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« May 19 - Chase Day 5 - Supercells in Kansas & Oklahoma | Main | Quick Update - May 18 - Chase Day 4 - Tornadoes in Central Kansas »

May 18 - Chase Day 4 - Tornadoes in Central Kansas

Full update now!

We woke up in North Platte, NE and had a quick breakfast. The SPC issued a 10% hatched tornado risk for our target area. We headed south out of North Platte, NE toward Oakley, KS. As we approached Oakley we saw the first towers of the day going up. We continued south out of Oakley toward Scott City, KS. From there we headed east toward Dighton then toward Ness City, KS. We watched the storm grow and the inflow really pick up. We then headed slightly north to get a better look and structurally it was starting to look great. The storm formed an amazing wall cloud and we thought, "This is it!" But then it dissipated ... The storm then formed another wall cloud but that one as well dissipated. We stayed with the storm for a bit but it was becoming outflow dominant. There were a couple of tornado reports from local law enforcement but I doubt there were actually any tornadoes. There were so many chasers, including part of our crew, and they never saw a tornado. Still a decent storm nonetheless.

We noticed a cell taking shape east of Dodge City, KS so we abandoned our cell and blasted south. On approached to the storm we started seeing the tornado reports on Twitter ... Disheartened that we were missing the show. Then the pictures started surfacing of the massive cone tornado and it got eerily quiet in the car as we held our breath. We learned the first tornado dissipated and then a second formed. Still holding our breath! Finally we're getting close and there's a shower between us and the tornadic supercell. As we pushed through the shower, there it was! A beautiful wall cloud forming and tornado touchdown!

The tornado touched down in open field and we pulled off to take video and pictures. Just then, another tornado touched right in the field beside us to our east but thankfully dissipated rather quickly. The tornado was on the ground for about 10-15 minutes and wasn't moving really at all so it gave us great opportunity to shoot pictures and video.

Photos from yesterday's chase: Storm Chase 2013 - May 18 - Chase Day 4: Tornadoes in Kansas

The tornado dissipated in a glorious rope out and then we decided to call it a day. We were treated to a beautiful sunset and amazing lightning display on the way back to our hotel. Spent the night in Wichita, KS and getting set for another moderate risk today with 15% hatched for tornadoes!

 

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