April 27th, 2002 Crete, Nebraska Tornado
This was an interesting day to chase. The atmosphere over my target area was cloudy and cool, with temps in the low 50s and dewpoints near 50. A moderate risk was issued by SPC, and if skies could just clear enough to destabilize the atmosphere, then there was a good chance of significant tornadoes. I left Denver driving through the rain and snow and arrived near Alma, Nebraska by 1 PM. Skies were clearing as the dry slot had pushed northward. A rope cloud had formed and towers were trying oh so hard to establish themselves with little luck. Finally enough heating had occurred to warm temps into the low 60s with dewpoints near 60. A couple cbs became rooted in the boundary layer and quickly exhibited mini-supercell characteristics. Shortly after 3 PM a rapidly rotating cb developed southwest of Crete, Nebraska. This cell raced northward at 50 mph and produced a tornado that stayed on the ground for 4.5 miles just west of Crete. Unfortunately, I did not get my camcorder up and running and focused in time to catch the mature part of the tornado. Photos are below. A couple of the photos have been enhanced to see the tornado in its latter stages.
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