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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Some new pics and Semi-Chase Accounts for 5/4 and 5/5/07

Large tornado near Macksville/ St. John, KS on 5/5/07 approximately 1/4 mile away. RFD is hitting us hard here, I've never seen such strong RFD besides Greensburg the night before. When it would pulsate, little swirls in the grass/ground were visible.

This one was when we turned around after the RFD obstructed our view and was approximately 150-200 yards away. We got up pretty close to looks little, but the motion on it looked pretty strong.

The rope would essentially rope out, but the meso kept rotating HARD and would put this cone down with multiple vortices dancing around it. It came very close to hitting a farm, thank God it didn't. It would dance around on a merry-go-round forever.

It became rain-wrapped and we would have to go back south then east, then back north to reposition. (Evidently it never stopped, because there was a wedge on the ground when we got north of St. John's, actually 2 old meso and a new one) The next 20 minutes were very chaotic as I missed my turn east to dodge the closest wedge. We were sort of trailing it to our west about 1/4 - 1/2 mile, when visibility went to absolute shit, and I lost it. Inflow started to really suck in from the east, and I had no idea of where the tornado was, none of us did. We made a very quick decision to punch into the core, from the hook north, and risked losing a windshield. We made it to Great Bend on no gas....and the convenience store clerks refused to turn the pumps on for me, so I argued with them and finally grabbed a friends check card with 1 inch hail hitting me hard while I pumped. We floored it out of Great Bend, to Hoisington, and decided we had seen enough strong-violent tornadoes up close for the weekend.

This one is a video capture of the "Greensburg" supercell near Sitka, KS on 5/4/07. Wish I could have fit the whole storm into one was truly amazing, the inflow tail that fed into it stretched for miles and miles.

Darin has a picture of the very first brief cone tornado on his blog which you can click on my links over on the right. Andy Fischer has a pic of the second tornado, a classic Kansas tornado, really, really thin truncated rope.(Is there such a thing lol?)

Here is the third tornado which started out as a large cone, and grew into an O'Neill Nebraska type stovepipe. I was drooling. O'Neill is probably my favorite tornado of all time, by looks, and this was it! Only light was fading away, and Derek stopped filming it before it grew into a monster. We were more concerned with the developing tornado right in front of us.
So, no pics of the stovepipe, just of the large truncated cone:

Here is the left-split (or so I am told) of the original 3 amigos that formed near the OK/KS border. As you can see, I had the Sigma 10-20 and wasn't close enough to shoot what I was seeing, but it was beautiful! My first stacked plates ever! I'm a structure freak, what can I say. I know Darin has better photos, if he'll ever put them up.

The rest are the best screen caps I could get of the Greensburg tornado family.
"the stovepipe" before the wedge.

Not sure what it's doing may have gotten smaller? at one point, it didn't look as wide....probably multiple vortices also near it there (camera is oof).

The transition to the above pic and this was about 2-3 minutes....

I'll post more as I get time......

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