York, Hamilton and Polk Counties Nebraska
A very potent setup with a strong low pressure system moving from Kansas into southern Nebraska set the stage for big day. Had to make
an enroute adjustment due to the low and associated boundary were not lifting as progged so immediately bypassed my original target of
Norfolk setting my sights on the Grand Island to York area as an arc of supercells began to fire in front of the low on the surface warm front.
Coming from the north had an advantage of being able to pick and choose as they arc developed. Experience has taught me more often than not the easterly
cell ends up being the better producer. As I came into Aurora from the north, the cell to the south between York and Aurora had the VIL spike and max out.
Turned east on 34 and parked on a township road southeast of Hampton for a south/southwest view. Lots of rapid motion on the left side.
The cell quickly produced a stout funnel which produced a brief gound circulation before dissipating. I knew due to the environment the storm was in and
how easily it produced the first (albeit weak) tornado, this would be the storm to stick with as it matured and cycled.
As we were preparing to reposition as the cell came up at us and the hail started to fall, the cell produced this ropey funnel which never touched down.
Headed north along the edge of the hail core while keeping track of this large partially rain wrapped in the section to the west of me. This is a video
frame. Notice the outer circulation in the field. Video is taken about 1.5 miles northeast of town of Hampton. Shortly after we were blasted by RFD
winds out of the west. NWS rated this an EF2.
As we waited for the large tornado to cross in front of us, I kept asking one of my chase partners, Kristen Drufke, to keep an eye behind us as the
meso was definitely trying to establish a new area of strong rotation. I looked back over my right should towards Bradshaw and saw this! We started
filming this tornado (video frame) (also an EF2) which was kicking up massive amounts of dirt as it moved north to our east. I decided to see what the
large tornado was doing. Good thing I did because:
This wbite rope tornado was on the ground behind the large tornado which was now moving north away from us!
Kristen wants a pic of her in front of the white tornado as the Bradshaw tornado remains in progress in the back. Not too often you have to pick and choose
which tornado to shoot!
David Druke getting the shot his wife wanted!
Video frame of the Benedict tornado looking east. While heading north towards Silver
Creek and trying to safely get on the east side of the cell we saw the Benedict tornado
morph into a large stove pipe to our north before roping out just as we got into position.
As we neared the Platte River, it became apparent crossing the river would be an issue. With David driving, we made the decison to loop around through
Columbus and take up position on the east side. It ended up being a non issue as the cell went outflow dominant and gusted out on the east side. As the line
filled in and the cold front caught up, we called off the chase for the 7 hour drive home. David gets the white knuckle awaed for getting us to Sioux City in
one of the most blinding rain, high winds and CG birrages I have seen in a long time. Almost 1000 miles and worth every inch on this chase!
David geotagged his images. This is the exact location
where we were able to view all three torns at the same time.