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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

May 13th, 2009 Kirksville, Missouri Tornado

We changed our original target of SE KS/ NC OK to NC Missouri based off of the 18z RUC/satellite where an outflow boundary was present and sfc winds were backed to the southeast from Chillicothe to Kirksville, MO. Given the weak flow aloft further south (where extreme instability was present) and sfc winds SW and parallel to the advancing cold front, it made our 2 p.m. decision an easy one as we left KC.

We probably played around with the storms to the south, where the Kirksville supercell would develop, too long. We lost our data connections north of Brookfield, which didn't matter other than us not being able to see how the storms were developing. We heard the tornado warning issued for the storm to our north, so we took off after it. About 5-10 minutes later there were reports from storm chasers that a tornado was on the ground and we could see something wrapped in rain about 10 miles to our north through the trees, occasionally. We entered the western outskirts of Kirksville as the warning was extended into the city of Kirksville, but never heard tornado sirens in the town for the 7 minutes we were there trying to get west on the highway. That's where the video starts below. As we re-entered Kirksville to catch up, again, there were no sirens going off on the north side of town as another extremely rain-wrapped tornado has already claimed two more lives in North Kirksville.

Here is a google map I've made showing our locations. Andy Fischer has a very detailed analysis of the Kirksville environment here, which I highly recommend reading.

In the video, you can hear me tell Darin to report the tornado several times via SpotterNetwork but we were denied west of Kirksville thanks to no data again. But thankfully, we were able to successfully do it east of Kirksville as our second consecutive poor decision nearly cost us serious injuries from flying debris. Sometimes shit happens, as it does to all chasers. But you'll never see me hypocritically criticize another's decisions or accuse them of trying to get the money shot, because the ones who do, are the envious, competitive and narcissistic ones. We still are very thankful and learned a lot from our poor decisions, which thankfully didn't cost us or anyone else their lives.

A persistent ridging pattern over the Central US for the past 10 days or so has resulted in numerous flame wars within the chaser community concerning chaser behavior, getting close, and opinions regarding the future of the rest of the season. It's amusing to say the least and the same old personalities keep pushing their redundant, hypocritical propaganda and empty prophecies foreseeing the future of storm chasing. I'm glad I'm not in this hobby for the social aspect, because there are numerous socially-dysfunctional nerdy characters (and noobs!) with big egos, who I'm glad I don't have to see in person on a regular basis. The new trend among chasers now is accusing everyone else of being an "SPC chaser" or bashing the SPC...more amusement.

Darin and I have been fishing the past 5 nights in a row, which helps ignore this boring pattern. There might be a few opportunities this next week or so, so we'll likely be out there, but the tornado chances seem small, which is fine by me.


Chris said...

I is a good alternative when the weather doesn't cooperate for chasing!

Chris White
Virginia chaser

Michael O'Keeffe said...

Yea I've been fishing a lot too, where do you guys fish?

Anonymous said...

Interesting video - if you turn off the soundtrack.

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