Chaser: Dr. Dorian J. Burnette
Preliminary Destination: Concordia, KS
Note: Storm images are shown as thumbnails in the chase account. Click on the thumbnail to view a larger image.
This was Day 1 of a two-day storm chase in KS and NE. I arrived in Concorida just before 5 p.m. CDT, and sat north of the city on U.S. 81 awaiting convective initiation. By 5:30 p.m. CDT, towering cumulus clouds were observed to my south (images below; view is north of Concordia, looking south). The first echoes on radar showed up by 6 p.m. CDT, as the towers grew into cumulonimbus clouds. It was time to move south and southeast to these intensifying thunderstorms south of Abilene, KS.
I moved south on U.S. 81 and then east on U.S. 24 through Manhattan to K-177. This highway took me south of I-70 into the beautiful Flint Hills. A tornado warning was issued on the storm to my southwest, and while I could see lowerings off to my southwest, I was still too far away to deduce much. There was a plethora of cloud-to-ground lightning strikes near me though. I stayed on K-177 until I arrived at a good dirt road southwest of Alta Vista, KS. I then moved west and was greeted by a tremendous mesocyclone (images below; view is southwest of Atla Vista, looking west)! I decided to call in to KSNW-TV to let them know what I was and was not seeing. Mark Bogner had received a report of tornado, but this must have been when I was in between hills and trees, since I never saw it.
I found a good place to sit and watch the storm on K-4 south of Dwight (images below; view is south of Dwight, looking west-northwest). I was confined to the seat of my car initially given all of the cloud-to-ground lightning strikes going on around me. Some circulation was noted on radar imagery in vicinity of White City, KS (images below; car symbol denotes my location).
This storm continued to produce off and on wall clouds, but no additional tornadoes (images below; view is south of Dwight, looking west). The radar imagery is also below (car symbol denotes my location).
A video time-lapse depicting the rotation associated with the mesocyclone and the off and on wall clouds is also below (approximately 12 minutes of video compressed into one minute; view is south of Dwight looking west).
[Adobe Flash; 10.4 MB; 1 min 2 sec]
I continued to follow the storm to the north of Dwight, and I stopped on K-57 at the Morris/Geary county line. The storm looked less impressive and more elevated with time (images below; view is north of Dwight, looking northwest). Radar data also showed the storm was losing its punch (images below; car symbol denotes my location).
Darkness was now upon me and the storm was weakening, so I decided to head toward Topeka, KS to stay for the night and prepare for the next day's storm chase. Thanks to Cory Phelps and Mark Bogner at KSNW-TV for nowcast assistance. All radar images were created with GR2Analyst.