Brown and Doniphan Counties Kansas
Holt, Andrew, DeKalb and Davies
|After a frustrating bust in Iowa the day before, the same boundary
sagged south to the Nebraska - Kansas border setting the stage for a
few supercells as a powerful vort max approached from the southwest.
Hung around in Hiawatha, KS waiting for initiation. Got to meet Randy Cooper from Missouri who came over to
introduce himself and see what the heck a vehicle with Minnesota plates was doing down there. Super nice guy and a
very good chaser. Drifted west as it looked like initiation was under way and stopped near Senaca, Kansas. Pretty
obvious only two supercells were going to be the show. The northern cell quickly went severe then tornado warned but
I didn't like how it would be pulling in rain cooled air as the core of this baby storm was directly in the inflow path.
Decided to stick with this one as there was nothing to the south or east to rob it of the best low level moisture.
Headed north and east as the cell continued to gather strength. I was questioning my decision to stay on the southern
cell as the northern cell maintained it's tornadic characteristics. Didn't feel like going north through the vault or core as
the threat of HUGE hail was very real (as many chasers unfortunately found out) from this cell.
From time to time the meso looked pretty good but would stretch out looking almost linear as it gusted out between
cycles. It had been a long freakin' winter and this storm was making up for it. Taken near Morill, KS looking south.
As the storm approached the Brown / Donipahn county line, it really started to get it's act together rapidly. After quickly
zipping back uder the meso to the east side, I took a couple of pics and shot some video before needing to make a river
crossing choice. Hearing reports 4"+ plus hail falling in the vault just north me pretty much ruled out making a run for
Rulo, NE and the gazillon chasers who jumped on the first cell which was now pretty much dead. I really need a 10mm.
Got to White Cloud, KS and hoped it would produce a torn over the Missouri River valley but no luck so had to loop
around to St. Joseph, MO and play catch up for a bit planning to re-intercept at Savannah, MO.
Looking north just before crossing the Missouri River at St. Joseph, MO.
After getting caught in part of the chaser melee trying to navigate the Missouri road network, finally caught up after
stopping on highway 169 as the action area passed just north of me. A little hairy as scud was coming up pretty much
right off of the ground under part of the flanking line. Wasn't sure if the old area had occluded and it was a new area or
just motion. The video is pretty cool and will be added later.
As I weaved my way around on the country roads north of Amity, MO, I kept getting glimpses of a dark feature
wrapped in rain off to my north. I knew the chase fleet would be on highway 6 headed for Maysville and I wanted no
part of it.
Video grab off the dash cam. Whatever the dark feature in the photo above suddenly appeared on the south side of the
road as I got a break in the rain curtains. The meso was really low with rapid rotation and the RFD was blasting out of
the north at this location. I think it was nothing more than a dirt plume but it never curled at the bottom. Someone
reported a tornado north of Amity, MO at this time. Huh....
Finally had no choice but to get on highway 6 with the armada and head towards Maysville, MO. Looking north now.
East of Maysville I was able to find a semi-unoccupied gravel road to watch this large bowl shaped lowering come at
me. I had east options off highway 6 and barring a hard right turn by the storm, I could afford to let it get fairly close
without have to deal with the gazillion chasers one mile south.
Here is a short video of the day which starts out with the southern supercell just getting going west of Hiawatha, KS and
ends with lightning showing the barrel shaped meso moving east of Altamont, MO as the sirens are still blaring in the
background. Be sure to look at the video closely at the 1:54 mark. This video was shot off of Glenwood Rd northwest
of Amity, MO looking southeast at the time a rain wrapped tonado was being reported. To me, it looks like just an RFD
plume going into the flanking line updraft area and is not a tornado. You be the judge.