Tag Archives | Kansas

June 8th Northwest Kansas Tornadoes

June 8th continued our streak of tornadoes for each tour! Two twisters formed north of Goodland along a boundary. Decent instability and moisture, as well as a wind shift boundary, would provide all that was needed to get supercells to form. One tornado formed late afternoon, and soon a second would also form as the first was dissipating. They both were on the ground for over 5 minutes as they slowly drifted eastward along the boundary. They were quite photogenic as well!

Later in the evening, a supercell came off the higher terrain of eastern Colorado and was very photogenic. Near Flagler, CO the storm had beautiful structure and quite nice colors too! Even a funnel formed briefly under the inflow side of the updraft! After a couple hours the storm eventually weakened as it moved into more stable air, leaving behind an amazing mammatus display! A great way to start the tour!

May 6th Belpre, Kansas Tornado and Supercell

A day of anticipation was what May 6th brought. Models showed an approaching wave to move into Kansas late, but would it be enough to spark thunderstorms before dark. Finally about 6pm storms initiated along a boundary in central Kansas. High shear, good moisture and instability would allow storms to quickly become severe. Initial daylight supercells spun nicely and became tornado warned. Due to many cell mergers nothing would produce a tornado……until after dark. A supercell west of Belpre, Kansas would become quite well structured at dusk and soon became tornado warned. We drifted north to look down the notch of this violent storm. Lightning constantly cut across the sky and the large mothership supercell spin crazily! As a strong hook formed, precip started wrapping around the storm’s updraft, constricting flow into it. A wall cloud soon appeared and a cone funnel formed. It touched down for at least a couple minutes that we could confirm before the rain and hail in the hook area of the storm wrapped around it. A great evening and day of chasing and to be treated by a nice night time tornado was icing on the cake! Enjoy the photos and video grabs!

April 28th Central Kansas Tornado Warned Supercell

April 28th had potential. A warm front was draped across northern Kansas, while a moisture gradient/boundary was draped across southern Kansas. Both areas appeared to be primed for severe weather. Strong shear, good moisture, moderate CAPE and lift along the boundaries would result in intense severe thunderstorms along the northern boundary. The southern boundary stayed capped through the day. We went with the northern boundary and intercepted a very pretty, INSANELY electrified, tornado warned supercell not far from Sanford, Kansas. The storm had latched onto the boundary and spun hard, becoming tornado warned for hours. It also had baseball sized hail and 80 mph winds. We stayed with the storm to Ness City, Kansas and left it as it bowed out and eventually weakened. A great day and a fun and exciting chase for all the guests! Enjoy the pics!

April 21st Western Kansas Supercell

April 21st didn’t look great on paper. However, storms erupted along a lee trough in far western Kansas and intensified as they moved eastward. A couple of embedded supercells would produce 70 mph winds and golfball sized hail. With the pretty Smoky Hill River badlands in the foreground, it sure made for a pretty scene! Bases of the supercells were quite high, as much as 8000 feet off the ground. Structure was pretty and lightning became frequent. We stayed with the storms until they weakend mid evening and then headed south for the night. I nice surprise chase for us on a day when it didn’t look very good at all!

June 26th South Central Kansas Tornado and Supercellfest

June 26th looked iffy. A mistimed short wave would fire numerous storms early in the day. However it also left an outflow boundary across southern Kansas. Extreme instability, mid 70 dewpoints and moderate shear would fuel and organize storms along the boundary. The first supercell produced a fast rope tornado that was on the ground for 1-2 minutes before dissipating. A second boundary intersected the outflow boundary just east of Wichita and that triple point would be the focal point for 4 distinct and strong supercells. They each produced very large hail to baseball size, copious amounts of lightning, a couple tornadoes and some of the best storm structure one would ever want to see!!! These supercells fired one after the other, and tracked east and southeast along the boundary. The last one of the day by early evening had insane structure and was firing off cgs every few seconds as it was tornado warned for hours! It would rage on for a few hours before dying off as a line of storms formed west. Incredible day for what could have been a total bust due to subsidence behind the early day wave! Enjoy the pics!

May 18th Northern Kansas Supercell

A complex, but decent set up occurred on May 18th. A dry line, warm front and cold front would be big players this day, but the question was which would produce the best storms. The dryline fired up early and often producing numerous storms with huge hail. The cold front fired up in Colorado with clusters of storms moving into western Kansas. But it would be the warm front in northern Kansas that would produce the longest lived supercells, nearly anchored along it. Unfortunately, none would produce significant tornadoes, but a couple would produce hail baseball sized and as well as one landspout tornado. We chased a cell south of Oakley that would  have pretty structure, tons of lightning and even a cone funnel that would could not determine if it touched down or not due to the angle it was from us. I fun and exciting day ended with a fantastic lightning show in Garden City, Kansas.

May 14th Southern Kansas Tornadic Supercell

May 14th took the May Minitour to southern Kansas. A storm formed near Arkansas City and anchored itself. Due to extremely high dew points and CAPE, the storm grew very large quickly. Wind shear was enough to start it spinning as well. It became severe and soon also was tornado warned. As the base lowered and a wall cloud formed, an elephant trunk shaped funnel dropped down and touched down for a couple of minutes before roping out. The storm maintained its structure for a couple more hours before it merged with a line of storms coming in from the west. A surprise event as it wasn’t forecasted, but nonetheless was pretty intense. Large hail also accompanied this supercell during its lifetime.

May 1st Kansas Tornadic Supercells

May 1st had a lot of promise. However there were certainly some issues with the set up. Storm mode was unclear near the front in northern Kansas and a strong capping inversion southward along the dryline could result is very short storm lives in that area. We started near Great Bend and jumped on a storm that formed northeast of Dodge City. It quickly became tornado warned. Based on initial visuals of the storm, it had little tornadic threat at that time. As the storm moved northeast towards Interstate 70 it really ramped up, getting tornado warned for nearly 3 hours. Rotation was visibly increasing and the structure of the supercell became quite nice. Unfortunately a left moving split further south came crashing into it and basically killed it. Other storms formed north and south, and opting for the usual tail end storm this day proved to be the wrong play. As the tail end supercell moved east away from the dryline, it showed a nice hook on radar and became tornado warned. As we raced south, leaving the messy northern play to get on the tail end storm, it weakened and eventually died. Before dying, it gave us a very nice look at the updraft as it became a low precipitation supercell. 9 out of 10 times this play works. However this day it did not as a cluster of storms north of the interstate rotated and one dropped a significant tornado.

Enjoy the photos as it was a pretty supercell!

October 6th Central Kansas Tornadic Supercell

October 6th had us running an on call tour. The setup looked higher end for a fall event. Good shear, abnormally high dewpoints, moderate CAPE and a dryline/triple point would set the stage for numerous storms to form. We jumped on the first storm southwest of Garden City, Kansas, which took us all the way to south of Salina, Kansas! It was the long lived supercell all high res models showed would form.  Structure was decent and it certainly produced copious amounts of huge hail to softball size!  As evening approached the cloud base lowered and the fun really started. Several funnel clouds formed and one tornado occurred from the storm.  Motion was absolutely crazy with this supercell and I was pretty surprised it didn’t produce a large tornado! Nonetheless it was a fun chase day and great results! Drop us an email if you would like to be added to the “on call” storm chasing email list! They are QUITE successful!!

June 26th Kansas Sculpted Tornado Warned Supercell

June 26th on paper didn’t have a lot going for it.  We fully expected high based storms to form along a slowly advancing cold front over northern Kansas and southern Nebraska.  Early afternoon storms formed in south central Nebraska, but we decided to wait till later and chase in the area where the best parameters were, over northwest and west central Kansas. The wait was well worth it! One storm formed northeast of Colby, Kansas and became severe. Structure was decent and hail large.  Soon another 2 storms formed west of it along the same boundary. The lead storm left an outflow boundary that the second storm injested.  The air, full of moisture and helicity caused the updraft of the second storm to spin, soon becoming tornado warned near Oakley, Kansas. We intercepted it there and stayed in front of it all the way south of Scott City, Kansas where it moved south of the instability axis and weakened. The storm had top notch structure, was tornado warned its entire life cycle and also produced hail the size of softballs. An amazing and unexpected treat to watch this thing on the first day of the Reunion Tour for hours!