Sorry I have been remiss this spring on updating my blog here. It has been a wild beyond belief spring! We have intercepted 31 tornadoes thus far, including 2 wedge torndoes on May 23nd near Quinter, Kansas; more tornadoes May 25, 26 and culminating with 9 on May 29th which included a large multivortex tornado that damaged Kearney, Nebraska and a mile wide wedge tornado that damaged Jewell, Kansas. June has seen plenty of chasing, but not many good quality visible tornadoes. For instance here is a complete write up of this past two days:
June 12. Started in Chamberlain, SD, blasted south and spent the afternoon near Council Bluffs, Iowa. First DECENT cell went up and moved across the river near Onawa, IA. We had a large rotating wall cloud (which if you watched our streaming video you would have seen), but it couldn't focus enough to tube. Then the fun begins. Many storms, seeding each other and becoming very messy, developed along the boundary. We drifted north to just southeast of Sioux City as a large RAPIDLY rotating wall cloud formed, producing MANY MANY funnels in a merry-go-round fashion and moved northeast. We stayed with it, TOR warned of course, until it went into the hills. Then attention turned to the storm 5-10 miles to our south, the Little Sioux storm. We headed into Blencoe, IA dodging intense CGs, high winds and wrapping rain curtains and made our way east towards Moorhead. The tornado passed about 2-3 miles from us! We continued to intercept storm after TOR warned storm, in a very messy line until we got tired and blew it all off to head to St Joe, MO, where we were greeted with the remains of the Manhattan, KS storm. Crazy day, intense, but pretty frustrating.
June 13: Left St Joe headed to Wichita to play the southern end of the boundary. Drifted north to where the dryline and boundary intersected and was THE hot spot for initiation. Hoping for nonsupercell tornadoes. We followed storms as they would develop there and move northeast intensifying. First such storm went racing off towards Topeka. We couldn't catch it nor did we really want to. The next one developed and QUICKLY became supercellular as it approached Strong City, KS. It developed a nice hook, large wall cloud and was spinning like a top. You could see the blob fall out the back of the supercell as rotation increased tremendously. A couple of brief funnels would form, spin and disippate in a shot time. We then stair stepped back southwest towards the next storm. As we approached the updraft a HUGE round low level mesocyclone came into view with one of the WILDEST merry-go-rounds I have ever seen! We couldn't see the ground under it, but there was a reported multivortex tornado with it. We had to blast to Cottonwood Falls and head south to get out of the core. As we did, the now HP storm approached. A tail cloud was being drawn in from the east as the rear flank core surged towards us. MAJOR LEAGUE rotation was occuring as we stopped about 5 miles south of Cottonwood Falls. All of a sudden VERY fast rotating rain curtains approached from the west as chunks of debris fell from them. TORNADO! rain wrapped. We BLASTED south out of its way and let it go, now targeting the southern storm. As we approached Wichita on the turnpike, CG activity became extreme. When we punched through the core, the storm became tornado warned and FOR GOOD REASON!!!!! A LARGE circular mothership base came into view as rain curtains wrapped from west to east across the turnpike. We were greeted with golfball sized hail as the vault passed overhead. We headed to Mulvane and blew east to get in front of the monsterous mothership, stack of plates supercell. The view was PHENOMENAL!!!!!! Circular base, FF updrafts, clear slot, and one of my clients said "Roger, there's a funnel". I couldn't see it and kept taking pictures. Well, there WAS a funnel, right where you would expect, and my pictures show a slender grey TORNADO under the wall cloud!!!! Too bad it was so close to dark to be able to see it clearer. We stayed with this storm till dark and then blasted west to chase an undercut supercell that was also amazingly electrified. Never have I had a tour that has had SO MANY close CG strikes!! Several times, a CG would occur within a few hundred yards of us as we watched the ground GLOW ORANGE where it would hit. It also did that in the trees a couple times!!! Crazy stuff! All in all a wild day, fun day and a great end to the tour.