2004 June 12
Copyright 2004 Eric Nguyen
 
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Area Chased:  S KS

Discussion:   Scott Currens and myself observed 4 tornadoes south of Wichita, KS.  We targeted central Kansas and observed our first storm near McPherson, KS, which eventually dissipated leaving us out to dry.  We saw storms developing along a new outflow boundary from an MCS that was on-going east of Wichita, KS.  We dove south to this storm, hearing of a tornado west of I-35.  We drove through Mulvane, KS, and just south of town, got a glimpse of a magnificent rotating updraft!  Not long after we observed violent cloud base rotation and a large funnel.  This storm seemed rather high based, but it didn't seem to matter as the tornado fully condensed to the ground tearing up trees and knocking down power lines.  Luckily, we were able to drive over them and continue south observing the tornado from the west.  Typically this is a bad position to be as rain can wrap around the tornado obscuring our view.  Instead, it remained somewhat rain free with a rainbow visible.  Softball hail was occasionally falling which took out some chasers windows.  Lightning was also unusually active.   Scott and I found an awesome foreground which consisted of a white farm house with horses hanging out near a barn.  This ended up being some of the best shots I've ever taken.  The lighting, colors, and the storm were all absolutely perfect!  After the tornado roped out, we had insulation falling from the sky 10 minutes later.  It snowed insulation for several minutes, then we drove east to a new meso.  30 minutes went by before our second tornado develop near Rock, KS.  This was another amazing shot as the sun was setting at the time.  We observed two more thin tornadoes east or Rock, KS.  One we lost sight of due to darkness, and we slowly drove south where we thought it was located, and had it pass 1/4 mile to our south.  It had a cute little debris cloud and was very thin.

Pictures:

040612-2b.jpg (21394 bytes)     040612-1b.jpg (26654 bytes)      Storm south of Wichita, KS rapidly rotating with occasional needle funnels.  Large hail occasionally fell during this time, view is looking to the east on the first image, and south on the second image.

040612-3b.jpg (23096 bytes)     040612-4b.jpg (25279 bytes)     040612-5b.jpg (20134 bytes)     Tornado rapidly develops to our SW.  We drove south and watched it cross the road.

040612-6b.jpg (22875 bytes)     Damage path as the tornado continued towards the southeast.

040612-7b.jpg (21781 bytes)     040612-8b.jpg (20840 bytes)     040612-9b.jpg (21298 bytes)     Some more amazing images of this white tornado!

040612-10b.jpg (25084 bytes)     040612-11b.jpg (23758 bytes)     040612-12b.jpg (26198 bytes)     Hail and rain began to hit us so we moved south.

040612-13b.jpg (21919 bytes)     040612-14b.jpg (17635 bytes)     040612-15b.jpg (21977 bytes)     The tornado missed the white house, however, it was destroying buildings and homes behind it.

040612-16b.jpg (30379 bytes)     040612-17b.jpg (25723 bytes)     040612-18b.jpg (23177 bytes)     040612-19b.jpg (22812 bytes)     More images of this beautiful yet destructive tornado.

040612-20b.jpg (22307 bytes)     040612-21b.jpg (25885 bytes)     The tornado seemed stationary and moved a little to the west.

040612-22b.jpg (19165 bytes)     The tornado rapidly weakened and left a debris cloud that continued on for several minutes.  For 10 minutes after the tornado, small pieces of light weight debris was still falling from the sky.  The tornado weakened in a strange way, with no visible sign of a complete occlusion, it just seemed to rapidly vanish for no reason.

040612-23b.jpg (21669 bytes)     040612-24b.jpg (21640 bytes)     040612-25b.jpg (21973 bytes)     We flanked the second tornado to get some structure in the shot.

040612-26b.jpg (20554 bytes)     Tornado #2 roping out.

040612-27b.jpg (21910 bytes)     Tornado #3 developing southeast of the second tornado.

040612-28b.jpg (19007 bytes)     The third tornado lasted a long time, however, was mainly a thin needle shaped tornado during its life.


Copyright 2004 Eric Nguyen
 
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