The storm chase expedition to the US Great Plains for 2010 was done in addition to several "spot" (shorter) chases and took place from May 18 through June 1 of 2010 and has been completed. There was a total of 15 travel days, of which, 13 of these days were available for chasing (day 1 and Day 15 were travel days). In these days, there were 9 chase days, 2 travel / down days, and 2 "bust" days (where a target could not be reached in time for storm interception). The two "bust" (failed-chase) days were May 21 and May 31. The storm intercept team involved this year consisted only of myself and was be "based" out of Dallas, Texas where I flew out to on May 18, 2010 and chase until June 1, 2010. This trip was dedicated to severe thunderstorm research in this area, which includes the Great Plains and the Midwestern United States. Keep in mind that this chase log is scientific evidence and portrays my on-going storm chasing research. It has been placed on this page for easy reference and meteorological interests. Please do not plagiarize or copy this document to other sites for distribution.

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STORM CHASING - CENTRAL UNITED STATES - SPECIAL 2010 CHASE LOG

Above is a terrifying view of the violent tornado, rated high-end EF-4, just about to cross north of the small town of Bowdle, South Dakota on May 22, 2010. There is a farmstead in thr foreground and it is just about to be hit by the southern edge of the tornado, nearly a mile wide at times. Tornadoes that are wider than they are tall, like this one, are called "wedge" tornadoes. Such tornadoes have a very complicated damage pattern, as there is one large circulation, with smaller circulations inside.


MAY 18 TO JUNE 1 CHASE MAIN PARTICIPANTS

CHASER NAMEHOME CITYCALLSIGNCHASE DATESOCCUPATION
CHRIS COLLURASUNRISE, FLKG4PJN5-18 TO 6-1IT CONSULTANT


CHASE TRIP MAP FOR MAY 18 TO JUNE 1, 2010

Above is a chase map for the entire chase trip from May 18, 2010 through June 1. The upper-right inset shows the chase area involved in the central USA and the flight to and from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to the "base" city of Dallas, Texas (with a stop in New Orleans, LA going out and Houston, TX returning). The symbol legend is in the lower-left, and any red "X" denotes a severe storm observation, while the green tornado symbols "][" represent a tornado / significant funnel observation. Any red "?" denotes a failed target chase (where the preferred storm-of-the-day / target area was not reached due to time / distance constraints and / or forecasting errors). The total mileage for this trip was 10,424 miles, as the above map does NOT show re-traced paths and / or country roads (AKA: "Bob's" / dirt roads). To put this distance into perspective, this is more than "driving" from Los Angeles to Tokyo, Japan then to Sidney, Australia (if there was a bridge across thre Pacific)! Such a staggering distance put on a rental vehicle in 2 weeks is basically running in circles from state-to-state solely for the pursuit of severe weather!


TABLE OF CONTENTS - CLICK TO GO TO PAGE


THIS IS CHASE SECTION TWO FOR 2010

Main US Midwest Chase Log For 2010 - Section One


ABOUT THIS STORM CHASING LOG

The image above is a comprehensive collaberation of all storm reports as per the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) from the period of May 18, 2010 through June 1 (the entire length of this chase trip). At least 2004 severe weather reports ocurred across the USA during this time-frame. The eerie depiction and shape of "Tornado Alley" can also be easily discerned from this diagram, with many of the tornado reports (red dots) appearing up and down the nation's mid-section. It is completely impossible to keep up with ALL of these tornado events, especially with me being a solo chaser this trip out (examples are May 24 and 31, where I simply could not make the tornadoes those days), but I suceeded at catching MANY storms, making this trip one of the better ones.

The following entries are all storm chases and interceptions performed in the Midwest United States from May 18, 20010 to June 1, 2010. This log is based on a solo effort of a storm chasing team. Members were myself - Chris Collura (Florida Skywarn storm spotter code B036 - KG4PJN). The main chase vehicle was 2010 Kia Optima. States chased (includes travel states): CO, KS, NE, OK, SD, TX and WY (7 states). Total mileage: 10,424 miles!.

This is a chase log for any chases during 2010 in the Midwest and Central United States that were conducted as "spot" chases during or do not have a dedicated page for them. Each chase section within this area will have its own details and such for that particular chase. This area was set up in the late spring of 2010 and is for any chase that was conducted in the US Plains and Midwest. Equipment use in such chases range from cell phone to HAM radio communications, digital / still cameras, video (SD) and high-definition (HD) camcorders, and data logging / GPS via laptop computer. Storm chasing involved driving in harsh conditions and / or for long periods of time.

All chases and observations are in chronological order and a chase number is assigned to each entry. Please bear in mind that all observations adhere to modern storm analysis standards and do not include all storms that occurred in a given area for a particular chase period.

Any kind of storm such as a thunderstorm, tornado, waterspout, tropical cyclone, and extratropical storm can be chased or observed. I have tried to keep this log of any storms that I have observed as accurate as possible, while using terms and expressions to abide by those used by most meteorologists and storm spotters today.

Storm chasing and observation can be extremely dangerous and may result in serious injury or death. I have received intermediate and advanced training for storm spotting in 1996. I strongly urge anyone who is to try their hand at storm spotting to get training before doing so. You must also have a good understanding of meteorology and storm dynamics. "If you don't know what you're doing, Don't do it!" Contact your local National Weather Service office for information on storm spotting and about training to become a Skywarn storm Spotter.


CHASE SUMMARY FOR MAY 18 THROUGH JUNE 1, 2010

This was a two-week long chase trip (15 total days, with 13 of them available for chasing and two travel days) starting with a flight from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Dallas, Texas (with a stop-over in New Orleans) on May 18, and chasing in the central USA with a return to Florida on June 1. After getting into Dallas, Texas a bit late on a delayed arrival, I picked up the rental vehicle, a 2009 Kia Optima, and decided to head north out of Dallas on I-35 to spend the night in Oklahoma City. This would put myself in an easy position for the next day, which turned out to be a high-risk (again) chase day.

May 19 was a high-risk chase day in which a long-track supercell storm was followed quite a ways across several Oklahoma counties, with up to three tornadoes observed during the chase. I forecasted in the morning and set up the chase vehicle, deciding on a target area from around Clinton. I headed west on I-40, and had lunch in Clinton, and found out that I really did not need to adjust the target very much. A stationary boundary and dryline met just to my west (a triple point) and a low presssure system was pushing eastward into western Oklahoma. SPC had the area outlooked in another high-risk, with a 30% hatched tornado, 45% hatcvhed wind, and a staggering 60% hatched hail probability. MCD #623 and subsequent PDS (Particularly Dangerous) tornado watch box #190 were issued after 2 PM for these areas. Convective initiation began very close to the target area, near Leedey and southwest of Camargo, which was a quick trip west of Clinton by heading north then west on Highway 33. A tornado was observed in this area as the supercell matured. I worked my way east along highways 33, 270, and finally 105 through Guthrie, observing two more possible tornadoes (these were not as good contrast as the first / rain wrapped). I finished chasing when the storm gusted out (evolved from an HP supercell to an outflow dominant MCS) near Tryon. I worked my way south a bit, observing some flash flooding, then untimately west near the I-44 corridor back to Oklahoma City for the night.

May 20 was a rather frustrating start and end to a chase day, however, two beautiful HP supercells were intercepted in Navarro and Freestone counties in NE / Central Texas later that day. I rather hastingly left Oklahoma City at about 9:30 AM and headed east on I-40, expecting to drop south into NE Texas where the target area (based on my forecasting / SPC outlooks) was. I passed southward using Highways 59, 270, and 271, winding through the mountains in SE Oklahoma, finally reaching I-30 by mid afternoon in NE Texas. Supercell storms, some with confirmed tornadoes, were developing to my SW at that time, so reaching them in time was going to be a challenge. I continued south and west to near Athens, with Highway 31 being the intercept course for the storms (towards powell and south to where the two storms of the day were intercepted near Fairfield and Wortham). The chase was wrapped up by heading north on I-45 into Dallas, then north on I-35 for the night in Oklahoma City. I was cited for speeding in Oklahoma City a mere ONE MILE from my motel after I missed a turn and got "lost" off I-44 around midnight ... This was after religeously obeying the speed limit during a 500+ mile long 12 hour chase this day - It always "gets you in the end".

The hopefully short streak of lousy chase luck continued on Friday, May 21, with a highly anticipated target area in northeastern Colorado pretty much blown due to convective inhibition (a "cap") and a horrible delay due to construction that dasjed any hopes of intercepting storms north of the target area. I left Oklahoma City at about 9 AM with a forecasted target area of northeastern Colorado and points northward if necessary. I headed west on I-40, then northwest along Highway 281 into Woodward then Highway 270 to 83 and northward into Liberal, Kansas. The main target area was to be in NE Colorado, but seemed to keep shifting northward throughout the day, and wound up being in east-central Wyoming by late afternoon. My chase track headed west on I-70 from Goodland, Kansas and north on Highway 385 just as supercell storms (with confirmed tornadoes) were initiating about 150 miles or so to my NW. To make matters worse, MAJOR construction on Highway 385 pretty much eliminated me being able to reach anything worthwhile. The atmosphere remained stoutly capped over NE Colorado. This day only gave me 500+ miles of driving and a sunburn, and a more deeply-seated hatred towards road construction. I aborted the chase at around sunset, and abandoned Highway 385 near I-80, and headed back east to North Platte, Nebraska for the night.

May 22 was a chase day to remember for a very long time, and a night-and-day turn around from a day or so of prior bad luck. This day started with forecasting and leaving North Platte at about 9 AM with an initial target of central South Dakota. I left by heading north on Highway 84 pretty much all the way into South Dakota, stopping in Valentine, NE and Murdo, SD on the way to check data. The area of interest was a warm front / boundary draped across South Dakota to the northeast of Pierre. I continued to the NE of Pierre and waited near Highways 14 and 83 for some time. It became evident that convective initiation was dependant on the erosion of a capping inversion. This erosion became evident by 4 PM, as I met with storm chasers Jeff Pitrowski and others near the junction of Highways 14 and 83. Small cumulus went up northeast of this area southwest of Salby. Meanwhile, SPC, which had this area in a slight-risk and 10% hatched tornado probabilities, issued mesoscale discussion #662 and subsequent tornado watch box #202 for the area valid until 1 AM CDT (the following day). Supercells developed rapidly from the enhanced cumulus, and one storm became a violent cyclic supercell producing multiple tornadoes. Nearly all of these tornadoes, I counted a dozen, were significant, with one violent wedge tornado affecting the area north of Bowdle, SD with a farmstead and transmission powerlines dessimated by the passage of the wedge, which was up to a mile-wide at times! The storm continued cycling eastward north of Highway 12 until just west of Aberdeen, SD, where it became multicellular. I wrapped up the chase in Aberdeen for the night, ending this incredible chase day.

May 23 was another active chase day, but involved a very long drive to northwest Kansas for the forecasted target area. I left Aberdeen, SD at about 9 AM, and headed west on Highway 12 to 83. I stopped at Bowdle, SD and met up with Tim Samaras and members of the TWISTEX research team for a damage survey of the farmstead hit by the tornado a day earlier (with permission from the owners and sheriff escort). After the damage survey, which lasted a little over an hour, I continued south and west along Highway 83 through Pierre, SD. I stopped in Murdo, SD for a late lunch and checked data again. It appeared a good target will be in SW Nebraska and into NW Kansas. The SPC had this area in a slight risk with a 5% probability of tornadoes. I crossed into Nebraska, and met up with chaser Daniel Shaw near Valentine, and we both chased into Kansas on Highway 84 until we reached Oakley. The SPC issued a mesoscale discussion (MD #674) and subsequent tornado watch box #207 for a good portion of my target area in Kansas. A severe thunderstorm with hail and high winds was encountered south of McCook, then some supercell storms farther southwest. At least two tornadoes were observed, one north of Oakley, and another southwest Atwood and northward of Bird City. We continued west on Highway 36 then north to near highway 34 where we ended the chase. I continued back to Highway 84, and north into North Platte, Nebraska for the night to adjust for the possible target farther north for May 24.

May 24 looked like it would be another outbreak-type severe weather day, with another hope of seeing significant tornadoes, but wound up being a frustrating day with the wrong cluster of outflow-dominant storms being intercepted. I left North Platte, Nebraska at about 9:30 AM, and headed north on Highway 83 and then on 97, targeting the area in NW to North Central Nebraska / South Dakota (roughly around Mission, SD). The major problem with the forecasting for this day was the very large target area, with two areas of storms expected ... One to the west in NE / SD and another near the warm front farther north in central SD to the northeast of rapid city. SPC had a moderate risk (with a 15% hatched tornado probability) and issued mesoscale discussion #690 and subsequent tornado watch box #213 valid until 8 PM MDT. The latter target would probably not have been reachable because storms developed there early (2 PM) but became tornadic by 3 PM. To mame matters much worse, I became completely blind to any data while passing through the Pine Ridge Indian reservation (highway 18) from Whiteclay to Oelrichs had no data nor cell service. Once to Oelrichs on Highway 385, and observing outflow-dominant storms (developing squall line, not the expected supercells), I learned the northern target produced very large tornadoes, almost 200 miles to my north (near Faith, SD). I headed south on 385 through Chadron to try to find any southern supercell storms in the developing squall line. One intense embedded supercell storm was encountered near Hemingford, NE and another near Hay Springs. I ran across chaser Dan Shaw again, and caravaned with him the rest of the chase. The storms evolved to a squall line, and it was followed from Highways 20 and 391 into South Dakota and eastward all the way to near Mission on Highway 18. The chase ended in Mission. I went south on Highway 84 for dinner in Valentine, NE then south to North Platte for the night.

What was expected to be an off day turned out to be a major chase day for May 25, with a suprise chase setup in SW Kansas / Eastern Colorado and two supercells observed, the second storm producing at least SEVEN tornadoes during its life cycle (5 were land spouts, and the subsequent 2 mesocyclone spawned). I started the day by forecasting a target area in SW / W Kansas near the KS / CO border. SPC also had this area outlooked, with a 5% tornado probability. I left North Platte and headed straight down Highway 83 until I reached Oakley, Kansas where I went west to Highway 25 and south to Highway 160, where storms were observed initiating to my southwest. SPC issued Mesoscale Discussion (MCD) #710 and subsequent severe thunderstorm watch box #222. My target area was a bit on the northern regions of the MCD and watch, favoring better shear and a triple point with the dryline and a boundary. The first storm was encountered near Johnson City and into Colorado along Highways 116 and 89. The first storm was short lived and the chase track shifted to a better storm up north using Highway 89, stopping for fuel in Holly, and continuing north on county roads 35 and 37. The second supercell was first encountered near Towner / Sheridan lake, Colorado and followed eastward near and along Highway 96 / County Road D until north of Scott City, Kansas. I also ran into chaser Jim Reed while near Towner. Five landspout tornadoes were observed, followed by two tornadoes, as well as hail covering the ground like snow. I finished chasing this second supercell after dark, shot some lightning off Highway 96, then headed back to Highway 83 and north to I-70, and west into Colby for the night.

May 26 was another good chase day in northeastern Colorado, and a beautiful supercell was intercepted, with an onset of mild food poisoning waiting until I was finished chasing. I forcasted a target for NE Colorado, packed up, and left Colby at about 9:30 AM and headed west on I-70 to near Genoa (avoiding Highway 385 and construction). I headed north on CR 31 to near Lindon, west on Highway 36 to Last Chance, then north on Highway 71 to wait and check more data near Fort Morgan / Akron. During late lunch, I noticed a cell developing northeast of Denver, about 65 miles to my SW. It appeared this would be the main storm of the day, so I went southwest to meet it on Interstate 76 and south to just north of Bennett. I ran into several chasers, including Verne Carlson and Scott Blair. The storm was followed from there, slowly northeast, until it weakened near Wiggins near and along Highway 52. I started feeling ill so I wrapped up the chase when the supercell weakened and headed for Denver via county roads until I-70 and into town for the night. I became quite ill with mild food poisoning / stomach problems (even vomiting). I settled in on the north side of Denver as the next couple of days may be off days.

May 27 was an off day, and was spent in Denver, Colorado and included a visit to Pikes Peak (down I-25 and to Highway 24 west of Colorado Springs. I spent that night in Denver and left the next day, May 28, for a reposition to NW Nebraska anticipating storms on May 29. On May 28, I left Denver and headed up I-25 into Wyoming, then east on Highway 18 then Highway 20 into Velentine, Nebraska for the night. This leave a wide window of options when chasing resumes on May 29.

May 29 was a marginal chase day, with some severe weather encountered in Grant, Cherry, and Hooker counties in Nebraska. The day started with forecasting and a plan of target from Velentine, Nebraska. A slow moving cold front and low pressure system was found across SW to central Nebraska, and a primary target area of Hyannis, Nebraska in Grant County was chosen. I left Velentine at about 11 AM by heading west on Highway 20 and south to Hyannis on Highway 61. I checked data in Hyannis and this was ther place to be, with a stalled / slow moving front, and convergence area. Shortly after my arrival, the VORTEX II team basically "invaded" the town! The SPC had a slight risk in place for a large area, including southwest and central Nebraska, with a 2% tornado and 30% wind / hail outlook. Mesoscale discussion (MD) #745 and subsequent severe thudnerstorm watch box #235 was also issued for the area, with the watch valid until 11 PM CDT. Storms initiated to the north of Hyannis at about 4 PM CDT, and developed eastward, forming a large MCS / cluster of strong and severe thunderstorms. I chased the storms near and north of Highway 2 until they neared highway 83 north of Thedford andd called it quits at about 8:30 PM. I headed south on Highway 83 through North Platte and into Kansas, spending the night in Colby.

May 30 was another low-end slight risk chase day, with north-central to central Oklahoma being the forecasted target. I left Colby around 9:30 AM and headed east on I-70 to Hays, then south on Highways 183 and 1 throught southern kansas and Highway 34 into Woodward, OKlahoma for lunch and to check data. It appeared that the west-central Oklahoma area would be faavorable for storms, but enroute on Highway 34 near Leedey, I decided to turn around and head for North Central Oklahoma. The SPC had the area in a slight risk with only a 2% tornado probability, so the focus for the day was hail and wind (both were outlooked at 15%). Mesoscale Discussion (MD) #750 was issued, then severe thunderstorm watch boxes 236 and 237, with the latter being for North-Central Oklahoma. A weak surface low was noted in West-Central Oklahoma with a shear axis (wind shift line) ahead of the low and juxtaposition to the slow-moving cold front. This area was also primed for southern-most storms in an on-going squall line in Kansas by evening, yielding the most promise for supercell storms. Two supercells were intercepted after making the final adjustment to chase in Northern / Central Oklahoma, one near Nash and the other south near Crescent City. These storms were mainly west of I-35, near highways 33, 64, and 74. The chase was wrapped up at dark by heading east along Highway 33 to I-35, then into Oklahoma City near I-44 for the night.

May 31 was a rather painful day because there were tornadic storms that formed in SE Colorado, west of the expected target area for the day, which was deemed too far to reach in time from Oklahoma City. I left Oklahoma City at about 11 AM and started west and northwest, targeting the area around Guymon, Oklahoma. I stopped in Woodward, OK and after checking data there, the promising area for supercells would be about 150 miles farther NW into SE Colorado. SPC had only a 2% tornado outlook and a slight risk for the area, centered on the OK Panhandle. Regrettingly, and tired after two weeks, I decided the low tornado chances were not worth (let alone possible) to go farther into SE Colorado. I turned around at Woodward, and headed back to Oklahoma City (had I even been on the Colorado storms, it would be impossible to make my return trip from Dallas, TX on June 1 the next day)! Well, the distant storms I turned my back on would up producing MULTIPLE tornadoes, all significant and photogenic, from Se Colorado to the extreme OK Panhandle. I spent some time at the Oklahoma City Memorial, then packed up my gear for my return to FL on June 1.

June 1 was the last day and my departure day. Severe storm chances existed, but in Nebraska / Iowa, for this day. I left in the morning from Oklahoma City to Dallas, Texas and flew back to Fort Lauderdale, Florida on an evening flight out of Dallas with a stopover in Houston. I learned in Houston (during my stopover) about a rather serious health issue back home with my mother (possible cancer). All in all, this was a VERY successful chase trip, with nearly all the days having activity, and only my limits as a solo chaser / distances becoming an issue.


DETAILED LOG ALL CHASES

1). May 19, 3:00 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of an extremely severe and tornadic thunderstorm from its point of initiation in Roger Mills County, Oklahoma from northwest of Leedey to its demise well to the east of Guthrie in Lincoln County near Tryon. The chase track was generally along Highways 33, 270, and 105. The storm was a supercell thunderstorm that started out as a classic supercell which evolved to HP. Three tornadoes were observed with this supercell, the first one, and the most visible, from near Leedey, another near Eagle City, and another from near Kingfisher to west of Guthrie. The storm came very close to producing a tornado in Guthrie, but only had a rapidly rotating wall cloud there. The two latter tornadoes of the three were rain wrapped during the storms HP stages. The storm also contained hail to baseball sized (or larger), torrential rains, 70-MPH winds, and frequent lightning. The storm core was not directly penetrated, so hail to quarter sized, heavy rains, and winds around 60 MPH were encountered. Conditions causing the storms were a low pressure system, upper trough, dryline / boundary interactions, and surface heating. A 2009 Kia Optima was used to chase the storms. Documentation was HD video and digital stills. A PDS tornado watch was also valid for the area until 10 PM CDT.

2). May 20, 5:30 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of a very severe, and possibly tornadic thunderstorm near Fairfield, Texas in Freestone County and between north of highway 84 and south of 287. This storm was an HP supercell storm, and its main core, containing baseball-sized hail, was not penetrated. Winds gusting near 60-MPH, heavy rains, frequent lightning with some close hits, and hail to quarter sized was encountered. A large rotating wall cloud was observed on the inflow side of the storm with an RFD feature as well. The storm was caused by the interaction of an outflow boundary and stalled cold front, surface heating, and an upper trough. Documentation was HD video and digital stills. A 2009 Kia Optima was used to chase the storms. A tornado watch was also valid for the area until 9 PM CDT.

3). May 20, 5:30 PM - Observation and penetration of another very severe, and possibly tornadic thunderstorm near Wortham, Texas in Freestone and Navarro Counties west of I-45 and along Highway 14. This storm was an HP supercell storm, and its main core, containing at least golfball-sized hail, was indirectly penetrated. Winds gusting near 60-MPH, heavy rains, frequent lightning, and hail to quarter sized (about 1") was encountered. A large rotating wall cloud was observed on the inflow side of the storm with an RFD / rain hook feature as well. The storm was caused by the interaction of an outflow boundary and stalled cold front, surface heating, and an upper trough. Documentation was HD video and digital stills. A 2009 Kia Optima was used to chase the storms. A tornado watch was also valid for the area until 9 PM CDT.

4). May 22, 6:00 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of an extremely severe and violent tornadic thunderstorm in Edmunds County, South Dakota from near Lowry and through Bowdle and to just west of Aberdeen along Highway 12 and points north. This storm was a violent cyclic supercell, starting out as a classic supercell, then evolving to HP during its later stages. At LEAST six tornadoes were produced and observed with this storm, all of them significant. One possibly violent tornado was observed near Bowdle, causing significant damage (if not - total devastation) of some farmsteads north of the town. Transmission powerlines and a radio tower were also destroyed. This tornado was a mile-wide wedge tornado, and was observed from close proximity, with inflow / RFD winds approaching 100 MPH (or more). The storm also acquired the "stacked plates" structure during its early HP stages, with the appearance of an "upside-down wedding cake" at times, with a tornado still on the ground. The backside of the storms core was observed, with winds well over 75-MPH, baseball sized hail, lightning, and torrential rains were encountered (I had to seek shelter behind a farmer's shed). The other tornadoes produced by this storm were cones and stove-pipe type tornadoes. The storm was caused by the interaction of a warm front / boundary, dryline / confluence axis, surface heating, low-pressure area, and an upper trough. Documentation was HD video and digital stills. A 2009 Kia Optima was used to chase the storms. A tornado watch was also valid for the area until 1 AM CDT (the following day).

5). May 23, 5:30 PM - Observation and penetration of a severe thunderstorm south of Oberlin, Kansas in Decatur County along Highway 83. The storm was part of a multicell cluster of strong and severe thunderstorms, and was penetrated in order to reach other more severe storms / supercells to the south. The largest hail associated with this storm was observed to the east of the chase track, with an impressive hail-shaft visible. Conditions observed were 60 to 70 MPH winds, hail up to 1", frequent lightning, and torrential rains. Conditions causing the storms were moisture convergence, a developing low pressure area, dryline to the west and warm-front to the north, surface heating, and an upper trough. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A 2009 Kia Optima was used to chase the storms. A tornado watch was also valid for the area until 12 AM CDT the following day.

6). May 23, 7:30 PM - Observation of a very severe and tornadic thunderstorm north of Oakley, Kansas from Highway 83 in Thomas County. The storm was an HP supercell storm, and its core was allowed to pass to the west. A large truncated cone tornado was noted on the rain-free base of the storm, which evolved to a smaller tornado before lifting in about 5 minutes. The tornado was observed at a distance of at least 10 miles, but well visible and a report was called in for it to the NWS. The storm core contained hail to about 2" (not penetrated) and frequent lightning was observed as well. Conditions causing the storms were moisture convergence, a developing low pressure area, dryline to the west and warm-front to the north, surface heating, and an upper trough. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A 2009 Kia Optima was used to chase the storms. A tornado watch was also valid for the area until 12 AM CDT the following day.

7). May 23, 9:00 PM - Observation of an extremely severe and tornadic thunderstorm from southwest of Atwood, Kansas and along Highway 36 in Rawlins County to near Bird City. The storm was another HP supercell storm, also observed from a distance, and two tornadoes were observed in the darkness (illuminated by lightning) from a distance (10 miles or so). One was briefly visible southwest of Atwood and another north of Bird City. The core was avoided but probably contained very large hail. The storm also had an impressive "barber pole" updraft when viewed from the south near Bird City. The storm also was producing nearly continuous lightning (CC and CG). Conditions causing the storms were moisture convergence, a developing low pressure area, dryline to the west and warm-front to the north, surface heating, and an upper trough. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A 2009 Kia Optima was used to chase the storms. A tornado watch was also valid for the area until 12 AM CDT the following day.

8). May 24, 4:00 PM - Observation and penetration of a very severe thunderstorm along Highway 385 and north of Hemingford, Nebraska in Box Butte County. The storm was an intense cell embedded in a multicell line of storms. Hail to nickel-sized, torrential rains, frequent lightning, and winds gusting over 80-MPH were encountered with this storm. Tree damage was also observed with this storm. Conditions causing the storms were a strong cold front, low pressure area, surface heating, and an upper level low pressure area. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A 2009 Kia Optima was used to chase the storms. A tornado watch was also valid for the area until 8 PM MDT.

9). May 24, 6:30 PM - Observation and penetration of another very severe thunderstorm from south of Hay Springs near Highway 87 in Box Butte County, Nebraska and eventually north and eastward along Highways 391 and 18 into South Dakota and to as far as Mission, South Dakota. The storm was a multicell line of severe thunderstorms, in which en embedded HP supercell storm was observed early on before evolution to a derecho-like outflow dominant MCS. Hail, torrential rains, lightning, and winds gusting to near 90-MPH were observed with these storms. The strong winds kicked up a lot of dust, and pebbles were blown into my chase vehicle at one point. Some tree and sign damage was also noted. Conditions causing the storms were a strong cold front, low pressure area, surface heating, and an upper level low pressure area. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A 2009 Kia Optima was used to chase the storms. A tornado watch was also valid for the area until 8 PM MDT.

10). May 25, 4:30 PM - Observation of a severe thunderstorm just west of Johnson City, Kansas and into Colorado just west of the border along Highways 160 / 89. This was in Baca County in Colorado and Stanton County in Kansas. The storm was a small supercell storm which produced a wall cloud and funnel during its high-point. The storm also contained large hail, gusty winds, and very heavy rains. The core was not directly penetrated, so only small hail was observed. Conditions causing the storms were a stationary front / outflow boundary, approaching dryline, surface heating, and an upper trough. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A 2009 Kia Optima was used to chase the storms. A severe thunderstorm watch was also valid for the area until 10 PM CDT.

11). May 25, 6:30 PM - Observation and penetration of an extremely severe and tornadic thunderstorm from just west of Towner, Colorado in Kiowa County and into Kansas near Tribune and as far as Scott City in Scott County. This cyclic supercell storm was observed from near Highway 96 in Towner and Tribune and also along county roads north of Highway 96. In Sheridan Lake County, Colorado, the developing supercell storm produced at LEAST five land-spout type tornadoes. The storm became a very powerful cyclic supercell storm, and had a large rotating wall cloud when it was west of Towner. Hail at least 2" was also observed north of Highway 96, which completely covered the ground in some places. The storm split, and the main portion continued eastward near Tribune, Kansas, where two more tornadoes were observed. More large hail and high winds were encountered north of Scott City hear Highways 96 and 83. Largest hail observed falling was up to 2" (half dollar sized). The storm also contained frequent lightning and strong winds (near 65-MPH). Hail fog was observed with the hail falls that covered the ground. The storm also produced some spectacular wall clouds, one of them touching the ground! Conditions causing the storms were a stationary front / outflow boundary, approaching dryline (with a triple-point to the stationary boundary), surface heating, and an upper trough. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A 2009 Kia Optima was used to chase the storms. A severe thunderstorm watch was also valid for the area until 10 PM CDT.

12). May 26, 5:00 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of an extremely severe, and possibly tornadic thunderstorm in Weld / Morgan Counties in northeastern Colorado from south of Interstate 76 near Bennett and east to near Wiggins and Highway 52. The storm was an LP and / or classic supercell thunderstorm. The storm core was not directly penetrated, yet hail up to 2" was observed falling on the edge of the storm core, with an impressive RFD. A brief weak tornado was also observed with the storm near Prospect Valley. The storm had also had the impressive "stacked plates" and striations on the updraft, with a very striking visual appearance during its intense stages. Conditions causing the storm were surface heating, upslope wind flow (lee trough), and an upper trough. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A 2009 Kia Optima was used to chase the storms. A tornado watch was also valid for the area until 8 PM MDT.

13). May 29, 7:00 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of severe thunderstorms near Highway 2 from near Hyannis to Thedford, Nebraska in Grant and Hooker counties. The severe storms were part of a multicell cluster of storms. The core of the most intense storm was not directly penetrated (contained hail to near 2"), but frequent lightning, heavy rains, 60-MPH winds, and hail to 1" was encountered. The storms began as a multicell cluster of storms (with embedded HP supercells), but quickly became outflow dominant. A funnel was observed on the southern side of the storm to the NE of Whitman, Nebraska. Conditions causing the storms were surface heating, a cold front, weak low pressure area, and an upper trough. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A 2009 Kia Optima was used to chase the storms. A severe thunderstorm watch was also valid for the area until 11 PM CDT.

14). May 30, 6:00 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of a very severe thunderstorm from north of Nash, Oklahoma in Grant County and southeast into Garfield County near Kremlin near and along Highways 11, 64, and 81. The storm began as a supercell storm (classic) with a wall cloud, then transitioned to an outflow dominant multicell storm cluster of severe thunderstorms. Winds associated with these storms gusted over 70-MPH, with torrential rains, frequent lightning (with some close hits), and hail up to 3/4 inches. The storm core of the supercell was not directly penetrated, and contained hail to golfball (1.75") in size. Some tree damage was also observed with this storm. Conditions causing the storms were surface heating, a slow-moving cold front, low pressure area, upper trough, and dryline / shear axis. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A 2009 Kia Optima was used to chase the storms. A severe thunderstorm watch was also valid for the area until 12 AM CDT the following day.

15). May 30, 8:30 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of another very severe thunderstorm west of Crescent City, Oklahoma in Logan and Kingfisher Counties near Highway 33. The storm was a supercell storm (classic) with a rotating wall cloud with some brief funnels, and was the "tail-end Charley" southernmost storm in the multicell storm complex (MCS) farther north. The storm core of the supercell was not directly penetrated, but hail to about 1.25" was observed, along with heavy rains, 40-MPH winds, and frequent lightning (with numerous close hits). The main core had hail to tennis-ball sized, and the hail roar / clanking could be heard on the rear-flank of the storm. Conditions causing the storm was surface heating, a slow-moving cold front, low pressure area, upper trough, and dryline / shear axis. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A 2009 Kia Optima was used to chase the storms. A severe thunderstorm watch was also valid for the area until 12 AM CDT the following day.

This concludes the Chase Log for the US Great Plains and Midwest storm chasing trip from May 18 through June 1, 2010. This chase summary includes a total of 15 severe storm interceptions and / or observations. Out of these observations, a total of at least 20 tornadoes / large funnels were observed. The main chase vehicle conducting all chases is a 2009 Kia Optima (rental). This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.


CHOOSE A VIDEO CLIP BELOW - LINKS TO YOUTUBE

Violent Tornadoes Near Bowdle, SD On May 22, 2010
Bowdle, SD Damage Survey / KS Tornadoes On May 23, 2010
Tornadoes In CO / KS On May 25, 2010
Chase 2010 Music Video (NSCC 2011)


GALLERY FOR MAY 18, 2010

Severe Thunderstorm over Fort Lauderdale airport ... This caused my flight to be delayed nearly two hours. I watched my plane ALMOST land, then fly back out (abort the landing), and later found out they circled, could not land because of the storm, got low on fuel, and had to divert to another airport to re-fuel. This was the flight that I was supposed to be on. Luckily, I had a continuing service connection (no plane change) in New Orleans, so I simply got into Dallas late.


GALLERY FOR MAY 19, 2010

Convective initiation to the northwest of Clinton, Oklahoma as anxious storm chasers watch.
Rapidly developing supercell storm to the northwest of Leedey, Oklahoma over Roger Mills county.
Tornado to the northwest of Leedey, Oklahoma from the rapidly intensifying supercell. The view is west and northwest.
Another possible tornado / rotating wall cloud viewed from west of Eagle City, Oklahoma. The view is to the east.
Rapidly rotating / rain wrapped tornado near Kingfisher, Oklahoma. Visually, this was basically tagging scud really close to the ground.
The "chaser convergence" with this storm was insane ... Literally traffic jams of chasers and equipment, including the VORTEX II scientists!
Violently rotating wall cloud over Guthrie, Oklahoma before the storm moved east and weakened.


GALLERY FOR MAY 20, 2010

This is a view looking south at the MCS / thunderstorm line from extreme southeastern Oklahoma. The "area of interest" will be at the extreme southwest portion of this line of thunderstorms, to the lower-right in the picture (in NE Texas).
Forward-flank gust front and shelf cloud on the eastern side of an HP supercell near Fairfield Lake, Texas.
Interesting bowl shaped and rotating wall cloud on the inflow side of the HP supercell storm near Fairfield Lake.
Another HP supercell storm west if Interstate 45 (near Wartham, Texas). The view is to the west and northwest.
Rotating wall cloud in the supercell "bear's cage" near Wortham, Texas looking northward and with the rain "hook" behind me.
Beautiful mammatus seen from north of the line of supercells on the storm anvil at sunset near Corsicana, Texas.


GALLERY FOR MAY 21, 2010

Here is a "storm chaser's worst nightmare" ... Waiting for the pilot car in a suprise long construction delay along Highway 385 in Northeastern Colorado north of Burlington. Not something any chaser rushing to a storm 100+ miles away wants to see. This delay pretty much tanked the chase for May 21.
Here is a view of the tornadic supercell in far east-central Wyoming / western Nebraska from at least 100 miles away in SW Nebraska.


GALLERY FOR MAY 22, 2010

Convective initiation northeast of Pierre, South Dakota near the intersections of Highways 83 and 14. We watched this develop from blue sky just an hour prior. Believe it or not, this innocent looking cloud will be a violent supercell in about an hour, producing multiple tornadoes.
Here is a picture of the developing supercell southwest of Lowdy, South Dakota during its early stages.
The same storm develops an impressive and rapidly rotating wall cloud.
Developing and rapidly intensifying tornado to the west of Bowdle and southeast of Java near Highway 12.
Multi-vortex tornado evolving to a violent stovepipe south of Highway 12 and west of Bowdle.
Possible satellite / old meso (or left split) tornado to my northwest just as the main (intensifying) tornado is about to cross Highway 12 to my east.
Developing wedge tornado crossing Highway 12 west of Bowdle. The "Dominator" vehicle (Reed Timmer) is INSIDE this tornado as I was taking this picture!
Tim Samaras's main vehicle (with TWISTEX) to the left side of Highway 12 (looking east) and a new in-situ tornado instrument (trailing red marker smoke) that measures tornado winds at 0.7m and 2m to the right. The tornado is just to my north and out of frame to the left.
Multi-vortex stage of the tornado just to my north (on Highway 12) and west of Bowdle, SD.
This has to be one of the most impressive RFD (Rear Flank Downdraft) clear-slots I have ever seen! The violent wedge tornado is to the far right. You can actually see blue sky and crepescular rays of sunlight through the RFD cleat slot.
Fully developed and violent wedge tornado just north of Bowdle, SD. The farmstead in the forground sustained serious damage.
The arrow in this picture points to a pickup truck with its headlights on ... This was a resident of the farmstead, with his family and his dog, fleeing for their lives and escaping certain death. I spoke to these folks a day later and they said "We had a choice: Cellar or leave - We chose 'leave'!"
Some flying debris, actually parts of a roof, clearly airborne in this close-up shot of the wedge tornado's southern edge north of Bowdle.
Power flash as the wedge tornado reaches and destroys ultra-high voltage transmission lines.
Tornado crossing the farm road north of Bowdle as other chasers watch in awe.
The violent supercell storm cycles again and the new mesocyclone produces another cone tornado (evolved to a stove-pipe) east of Bowdle as viewed from Highway 12 (the view is northeast).
Absolutely INSANE supercell structure north of Ipswitch with a weakening tornado to the extreme lower left of the picture.


GALLERY FOR MAY 23, 2010

This is a picture of some of the damage to a farmstead (totally destroyed) north of Bowdle, South Dakota a day after the tornado hit. We had to be escorted by the local sheriff and had permission from the owners to take these pictures. Myself and the TWISTEX chase group were conducting the damage survey in the morning before leaving South Dakota for a target area in NW Kansas.
Here is the anvil of a cluster of severe thunderstorms looking south from Highway 83 near the Kansas / Nebraska border. These storms began as multicell, but evolved to supercells once upper level support / low-level dynamics arrived.
Here is a truncated cone tornado viewed from north of Oakley, Kansas and west of Highway 83. This tornado was spawned by an HP supercell storm that was a left split from a seemingly more intense southern (right) split. Myself and chaser Dan Shaw were some of the only chasers who saw this, and we reported it to the NWS.
Here is another view of the tornado west of Highway 83 by about 10 miles and north of Oakley, Kansas just before lifting.
Another HP supercell, also tornadic, produced large amounts of lightning to the southwest of Atwood, Kansas after dark.


GALLERY FOR MAY 24, 2010

This is a view west towards what appeared to be a developing supercell storm, but was the start of a line of thunderstorms. The view is to the west from the Nebraska / South Dakota border and south of the Pine Ridge Indian resrvation.
Here is a picture of the backside and hail shaft (with an interesting funnel shaped silhouette in the center of the picture) from a supercell storm embedded in a developing squall line near Alliance, Nebraska.
Once the storms in NW Nebraska evolved into a powerful squall line, outflow winds gusted over 80 MPH in some places, raising dust as in this picture.
Here is a downed tree after the squall line passed through Valentine, Nebraska.
Incredible display of mammatus clouds over Valentine, Nebraska an hour or so after passage of the squall line.


GALLERY FOR MAY 25, 2010

Here is a view of a developing supercell storm in Sheridan Lake County, Colorado. The storm is developing on the intersection of the dryline (left) and a stationary boundary (left to right) called a "triple point". Look very closely to the lower left and you can see one of the first land-spout type tornadoes I observed with this storm!
Here is a picture of the second land-spout type tornado I observed with this supercell in Sheridan Lake County. This tornado developed a bit closer to the supercell than the one pictured above.
Yet another large land-spout tornado develops in Sheridan Lake County. This is tornado number three for me, and this one has a expansive dust cloud at its base.
These are two land-spouts ocurring simultaneously, and "dancing" around each other. They were roughly a half mile apart, and ocurred just before land-spout in the picture above lifted (to the right and out of this picture) - This makes my tornado count for this storm four and five!
The supercell storm in Sheridan Lake County, Colorado had a wall cloud literally scraping the ground!
Here is a picture of the hail-fall northwest of Towner, Colorado. The ground is completely covered with hail ranging from marble sized to half-dollar. Note the eerie hail fog hanging in the air. This storm dropped the temperature from 85 degrees to 45 in about 5 minutes!
Nice piece of golf-ball sized hail. This was probably more like 2" as it has melted quite a bit.
Another tornado develops from the supercell right-split north of Tribune, Kansas. This is the sixth tornado I observed from this storm.
Beautiful narrow tornado develops between Selkirk and Leoti, Kansas. This is tornado number seven from this supercell I observed.
This is a picture of one of the storm chasing tour groups watching the supercell rain-free base and wall cloud.
Here is a picture of an approaching hail core (with green hue) north of Scott City, Kansas and along Highway 83. The view is to the southwest just before getting slammed with golf-ball sized hail.


GALLERY FOR MAY 26, 2010

Here is a view of the developing supercell storm from about 25 miles to the northeast on I-76 (looking southwest). This storm initiated off the Palmer Divide (NE of Denver) and began moving northeast.
Rapidly rotating wall cloud north of Bennett, Colorado.
I think this was a weak tornado that breifly formed, resembling rotating scud. This was northwest of Prospect Valley, Colorado and not far from Bennett.
This supercell produced hail over 2 inches, with smaller marble sized hail covering the road as seen here. My vehicle had dents from this very hard hail (I saw golfball sized), and it cracked the driver's side mirror.
View of RFD clear slot directly overhead from the edge of the hail core of the intensifying supercell near Prospect Valley, Colorado.
Incredible storm structure of the LP / Classic supercell when it was exiting Weld County and entering Morgan County, Colorado.
Some of the V2 (VORTEX II) personnel with a DOW (Doppler On Wheels) type truck scanning the supercell storm south of Wiggins, Colorado.
One of the National Severe Storms Laboratory research vehicles with another distant supercell storm in the background.
This is a view back towards the weakening supercell storm with a high base and RFD slot still visible to the left.
This rather long chase day ended with a stay in Denver, Colorado for the night. Here is the Denver Skyline with a distant supercell thunderstorm (Near Pueblo) looming in the distance.


GALLERY FOR MAY 27, 2010

My first, and well deserved "off day" for this trip was spent at Pikes Peak. This peak is over 14,100 feet above sea level. Conditions at the mointain base were light winds out of the SE and 90 degrees. At the summit, temperatures ranged from 30 to 45 degrees, with a stiff SW wind gusting over 50 MPH (72 MPH early in that morning). Weather was crystal clear with high base clouds, allowing a view spanning hundreds of miles.


GALLERY FOR MAY 28, 2010

Here is the view looking south from along Highway 20 near the Nebraska / Wyoming border during the off / reposition day of May 28. Wide open spaces - The wild west!


GALLERY FOR MAY 29, 2010

This is a picture of the Dominator (similar to Sean Casey's tornado intercept vehicle), but designed and operated by the Tornado Videos (TVN) network. Designer and meteorologist Reed Timmer is standing in the blue shirt. Note the air cannon package, which is designed to launch parachite-borne instruments into a tornado / supercell updraft.
These are the "probe" vehicles, each with a mobile mesonet (weather instrumentation), preparing for a chase in Hyannis, Nebraska. These vehicles are part of the VORTEX II project, operated by the NSSL (National Severe Storms Laboratory).
A severe thunderstorm develops ahead of the approaching cold front to the east of Hyannis, Nebraska and briefly acquires HP supercell characteristics before being undercut by the outflow.
The severe thunderstorm east of Hyannis and near Whitford, Nebraska produced this funnel cloud and weak RFD as viewed from Highway 2. The view is to the north.
Here is one of the DOW (doppler on wheels) radar trucks operated by the NSSL for the VORTEX II project as a severe thunderstorm approaches. Storm chase Jim Reed is standing on the SUV in the yellow rain jacket taking pictures.


GALLERY FOR MAY 30, 2010

Todays target was in north-central Oklahoma near the intersection of a wind-shift line ands a stalled cold front, and the soouthernmost cells in a squall line stretching into Kansas were the storms of interest. In this picture, an intense cell fires north of Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma.
The severe thunderstorm cell north of Vance Air Force Base briefly becomes a supercell storm, producing a wall cloud, before being under-cut by the outflow / slow-moving cold front.
This is a picture looking up at a weak forward-flank mesocyclone as the supercell storm evolves to a multicell line near Nash, Oklahoma.
This is the wall cloud associated with another supercell storm on the southern-most portion of the line / cluster of severe thunderstorms near Crescent City, Oklahoma. These storms are called the "tail-end Charley" supercells.
Another view of the wall cloud associated with the supercell west of Crescent City, Oklahoma with amazing lightning.
Funnel cloud and another CG lightning strike west of Crescent City, Oklahoma.


GALLERY FOR MAY 31, 2010

This was the last full day available for chasing, but the storms developed too far away in order to make the target and / or make it back in time for my return trip the following day. The yellow "X" is near Woodward, Oklahoma, and that's the closest I was able to get to the storms without driving without sleep and / or missing my flight out of Dallas, TX on June 1. These storms produced MULTIPLE tornadoes in SE Colorado.


GALLERY FOR JUNE 1, 2010

Here is a picture of some flashes of lightning from a distant thunderstorm over the Gulf Of Mexico while en-route from Houston, Texas to Fort Lauderdale, Florida on the return-flight at the end of my trip.


RADAR ANALYSIS OF THE MAY 22 (BOWDLE, SD) STORM

This section highlights an interesting analysis done on the violent supercell (nearing its maximum intensity) that affected Edmunds County, SD on May 22, 2010. The analysis was done using Gibson Ridge's "GRLevel2 Analyst" software, which allows a data set of radar imagery (in this case from the NWS Doppler radar site archives for Aberdeen, SD) to be disseminated and analyzed as a three-dimensional model of the storms involved.

In the image above, the supercell storm is nearing maximum intensity, and is producing a violent tornado at that time. It presents an impressive two-dimensional radar image (base reflectivity) and classic "flying eagle" shape, with the intense hook (and tornado) north of Bowdle, SD at that time. The yellow "triangle" symbol is the approximate location of the tornado, and the "intersection" just below that is Highways 12 and 47 through the town of Bowdle, SD itself.

The image above shows the two-dimensional velocity imagery associated with the Bowdle, SD supercell at the same time as the first reflectivity image above. Again, the yellow "triangle" denotes the location of the tornado, as detected by the radar software algorithm. The intense "couplet" near that triangle is a TVS and is denoted by bright red (moving away from Aberdeen's NWS radar site) and bright green (moving towards that site). Aberdeen, SD is roughly 30-40 miles to the east of the supercell's location at this time. Where the intense green and red areas "touch" is called gate-to-gate shear / divergence, and that is indicative of a tornado (tornado vortex signature / TVS).

The image above is one of the three-dimensional rendering of the supercell storm, as well as neighboring storms, with the lightest reflectivity iso-surfaces made semi-transparent. The shape of the storm, including the anvil, can be visualized, and the time-frame of the analysis is the same as the two (base reflectivity and velocity) two-dimensional images above. The virtual view is looking to the northeast from the "rear-flank" side of the storm. The location of Bowdle, SD is roughly above the "O" in the word "SOUTH" in the rendering. The top of the supercell was just under 50,000 feet MSL.

This is an impressive three-dimensional rendering of the supercell at maximum intensity (north of Bowdle, SD) at the time it was producing the EF-4 wedge tornado. This rendering has only the reflectivities below 55 DBz made transparent, allowing the most intense core iso-surfaces to be visualized. The view is looking towards the southwest, and allows an impressive BWER (bounded weak-echo region) to be seen as well as the debris "knob" / RFD precipitation near the tornado extending high into the supercell core. Intense forward flank precipitation can be seen to the right of the BWER and tornado area. The BWER extends to at least 20,000 feet MSL. The actual tornado, based on this graphic, is located on the north (just right) of the intense reflectivity lobe and south of the "clear" BWER on the left side of the rendering.

Looking nearly straight down (and slightly northwest), an interesting "vortex hole" feature can be visualized in this three-dimensional rendering of the supercell north of Bowdle, SD if the iso-surfaces higher than 40 DBz made semi-transparent (but less than that transparent). This is basically the "eye" of the storm mesocyclone, which is so intense, that it creates an area of reduced returns extending all the way to the top of the supercell. Such a feature is observed on only very intense supercells (usually producing violent tornadoes), and was observed in other notable events, including Hallam, NE in May 2004 and Greensburg, KS in May 2007.

Here is a final three-dimensional rendering of the supercell as it was near Ipswitch, SD and still producing tornadoes and entering HP / line-segment mode. All the lower iso-surfaces under 45 DBz) were made nearly-transparent and those above 45 DBz were made semi-transparent. Only the 65 DBz (or higher) iso-surfaces (pink / magenta) were made opaque, and an impressive precipitation core (most likely extremely large hail) is revealed in a large area to the north and west of the mesocyclone. This area of intense reflectivity extends to at least 20,000 feet MSL, with an isolated return above 30,000 feet!

Above is an image (from video) taken from an aircraft (Boeing 757) flying at about 38,000 feet and south of the supercell storms as they were west of Aberdeen, SD on May 22, 2010. This is roughly at the same time the last radar analysis above, and as the storm was transitioning from HP to a line segment. The underside of the anvil is illuminated by one of many intense could-to-cloud lightning flashes and the lights far down to the lower-right are from Aberdeen, SD. The image is courtesy of Stuart Mike (a pilot), and a video of this storm in greater detail can be seen at the link for it at www.flickr.com/photos/31182650@N08.


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