Tag Archives | 2004

May 12th, 2004 Southern Kansas Tornadoes and Supercells

May 12 was to be the best of days and the worst of days. I arrived on the first cell to develop. We were sitting in Pratt as the dry line bulge kicked off the first respectable towers. However there were to be 4 cells this day and 3 of the 4 produced tornadoes. I was able to see the very first tornado, but missed the Attica tornado because I was still chasing the northern cell, which still had incredible structure. One storm chasing rule cost me, and that was to NEVER leave your storm unless you know it is dying or dead. And this cell wasn’t dying or dead. Finally, it crossed the cold front and became undercut, thus pretty much ending its tornado potential, so I blasted south and intercepted the Isabel cell, then caught the Anthony wedge (Harper county) at dark. This storm had incredible structure and looked like a striated soda can at dark. It was VERY electrified.

May 10th, 2004 Elbert County, Colorado Tornadoes

May 10th actually brought me to Oklahoma City for the end of tour 1 and the beginning of tour 2. Morning analysis indicated a strong potential for supercells and possible tornadoes in Colorado near the Palmer Ridge south and southeast of Denver. By mid afternoon storms developed near I-70 along a convergence zone. After a couple hours of struggling, on supercell became the dominant storm and produced up to 9 tornadoes. I called my wife Caryn to see if she wanted to chase the developing situation and out the door she went!!! Camera in hand. I vectored her to north of Limon where she encountered the first of many tornadoes. After videoing 40 minutes of tornadoes, her camcorder battery died as a large wedge tornado formed. Finally, near dark the last elephant trunk tornado formed northeast of Limon and was backlit by lightning. The photos below are just the beginning of this page dedicated to this event.

May 8th, 2004 Dallas County, Iowa Tornadic Supercells

This day took me to Iowa for high based supercells. The set up wasn’t ideal with only low to mid 50’s dewpoints with temps in the mid 80’s. By mid afternoon convergence along a west/east oriented boundary would be the focal point for severe thunderstorms where moisture pooled along the boundary. Storms fired in Green county and back built and moved southeast into Dallas county. This storm produced 2″ diameter hail and had decent structure. During its first cycle, it produced a weak tornado for about 1 minute. Later when it went HP, it had a very nice rotating wall cloud. Finally it lined out around 9:30 PM and moved south of Des Moines.

March 27th, 2004 Edwards County, Kansas Tornadic Supercell

March 27 took me to southwest Kansas. A triple point set up was to be the focus for initial supercell development this day. Models showed a couple waves of convective development with the advancing trough and cold front with the dryline and triple point to be the focal point for potential tornadic supercells by late afternoon. However, the first wave of convection of the day, which developed late morning and early afternoon, was the only wave to happen. Fortunately I left early for my target of Dodge City, Kansas. After driving through blizzard conditions in Colorado, I got in front of the advancing cold front just west of Ogalla, Kansas on I-70. I dropped south to get to my target, and at the same time a supercell developed just east of Dodge City.  This storm rapidly intensified and produced several tornadoes. I had to core punch the FF core to get to the updraft and managed to break my first windshield of the year with 2.5″ diameter hailstones. By the time I got to the updraft, the first LARGE tornado (F3) was dissipating. I managed to see it as it dissipated, but missed the biggest action by 10 minutes. Two other tornadoes and several funnels formed. Also included in the photos, was an LP supercell from the night before that my wife Caryn and I intercepted near Boise City, OK. Check out the photos below.