornado forming per Kody's picture.
The Clay Center tornado is fully formed. Kody waits for the tornado to cross the road in front of him.
Picture from Elizabeth E. of the Kipp tornado looking east. My best move of the day covering the storms was having her get on this storm in southeast Saline county while I got ahead of it at Abilene. She was close and started the coverage of a live tornado before the storm was tornado warned.
December 25, severe thunderstorm warning Barton, Ellsworth, Lincoln and Saline counties in a severe watch.
SPC had a slight risk outlook for several days, dropped it to a marginal risk yesterday, then added a slight back this morning. The set up was no cape and extremely high unidirectional shear. Around noon, a warning was issued for wind on counties just to our west. I had gathered up my "stuff" and was ready. Soon the warning was issued for our area and I was off traveling down I-70 westbound. KSAL broke into regular coverage and I called in. Due to the weekend holiday I think, the man in the studio couldn't get a good connection with our contract meteorologist. He asked me to basically "use some air time" while he worked on a better connection. I talked about what I was seeing, todays severe setup and warning drivers on '70 the perils of crosswind driving. The warning was dropped before expiration time so I joined final severe coverage with Michal and Jen then went home for Christmas dinner.