June 27th was an interesting day. Although dewpoints were in the low to mid 70s, temperatures were around 105F! Tons of instability was present, and storms exploded once the cap was breached northwest of Salina. Extremely high winds occurred, as well as hail to golfball sized, but storms congealed into a bowing line as they raced south towards Wichita. Nonetheless, one particular supercell gave us a pretty nice show and had decent structure as well as great lightning.
June 23rd featured decent shear, but again, low dewpoints. High based storms developed east of Denver and intensified, becoming severe, as they moved east into better moisture. One storm exhibited supercellular features and even became tornado warned, producing a decent funnel. structure was reasonably pretty and with the fresh wheat fields, was a nice treat.
I wasn’t expecting much this day due to poor moisture and not ideal shear. However, the upslope flow into the higher terrain of southeast Colorado and the western Oklahoma panhandle proved again to be sufficient for storm generation. One very pretty lpish supercell formed north of Boise City, OK/south of Campo, CO and gave us a very nice show. Pretty hard chasing with the passing of our good friend Tim Samaras, his son Paul and Carl Young. Very cool in the 3rd photo where the setting sun cast THREE light beams over us. Some is watching from above.
June 3rd was an interesting day. Poor moisture, but decent shear would result in a cluster of outflow dominant severe storms. Many were quite electrified and pretty. Most produced marginal severe hail and severe outflow winds.
Last day of Tour 4, so we stayed close to home (OKC). Several storms formed as the environment continued to prime for the culmination on May 31st (which we couldn’t chase due to commitments to be back in Denver that day!). An active dryline spawned several supercells, of which most were tornado warned. From Chickasha all the way down to the Red River south of Ardmore, it was a treat even though no tornadoes actually occurred.
May 28th had that “look” to it. All the ingredients were there for a few strong supercells and tornadoes. One issue had to be solved, and that was the cap. It took a lot of convergence on the triple point just north of Salina, but finally it broke late afternoon. A cluster of storms formed, and the Bennington tornadic supercell emerged and crushed everything around it. A violent EF4 tornado formed and was nearly anchored for almost an hour before dissipating. We were positioned about 3-4 miles east of the tornado, and assumed it would move east towards us, but instead stayed anchored nearly its entire lifecycle. Nonetheless we were treated with a vicious tornado that fortunately missed Bennington and other towns. I shutter to think what could have happened had it hit Salina or the small towns just north of there.
Decent upslope flow into the Black Hills, along with good moisture and moderate shear, would set the stage for several supercells to develop and move east from the Rapid City area. Structure was quite nice with each of these storms as they spun across the countryside north of I-90. One storm tried hard to become tornadic, while the rest were quite prolific hail producers.
May 23rd took me near Plainview, Texas and points southeast. A strong supercell developed near a boundary and produced a couple of landspouts. It was rotating quite strongly and between the inflow and RFD, became almost invisible at times due to blowing red dirt. The storm had pretty decent structure as it also produced tons of hail to baseball size. At one point early, a funnel extended halfway to the ground for a couple minutes as it rotated around the mesocyclone.
May 19th held high hopes for a significant severe weather outbreak. We felt south central Kansas would be the place to start. After positioning ourselves near the Kansas/Oklahoma border, several supercells formed, of few which produced tornadoes. Unfortunately for us, the storm of the day developed near Shawnee, Oklahoma and produced a large EF4 tornado. The photos below were taken all not far from South Haven, Kansas. We witnessed 3 tornadoes this day. This first two photos are of the initial supercell and developing tornado, and the bottom two photos were of the last supercell and pretty elephant trunk tornado.
What a surprise this day was! After a cluster of weakly organized storms formed over the sandhills early afternoon, another storm, a rotating supercell, developed near Hyannis. Shear increased as evening came and so did the structure! A very pretty tornado warned supercell that was quite photogenic and electrified continued until near midnight.