This section is for storm chases done in the central / Midwestern United States during the year of 2016. This includes all storm chasing activities (including any major chase "expeditions") during the year of 2016 in the central USA (aka "Tornado Alley"). For 2016, all chases in the central USA will be logged in this section, with many of the chases being possible "spot" chases / major severe weather "setups" chased. Here you should find many pictures of lightning, tornadoes, hail, strong winds, along with many severe thunderstorm elements. 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 - 2016 CHASE LOG

Oh happy day ... When a long trip out to Tornado Alley in the central USA "pays off"! This is what tornado chasing is all about, getting the shots of tornadoes and severe weather after a long day of driving, forecasting skills, and persistence pays off! This is one of the tornadoes late in the day on April 15, 2016 being captured just southeast of Eva, Oklahoma (Texas County). The tornado remained over an open field and did little damage, hurting no one. This was one of three tornadoes that would form in quick succession from this cyclic supercell storm, which tracked across nearly 4 states (from the NM / TX border, then across the OK Panhandle, and finally SW KS)! Be sure to check out the chase log for this chase, as well as many others in 2016 in the Central USA.


TABLE OF CONTENTS - CLICK TO GO TO PAGE


ABOUT THIS CHASE LOG FOR THE MIDWEST

This is a chase log for any chases during 2016 in the Midwest and Central United States that were conducted as "spot" chases as well as any dedicated chase trip. Each chase section within this area will have its own details and such for that particular chase. This area was set up in the spring of 2016 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.


CHOOSE A VIDEO CLIP BELOW - LINKS TO YOUTUBE

Time-Lapse Of April 15 (2016) Texas County (OK) Tornadic Supercell
Time-Lapse Compilation For Storm Chasing In Spring 2016
Brief Tornado / Gustnado Striking Chase Vehicle (May 8, 2016)
Storm Chasing In Central USA In Spring 2016


CHASE MAP FOR APRIL 14-17, 2016

This is a chase map for the chase from April 14 through April 17, 2016. The chase track is in blue (which includes the driving portions of the trip), and the flight (to and from Chicago, IL and Denver, CO) is in green. The target areas appear as yellow outlines for the main chase days (April 15 and 16), with storm intercepts denoted by the red "X's". The red asterisk (*) near Denver denotes an observation of the effects of a severe late-season snow storm.


CHASE TRIP CHRONOLOGY FOR APRIL 14-17, 2016

This was a "spot" chase trip during the late week / weekend of April 14 through 17, 2016 with April 15 and 16 being the days available for chasing. After clearing my work schedule for Friday (April 15), the plan was to fly out to Denver, Colorado (late on April 14) and target the areas from SE Colorado into the Oklahoma and Texas Panhandles, and return to Chicago early on April 17. The anticipation of chasing these days started a week in advance, with a strong upper air low (after crossing the Northern Pacific ocean) forecasted to be over the western USA by Friday, April 15. Models progged this upper low to stall and weaken due to a blocking ridge eastward over the US Midwest and upper MS river valley. With a time constraint and pretty much April 15 being the "main" chase day, I opted to fly out and rent a vehicle instead of driving my own.

The initial plan was to leave Chicago late evening on 4/14. After getting a report my flight was delayed, I quickly changed for an earlier on-time flight and arrived into Denver during the evening of April 14. I picked up the rental vehicle, a 2016 Toyota Rav4 SUV, and spent the night near Aurora, CO east of Denver. With heavy snow forecasted later in the period, I opted for an upgrade to the SUV rental. I also changed my morning return flight on Sunday (April 17) to the afternoon to avoid any issues with the predicted heavy snow that was to affect Denver on April 16 through the morning of the 17th. Upon waking up early on April 15th, I forecasted and decided the right place to chase would be in an area from SE Colorado (around Springfield), southward into the Oklahoma Panhandle and as far as the area north of Amarillo, Texas.

I started out by heading east on I-70 to Limon, then southeast on Highway 287 / 40 through Kit Carson and eventually through Lamar and Springfield (having lunch there). Meanwhile, the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) had an area in a enhanced risk, with a 5% tornado, 15% wind, and 30% hatched hail in the outlook, which extended from SE Colorado and into Texas along an axis centered north of Amarillo and as far south as Lubbock. A developing dryline, and low pressure area in NE New Mexico were becoming apparent, with a dewpoint axis in the 50's. While heading south near Lamar on Highway 287, a cluster of highly sheared, agitated cumulus was noted to the west. This was not the primary target area, but this later formed into a tornadic thunderstorm that would produce the first tornado of the day near Eads, Colorado in upslope wind flow to the south of a slow moving cold front.

By mid to late afternoon, I entered Oklahoma via 287 / 385, through Boise City, and eventually the northern Texas Panhandle near Stratford. SPC issued mesoscale discussion 385, and subsequent tornado watch box 91 valid until 10PM CDT for my area. While mulling over the intense tornadic storm far to the north in SE Colorado, I noted convective initiation to my southwest just east of the TX / NM border. I headed southwest through Dalhart along 54 where I intercepted the cluster of strong and severe storms. One very intense cell intensified and became the main storm of the day. This supercell storm would track northeast back near Dalhart and continue northeast into Oklahoma and eventually produce tornadoes from near Eva, OK in Texas County and northeast of there at dusk. The storm remained NW of, and paralleled Highway 54, which made that route helpful.

Tornadoes were intercepted with this storm on Highway 412 near Eva, OK. I continued with the storm to near Hough, OK along Highway 136 and ended the chase after dark. I headed back down 136 to 54, spending the night back in Dalhart, Texas. Hail (up to 1") was also observed during an overnight severe storm in Dalhart. April 16 was another chase day, although not expected to be as active as the day before. The target area was pretty much near Amarillo and points east and southeast of there. A Pacific cold front and dry line interaction was involved with this days setup, and after forecasting it was apparent I did not have to travel very far. I left Dalhart via Highway 87 to Dumas, then south to Amarillo for lunch at the Big Texan steakhouse (a must for chasers in that area whether you catch tornadoes or not)!

A strong thunderstorm (due to an on-going line of strong and severe storms) passed over the restaurant and dropped marble sized hail. The SPC again had a similar outlook for this area, maybe shifted a bit east or southeast, with a tornado probability of 5%, and hail and wind probabilities both at 15%. Mesoscale discussion 395 and subsequent tornado watch box 93 valid until 9 PM CDT was also issue for this area, with the lower 2/3 of the watch area having the highest tornado threat. After lunch, I headed east on I-40 to highway 207, observing a rotating storm NW of White Deer. This storm weakened as outflow under-cut it, so I headed back to I-40 east, then to Mclean, and south on 273 to Hedley. The "tail-end Charley" supercell was intercepted from SE of Clarendon near Lelia Lake and acquired intense rotation (with a possible broad / brief tornado).

This storm was followed back north and northeast by back-tracking along highway 273 until it weakened NW of Shamrock. I ran into many storm chasers, including Randy Hicks while on 273. The chase was completed near Shamrock and back on I-40. I headed back west to 273, and NW through Pampa and Borger, picking up 152 West to meet highway 87 and eventually 287 / 385 north out of Dalhart and back across the Oklahoma Panhandle and into SE Colorado. I continued as far as Lamar, Colorado, by 11 PM for the night. As I arrived in Lamar, I was pulled over briefly for a mistaken U-Turn, but wound up having a great talk with the officer (no citation issue), who was amazed on my storm chasing endeavors! I got a drink at the local bar in Lamar, and stayed at the hotel on the north side of town. April 17 was pretty much a travel day back to Denver.

I headed back up 287 to 40 and eventually I-70 via Limon. Near Hugo, CO, the snow swath "gradient" was encountered. By Limon and into Denver on I-70, heavy blowing snow and wintry travel was encountered. This was the tail end of a major winter storm that dumped up to 3 (or even 4) FEET of snow in the Denver area. I progressed slowly on I-70 (roads were not that bad) back into Aurora. After having lunch, I headed to the airport, returned the rental vehicle, and flew back to Chicago (luckily my flight wasn't one of many cancelled). This was the end of this chase trip. Total mileage was around 1,120 miles.


APRIL 14-17 CHASE MAIN PARTICIPANTS

CHASER NAMEHOME / BASE CITYCALLSIGNCHASE DATESOCCUPATION
CHRIS COLLURACHICAGO, ILKG4PJN4-14 TO 4-17IT CONSULTANT


STORM REPORTS FOR APRIL 14-17, 2016

Above is a composite image of the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) storm reports for the period of April 14-17, 2016. In this cumulative storm reports, combining data from 4 images from SPC for each day, a red dot denotes a tornado report, a green dot a severe hail report (1" and larger), and a blue dot a damaging severe wind report (58 MPH and up). Significant hail (2" and larger) and significant wind (65 knots and up) is denoted by a black triangle and square, respectively. There were a total of 157 severe weather reports during this period (consisting of 15 tornado, 124 hail, and 18 wind reports). Out of the hail and wind reports, 13 significant hail, but no significant wind reports were tabulated during this time period. The verified target areas are also prominent in this image (TX / OK Panhandles as well as SE Colorado).


FORECASTING AND TARGET AREA - APRIL 15-16, 2016

The graphic above shows the SPC (Storm Prediction Center) outlook areas for April 15 and 16. The left shows the tornado probabilities in a slight-risk area as per the 1630z outlook, with a 5% probability of tornadoes. To the right is a similar 5% tornado probability issued at 13z on April 16, also in a slight-risk outlook, but farther south. In the middle image, the graphic for one of the mesoscale discussions (MCD 385) is shown prior to issuance of tornado watch 91 on April 15. More tornadoes occurred on April 15 than the 16, mainly in the TX and OK panhandles, with activity shifted south of I-40 in Texas on the 16th.


STORM RADAR / SATELLITE IMAGERY - APRIL 15-16, 2016

The images above show both visible satellite imagery (in the left two images for April 15 and 16, respectively) as well as a radar image (base reflectivity) of the powerful supercell storm that produced the tornadoes in the TX / OK Panhandle area on April 15 to the right. These images were during the afternoons and evenings of these two main chase days, roughly around 23z, which was during the most active severe weather those days. Active storms being chased at this time (for these days) are denoted by the arrows. The storm chaser locations (clustered along Highway 54) appear as green dots overlaying the radar image to the right for April 15.


DETAILED CHASE LOG FOR APRIL 14-17, 2016

1). April 15, 8:00 PM - Interception and observation of an extremely severe and tornadic thunderstorm that paralleled Highway 54 and to its northwest from near Dalhart, Texas in Dallam and Hartley Counties and points northeastward as far as Hough, Oklahoma in Texas County. The storm was a cyclic classic to HP supercell storm. The core of the storm was not penetrated directly. At least 3 tornadoes were observed with this storm near Eva, Oklahoma in Texas County around 8 PM, CDT from along Highway 412. The first tornado was an elephant trunk, which lasted a few minutes. The second, forming just N of the first was a large stove-pipe tornado lasting about 5 minutes. The third west of the first two (that formed on the forward flank of the mesocyclone), was farther west and became a wedge tornado. This tornado quickly became rain wrapped and view of it was lost as the storm continued to the NE. Very heavy rains, hail to 1" (during indirectly penetrating the storm), lightning, and winds near 70 MPH were encountered as well. The storm inflow SE of the storm was at least 60 MPH, pulling dirt and dust off the ground near Stratford, and ingesting it into the storm main updraft prior to cyclic tornado genesis. The storm core had hail to baseball sized or larger. The storm had a striking visual appearance, with a "stacked plates" effect, inflow / beavers tail features, mammatus, and RFD clear slot. The storm remained over mainly rural areas, with damage being mainly to powerlines. The storm eventually continued NE after dark to the NW of Liberal, Kansas, before weakening and merging with a storm cluster. The storms were caused by a low pressure area, surface heating, strong upper level low, and advancing dryline. A 2016 Toyota Rav4 was used to chase the storms. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A tornado watch was also valid for the area until 10 PM CDT.

2). April 15, 11:30 PM - Observation (from a fixed area) of a severe thunderstorm at a hotel in Dalhart, Texas (in Dallam County). This storm was the northern side of an intense supercell storm that passed just SE of my location (off Highway 54). The core of this storm had 60 MPH winds and golfball sized hail. Hail to 1" was observed at my location, with frequent lightning, torrential rains, and winds near 50 MPH. Conditions causing this storm were outflow boundaries, a low pressure area, nocturnal intensification of low-level jet, and upper level low. A 2016 Toyota Rav4 was used in chasing storms earlier, but was parked at the time. Documentation was HD video. A severe thunderstorm watch was also valid for the area until 5 AM CDT the following day.

3). April 16, 1:30 PM - Observation (from a fixed area) of a strong thunderstorm at a restaurant off I-40 on the east side of Amarillo, Texas in Potter County. This storm was part of a developing cluster of strong and severe storms. Very heavy rains, lightning, 40 MPH winds, and copious amounts of marble (1/2") hail were observed with this storm. The sound on the metal roof / patio area of the restaurant (Big Texan) was deafening. Conditions causing these storms were an outflow boundary ahead of a developing dryline, a low pressure area, Pacific cold front, and upper level low. A 2016 Toyota Rav4 was used in chasing storms later this day, but was parked at the time. Documentation was audio.

4). April 16, 5:00 PM - Observation of a strong to severe thunderstorm west of White Deer, Texas in Carson County from along Highway 207. The storm was a small supercell storm that developed a strong area of rotation (with rotating updraft, small funnel, and RFD clear slot). Heavy rains, 40 MPH winds, lightning, and small hail were also observed south of this storm. The storm became undercut by outflow and weakened afterwards. Conditions causing this storm were an outflow boundary (ahead of a stalled dryline), a low pressure area, Pacific cold front, and upper level low. A 2016 Toyota Rav4 was used to chase the storm. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A tornado watch was also valid for the area until 9 PM CDT.

5). April 16, 6:30 PM - Interception and observation of a very severe and possibly tornadic thunderstorm from the south of Clarendon, Texas in Donley County along Highways 287 and 273 and near Lelia Lake and towards McLean. The storm was a classic to HP supercell storm, forming on the southern end of a line / cluster of strong and severe storms (the "tail-end Charley"). While passing west of Lelia Lake, the storm became very intense, with strong rotation, RFD wrap, and a possible brief tornado northwest of that location. The storm had a striking visual appearance, with well-developed RFD cut and rapidly rotating wall cloud. Winds near 60 MPH (mainly RFD), small hail, lightning, and heavy rains were encountered on the SE fringes of the storm. The storm moved north and eventually weakened north of McLean. The main core with golfball sized hail was not penetrated. Conditions causing this storm were an outflow boundary (ahead of a stalled dryline), a low pressure area, Pacific cold front, and upper level low. A 2016 Toyota Rav4 was used to chase the storm. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A tornado watch was also valid for the area until 9 PM CDT.

6). April 17, 12:00 PM - Observation of a winter storm and heavy snow from near Limon, Colorado and into Denver along I-70 and the east side of the Denver suburbs. This was due to a late-season winter storm, and some areas had snow totals exceeding 36 inches! In my areas, about 20 inches of snow was observed, especially towards Denver. Blowing a drifting snow was observed as well, with 40 MPH winds (ground blizzard) off I-70 near Byers and Cedar Point. Although this was the end of the winter storm, and roads were being cleared, some traffic accidents were observed. This was also a heavy wet snow, and weighted tree branches broke off and caused some damage as well / power outages. A 2016 Toyota Rav4 was used to observe these conditions, mainly en-route back to Denver from tornado chasing the past couple of days. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A winter storm warning was also valid for this area.

This concludes the chase log for the central US Plains (including chases in Texas, Oklahoma, and Colorado) chase trip for April 14-17, 2016. The summary includes a total of 4 severe thunderstorms, 1 strong thunderstorm, and a winter storm. 4 tornadoes were observed from two of the severe storms. The main chase vehicle conducting this chase was a 2016 Toyota Rav4 SUV rental. This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.


GALLERY FOR APRIL 14, 2016

Coming into Denver late on April 14, 2016 and on a bumpy final approach. This is not a tornadic storm, but merely a line of clouds and scud-like lowerings associated with a cold front.
Interesting cloud formations looming over Denver International Airport while landing on April 14, 2015. A sky like this normally means rapidly changing weather is on the way due to an intense upper-level system moving over the Rocky Mountains.


GALLERY FOR APRIL 15, 2016

Initiation of storms (agitated cumulus and turbulent clouds as upper air support for severe storms arrives). This was to become the Eads, Colorado tornado-producing supercell on April 15.
Developing mesocyclone southwest of Dalhart, Texas (with RFD cut).
Hail on the ground near Stratford in N Texas Panhandle on April 15.
Texas County, Oklahoma tornadic supercell with powerful inflow on April 15.
Texas County, Oklahoma tornadic supercell on April 15 shortly before re-intensifying and producing tornadoes.
Funnel cloud on forward-flank of mesocyclone near Eva in Texas County, Oklahoma (tornado number 1 forming).
Tornado number 1 forms near Eva, Oklahoma in Texas County just before 8 PM central on April 15.
I am not sure if these are TWO tornadoes, obviously we have tornado number 1 to the left, and another rotating feature to the right of it near the precipitation core. This is from a video frame grab from my dash camera just before 8 PM CDT (April 15) southeast of Eva, Oklahoma in Texas County looking WSW off Highway 412.
Large stovepipe tornado (number 2) forms near Eva, Oklahoma after the first one weakens. This is also on the forward-flank of the mesocyclone. These may actually be two vortices close together (binary / Fujiwhara interacting), with the weaker one to the left.
Wedge tornado forms under the main mesocyclone before becoming rain-wrapped south of Eva after 8 PM central on April 15.
A wide view of the Texas County (Oklahoma) tornadic supercell on April 15 as it was still producing tornadoes (rain wrapped at this point).


GALLERY FOR APRIL 16, 2016

Development of strong to severe storms northeast of Amarillo, Texas near noon on April 16.
Big Texan steakhouse in Amarillo, Texas. Better to celebrate a tornado intercept (from the prior day) by eating a big steak for lunch on another chase day!
Celebration steak for lunch at Big Texan in Amarillo before chasing on April 16.
Mesocyclone (with funnel) and RFD cut from a small supercell storm just west of White Deer, TX. The view is to the north.
RFD clear slot and developing tornado NE of Clarendon, TX on April 16.
Possible tornado and rain wrap to the NE of Clarendon, TX.
Line segment over NW TX Panhandle late on April 16.
Dryline pushing into TX Panhandle near dusk on April 16.
Stopping for quick drink at a local bar in Lamar, CO before spending the night there.


GALLERY FOR APRIL 17, 2016

Snow on I-70 west of Limon near Cedar Point, CO on April 17.
Truck in median overturned on I-70 east of Denver.
Branch falling from heavy wet snow west of Denver in the suburbs near Aurora.
De icing of airplanes at Denver International Airport before flying out on April 17 to Chicago. I was VERY lucky my flight was not one of many cancelled.


CHASE MAP FOR APRIL 25-28, 2016

This is a chase map for the chase from April 25 through April 28, 2016. The chase track is in blue which includes both the active chase tracks as well as the "ferry" between Chicago, IL and the target area(s). These target areas appear as yellow outlines for the main chase days (April 26 and 27). There is also an area outlined in Illinois on April 25, which is a marginal setup that was also observed heading out later that day. Actual storm intercepts are denoted by the red "X's".


CHASE TRIP CHRONOLOGY FOR APRIL 25-28, 2016

This was another "spot" chase trip during the period from April 25 to 28, 2016. The main chase "target" days were April 26 and 27. After clearing my work schedule for Tuesday and Wednesday (April 25 and 26), the plan was to head out of the NW Chicago suburbs after work on Monday (April 25) and drive to Kansas City for the night, in order to be in range of Tuesday's (April 26) chase target areas, which primarily were in South-Central Kansas and North-Central Oklahoma. Progged for almost a week, another strong Pacific trough was to rotate into the western USA and become negatively tilted. The lee cyclone was to form and move east, providing the support for a round of severe weather. The most ominous of these days was April 26 with the possibility of a severe weather outbreak, and a lesser threat farther east on the April 27. My own vehicle, a 2009 Ford Escape, was used for this chase trip.

I left the Chicago at roughly 4 PM on April 25, and headed west on I-90, then south on I-39 to I-88 west. Some marginally severe thunderstorms were encountered along this route. The storm prediction center had a slight-risk outlook (2% tornado, 15% wind, and 15% hatched hail) for N IL. Mesoscale discussion 442 and subsequent severe thunderstorm watch box 103 valid until 10 PM was issued for the same area. Although more of a travel day than a chase day, some storms were encountered early in the route to Kansas City while still in Illinois. Continuing out of Illinois on I-88 and I-80, I entered Iowa and took I-80 to I-35 south out of Des Moines. I continued south and southwest on I-35, passed through Kansas City, Missouri, and spent the night in Olath, Kansas (20 miles southwest of Kansas City). There was already a moderate risk outlook in place for April 26, as per SPC in a large area extending from Texas to Nebraska!

April 26 was an anticipated day for over a week, but upon checking data and doing a thorough forecast, a few things became apparent. One was the extremely large moderate risk outlook, extending from central Texas to southern Nebraska and almost half as wide as Kansas. The hail outlook was 45% hatched (significant), wind was 30% (with a 45% in Texas), and the tornado outlook 10% (also hatched). Forecasting presented three distinct target areas. One was way north in extreme SE Nebraska and N Kansas. This was near the warm front, and was avoided since storms may move easily north of the boundary and become elevated. Another was south into Oklahoma and Texas, along the southern portions of the dryline. This was a good place to be, but the negatives on that were the dryline sagging too far west and storms not producing tornadoes until very late evening after dark.

I chose a third target area in between these two other targets, pretty much over south-central Kansas. In this area was a dryline bulge, good moisture, and even an outflow boundary from early morning elevated severe storms moving off in response to the low-level jet (nocturnal max). My target area was anywhere from Vance AFB, OK to Pratt, Kansas, and just north of Wichita, Kansas. The negatives I saw was the SSW flow (meridonal) over my target area, but was much better than the warm front farther north. I packed up and headed southwest along I-35 to Emporia, then Highway 50 west to I-135, then south and continued to Wichita for lunch. In Wichita, the dryline bulge became apparent by about 2 PM, and I prepared the chase vehicle for the day, along with installing the ever important hail guards! Convective initiation commenced at about 3 PM to the south and southwest near and just south of the OK / KS border.

The SPC issued mesoscale discussions 456 and 457 for much of the target area(s), including mine. Subsequent tornado watch boxes 108 and 109 (the latter being "Particularly Dangerous Situation", or PDS). The valid times were until 9 PM for box 108, and 12 AM the next day for PDS box 109 south of it. My target area sat pretty much where these two watches overlapped (near the OK / KS border). An intense storm developed to my southwest, so I headed east on I-235 to I-35, then south on Highway 81 towards Wellington, Kansas to meet the cell. This storm quickly became a supercell storm, and would produce a weak tornado west of Wellington and near Mayfield. The storm tried to intensify, but eventually became a cluster of severe storms (upscale evolution, due to the meridonal flow aloft). I pretty much stayed with the storm near Highways 81 and 160 until it was clear they would not intensify farther.

Later on April 26, and despite the likelihood of giant hail and strong tornadoes, pretty much every storm in the large moderate risk area became northing more than a flooding MCS / storm cluster (with only brief tornadoes being reported, including the Wellington storm I was on). The northern target (warm front) was the least active, while the southern one in Texas did not produce a significant tornado (near Sherman) until well after dark. I wrapped up the chase and headed back north along and near Highway 49 and 42 near Viola, and eventually back to the western side of Wichita for dinner and to spend the night. Flooding was observed in these areas, as well as hail. I stayed off Highway 400 on the west side of Wichita and met up with a few chasers at the Hangar One steakhouse (including Lindsey Fowler, Alice and Kirk Short). The next plan was to get up early the next day and follow the "system" back east.

On April 27, I woke up early and planned / forecasted for that days chase, which, fortunately, would be near my route back to Chicago. The dynamics were a lot more subtle than the day before, with a very large slight-risk outlook issued by SPC from the mid MS river valley southward to the Gulf coast. Initially, the tornado outlook was 2%, but later upgraded to 5% in a small area over NE Missouri and into SW Iowa. Wind and hail probabilities were 15%, with the hail coinciding near the 5% tornado outlook. The target for my chase was NE Missouri, which is where the warm front was draped. Another target area, farther west to near Kansas City and SW Iowa / SE Nebraska, was also east of an intense stacked (upper DVA and surface) low pressure area. This low pressure area even exhibited an eye-like feature on visible satellite over E Nebraska by 20z!

I left Wichita via 400 east and into the Flint Hills. Near Altoona, I took 47 east to near Franklin, and Highway 69 north to Fort Scott, and east for the long haul into Missouri and across the Ozarks to Jefferson City via Highway 54. The target area was pretty much north and northeast of Jefferson City, to and north of Mexico, MO. In this area, convergence would be maximized along the warm front, with backed winds, and at the time of peak heating. Signals pointed to a late initiation of storms here, and with a near-dusk low-level jet and boundary layer cooling causing much lower LCL's at that time. Storms farther west near the low also were producing tornadoes, but were well out of range and initiated very early, and were barely outside the 2% tornado outlook area. SPC issued mesoscale discussion 477 (east of 475) and subsequent tornado watch 116 for the target area in NE Missouri, valid until 9 PM CDT.

By roughly 6 PM, some LP supercell storms developed near and around Moberly, MO and points east. With the warm front nearly stalled, these storms became elevated over the cooler air mass to the north. Surface temperatures ranged from the upper 70's to low 60's across a short distance, with a S wind backing to ESE as one proceeded north. These LP supercells, developing well ahead of a squall line associated with the low to the west, had high bases and produced hail to at least an inch. By about 8 PM an LP storm developed east of Moberly and moved north. This storm weakened, but once it reached the boundary, it rapidly intensified and produced a tornado near Emden, Missouri after dark in Shelby County. I came within a few hundred yards of this tornado as it grazed Emden. After this tornadic supercell moved north, it eventually merged with the squall line coming in from the west near Quincy, IL.

From near Mexico and Moberly, I stuck with Highways 22, 64, and eventually 24 and 36. The Emden tornado was north of Highway 36 and crossed Highway 168. I continued east on 168 to 61 north, then 24 east towards Quincy and back across the Mississippi River into Illinois. Pretty much done with chasing, and dealing with a linear severe MCS now, I continued out of Quincy on 104 to I-174 north to Highway 110 near Carthage. I proceeded east on 136 to near Macomb for fuel stop, then north along 41 and eventually to I-74 north out of Galesburg. I took I-74 to I-88, which goes back NE to I-39 near Rochelle, and continued east on I-88 to Highway 59 north out of Aurora. This took me back to Hoffman Estates, IL and back to where I am staying in the NW suburbs by 4 AM on April 28. This terminated this successful (but long) chase trip. Total mileage on the vehicle was 1,872.9 miles.


APRIL 25-28 CHASE MAIN PARTICIPANTS

CHASER NAMEHOME / BASE CITYCALLSIGNCHASE DATESOCCUPATION
CHRIS COLLURACHICAGO, ILKG4PJN4-25 TO 4-28IT CONSULTANT


STORM REPORTS FOR APRIL 25-28, 2016

This graphic above is a composite of the SPC storm reports from April 25 through April 28, 2016. In the graphic, tornado reports appear as red dots, wind reports (over 50 knots) as blue, and hail (1" or larger) reports as green ones. Black squares and triangles represent significant wind (over 65 knots) and hail (2" or larger) reports, respectively. During the 4-day period, there were a total of 1035 storm reports. Out of these reports, there were 54 tornado reports, 418 wind reports (13 significant), and 563 severe hail (51 significant) reports. The tornado reports were sort of low for such a high incident rate of severe weather reports during these days.


FORECASTING AND TARGET AREA - APRIL 26, 2016

The graphic above shows the SPC (Storm Prediction Center) outlook areas for April 26. The left shows the tornado probabilities in a moderate-risk area as per the 1630z outlook. The sig-tor (hatched) of 10% wound up not verifying due to meridonal flow aloft and linear forcing of storms in the target areas. In the middle image, the graphic for one of the mesoscale discussions (MCD 456) is shown prior to issuance of tornado watch 108. To the right, are tornado watch boxes 108 and 109, valid until 9 PM and 12 AM CDT (the next day), respectively. Box 109 was a PDS (particularly dangerous situation) tornado watch.


STORM SATELLITE IMAGERY - APRIL 26, 2016

This is a graphic showing the visible satellite image with storms on-going over all three "target areas" on April 26. The image is annotated showing important features such as the dryline, warm front, low pressure areas, boundaries / fronts, and such. Storms pretty much fired in all areas, but were rather messy in nature and widespread by the end of the day.


FORECASTING AND TARGET AREA - APRIL 27, 2016

The target areas were pretty much expected as per SPC's issuance of a slight-risk outlook (left image), and a 5% tornado probability east of the surface low and along the warm-front / cold-core occlusion. In the middle, is mesoscale discussion (MCD 477) for the target areas late on April 27. The areas to chase in were confined to the NE portions of this area, ahead of the Pacific cold front, along the warm-front, and east of the cold-core occlusion (low pressure area to the west). To the right, is tornado watch box 116 valid until 9 PM CDT.


STORM SATELLITE IMAGERY - APRIL 27, 2016

This is a graphic showing the visible satellite image with storms developing on April 27. Note the intense stacked upper / surface low - with an "eye" like feature - over east-central Nebraska. The target area was to the east of this low, pretty much along the warm-front, and ahead of the occlusion of the Pacific cold front coming in from the southwest. This "cold core" like setup produced two areas with supercells, one to the west with embedded mesocyclones and a squall line, and one to the east with clusters of small discrete supercell storms all with a tornado threat.


STORM RADAR IMAGERY - APRIL 27, 2016

In the image above, the radar image (base reflectivity, with the velocity in the inset) of the Shelby County supercell storm that produced a tornado near Emden, Missouri is shown. This storm is in its classic mode, with an intense hail core, hook echo, and velocity couplet (gate-to-gate green and red shear area) in the inset image.


DETAILED CHASE LOG FOR APRIL 25-28, 2016

1). April 25, 5:00 PM - Observation of a strong to severe thunderstorm just east of I-39 near Rochelle and Esmond in Olga County, Illinois. The storm was a multicell thunderstorm and was observed while passing to its west while en-route on I-39 southbound. Some 50 MPH gusts, small hail, lightning, and moderate rain were encountered. A hail shaft was noted to the east. The storm also kicked up a large quantity of dust from the farmland. The storms were caused by surface heating, a frontal zone, and upper trough. Documentation was digital stills. A 2009 Ford Escape was used to observe the storms. A severe thunderstorm watch was also in effect for the area until 9 PM CDT.

2). April 26, 4:00 PM - Interception and observation of a very severe and tornadic thunderstorm to the west of Wellington, Kansas (near Mayfield) in Sumner County from near highways 81 and 160 and points north to west of I-35 and the southwest side of Wichita. The storm was an HP supercell storm. Near Mayfield, a possible brief tornado was observed. The storm also had a large rotating wall cloud at times. Frequent lightning, 50 MPH winds, heavy to torrential rains, and hail exceeding 1" was encountered while observing this storm, although the main core was not penetrated. The storm moved north and evolved into a multicell cluster of strong and severe storms to the southwest of Wichita. Copious amounts of small hail and flash flooding was observed in those areas. The storms were caused by surface heating, a dryline, low pressure area, and strong upper trough. Documentation was digital stills, audio, and HD video. A 2009 Ford Escape was used to observe the storms. A tornado watch was also in effect for the northern portions of the area until 9 PM CDT, with a PDS (particularly dangerous situation) tornado watch valid until 12 AM the next day 1n the southern area.

3). April 27, 8:00 PM - Observation and penetration of an extremely severe and tornadic thunderstorm in Shelby County, Missouri from near Shelbina on Highways 36, 15, and route 168 through Emden and points east. The storm was a small classic supercell storm, and produced a tornado that passed just south and east of Emden, Missouri just after dark at about 8:30 PM. The small rural town was spared, but numerous trees were snapped and some out buildings had structural damage (including a small church). No one was injured. As the tornado was observed southwest of Emden, a loud roar could be heard with the sound of trees "cracking" and "metal banging" as it neared the town. A large cone tornado appeared with an impressive RFD wrap visible in the waning daylight. Pressure could be felt in the ears. The core of this storm was also penetrated, and contained frequent lightning with some close hits, torrential rains, and at least quarter sized (1") hail. The strongest winds observed were about 65 MPH, mainly RFD after the tornado passed. The storm also produced large hail (many 1" stones) earlier south of Highway 36 during its LP phase. The storm was caused by surface heating, a warm front, upper trough, and strong low pressure area to the west (low level jet also increasing at dusk). Documentation was digital stills in low light. A 2009 Ford Escape was used to chase the storm. A tornado watch was also in effect for this area until 9 PM CDT.

This concludes the chase log for the central US Plains (including chases in Kansas and Missouri) chase trip for April 25-28, 2016. The summary includes a total of 3 severe thunderstorms. 2 tornadoes were observed from two of the severe storms. The main chase vehicle conducting this chase was a 2009 Ford Escape SUV. This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.


GALLERY FOR APRIL 25, 2016

Here is a picture of myself and my Ford Escape chase vehicle with hail-guards installed late in the day on April 25, 2016.
Multicell cluster of strong and severe thunderstorms east of I-39 near Rochelle, IL in Olga County on April 25. Although not a chase day, I still experienced some storms leaving the Chicago area.
Hail shaft over Olga County, IL late on April 25 and west of I-39.


GALLERY FOR APRIL 26, 2016

My chase vehicle ready for the developing supercell on April 26 in Kansas.
Large rotating wall cloud forming on supercell storm to the southwest of Wellington, Kansas on April 26.
Funnel (or even a weak tornado forming) SW of Wellington, Kansas on April 26.
Two funnels, with the one in the center a possible brief tornado on April 26, 2016 west of Mayfield, Kansas.
One of the "Dominator" tornado vehicles. This was West of Wellington, Kansas on April 26.
Rotating wall cloud west of Mayfield, Kansas on April 26.
Flash flooding southwest of Wichita, Kansas late on April 26.
Chaser convergence dinner at Hangar One steakhouse in Wichita late on April 26.


GALLERY FOR APRIL 27, 2016

Developing LP supercell storm in Shelby County, Missouri late on April 27, 2016.
Hail collected from farm road in Shelby County, MO on April 27.
Another view of the LP supercell (before evolving to classic mode) in Shelby County, MO near Highway 36 late on April 27.
Base of supercell storm before rapid intensification in Shelby County, Missouri late on April 27.
RFD cut and tornadogenesis SW of Emden, MO after dusk on April 27.
Tornado approaching Emden, MO (Shelby County) in very low light after dark on April 27.
Develping tornado SW of Emden, MO (Shelby County) in very low light after dark on April 27.
Tornado SW of Emden, MO (Shelby County) after dark on April 27. At this point you can hear trees snapping with a loud roar!
Tornado (in VERY low light) moving NE and north of Emden, MO with debris cloud on ground. After dark on April 27 in Shelby County, MO.


GALLERY FOR APRIL 28, 2016

One of many bridges crossing back into Illinois and headed home late on April 27 and 28 (arriving back in Chicago early morning on the 28th).


CHASE MAP FOR MAY 6-9, 2016

This is a chase map for the chase from May 6 through May 9, 2016. The chase track is in blue which includes both the active chase tracks as well as the "ferry" between Chicago, IL and the target area(s). These target areas appear as yellow outlines for the main chase days (May 7 and 9). May 9, although NOT a chase day, was the best day of this 3 day-long (multi-day) severe weather event. May 9 was a travel day (with many tornadoes in southern Oklahoma MISSED) since I needed to be back at work early on May 10 in Chicago. Actual storm intercepts are denoted by the red "X's".


CHASE TRIP CHRONOLOGY FOR MAY 6-9 2016

This chase trip for May 6 through May 9 was a "spot" chase trip, anticipating 2 (or even 3) chase days for a severe weather setup. Once again, I cleared my work schedule for Monday (May 9) and planned on leaving Friday (May 6) for the long drive out of Chicago to the primary target areas of May 7, which could be in far NE Colorado. Not being able to take Tuesday (May 10) off was going to be a major problem on this trip, and is explained in more detail below. On Friday, I left work in the Chicago suburbs and headed west on I-90 to I-39, then south to I-88 west to I-80 into Iowa. I crossed Iowa via I-80 through Des Moines, then west through Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska by late night. I arrived in Kearney, Nebraska at just before midnight on May 6, spending the night there, and shaving off most of the drive to the May 7th target areas. It appeared the place to be on May 7 was NE Colorado, near the areas where Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska meet.

On May 7, I forecasted and left Kearney via I-80 west, then I-76 southwest to near Sterling, Colorado. It appeared that the area from south of Sterling and Julesburg, and southward to near Wray and Akron were the best places. The Storm Prediction Center also had this region marked with a slight risk, with a 5% tornado outlook, 15% wind, and 15% (hatched for significant) hail probability. By early afternoon, storms began developing west of the target area near the foothills and moved northeast. Many chasers, including myself, went west towards these "suckering" severe storms, mainly south of Fort Morgan and Brush in Washington Counties. SPC also issued MCD (Mesoscale Discussion) 545, and subsequent tornado watch box 143 valid for the area until 7 PM MDT. I headed out of Sterling to near Otis on Highway 61, then west on 34 to near Fort Morgan and Brush.

Severe storms were observed in the area, mainly on back-country dirt roads, from near Woodrow and eastward to near 63 between Akron and Anton. After seeing these storms become linear, they were abandoned, and a bit late to say, for a tornado producing supercell storm near Wray, Colorado in Morgan County. Fortunately, this storm had highly visible tornadoes, and could be seen from 20-30 miles away while heading east on Highway 34 out of Yuma, Colorado. At least 2 of the tornadoes were seen from this range. Many other chasers also made the mistake of being "suckered" west from the primary targets, and saw nothing as they were behind me playing catch-up to the Wray storm. The Morgan County / Wray supercell was cyclic in nature, and many chasers closer in saw large, highly visible tornadoes near that area. Low on fuel and with 385 closed due to damage north of Wray, I continued east on 34 to near Benkelman, Nebraska for fuel.

Once east of Benkelman, I headed south on Highway 25 through Atwood to near Colby, Kansas, and east on I-70, spending the night in Hays, Kansas. The next day, May 8, was to be the MAIN chase day of this trip - Or so I thought. I forecasted and it appeared that a good target area was down towards the OK / KS border, near Highway 183, in a "box" extending south from Greensburg / Pratt in Kansas and into Oklahoma to around Alva. The SPC had this area out looked in an enhanced-risk, with a 10% hatched (significant) tornado, 25% wind, and 30% (also hatched for significant) hail outlook. These main areas stretched from North-Central Kansas to SW Oklahoma. I headed south out of Hays on Highway 183, making Greensburg, Kansas for lunch. Many chasers and the T.W.I.R.L team with the DOW trucks (Doppler on Wheels) were also there. I met with Tim Marshall and Josh Wurman there as well as many other chasers before continuing south towards Coldwater, Kansas.

I stopped in Coldwater and observed the cap being eroded, while talking to, chasers Tony Laubach, and Alice and Kirk Short south of town. SPC issued MCD 556, and two tornado watch boxes, 149 and 150, valid until 9 PM and 10 PM CDT, respectively. Our target area was on the northern side of watch 149 over Oklahoma and near the KS border. Convective initiation began west of the intersection of Highways 1 and 64, and an LP supercell developed there. This storm evolved to classic mode, and moved ENE north of Highway 64 to north of Alva. The storm produced funnels and large hail. A gustnado struck my chase vehicle NE of Alva beneath a rotating wall cloud and powerful RFD west of Capron and near Highways 11 and 281. Proceeding east on 11, the storm weakened after a final split near Byron. I headed north on county road 58 back into Kansas, then to Highway 179, taking that north to Highway 2 out of Harper to Wichita, spending the night there.

May 9 could not be a chase day since I had to be back at work for important commitments on May 10, so the plan was only to chase anything on the way back to Illinois. Looking at the setup, it appeared that anything worth-while to chase would be confined to west-central Arkansas (bad chase territory with lots of trees) and eastern Oklahoma (this area had a hatched / significant 10% tornado outlook as per SPC in an enhanced-risk outlook). With my schedule, this was not an option. Marginal chasing was also possible, but to the west through central Kansas and into south-central Nebraska. I made the mundane trip out of Wichita early on May 9, heading NE on I-35 (Kansas Turnpike) to Kansas City, then eventually to Des Moines, Iowa and east on I-80 by late afternoon. Sure enough, and to my dismay, a powerful tornadic supercell developed in southern Oklahoma, just east of I-35, and far from any "hostile" chase terrain.

Continuing east on I-80, and into a cold heavy rain, I also watched tornadic storms (mostly with brief tornadoes) as far north as central Nebraska, where there was just a 2% SPC outlook. Meanwhile, I watched the media reports, and radar imagery, of several cyclic long-lasting tornadic supercells in S Oklahoma, with multiple reports of photogenic tornadoes. Upset, and sickened, I continued east on I-80 through Davenport and back into Illinois via I-88 (eventually to Aurora). By about 9:45 PM, I made it up Highway 59 out of Aurora and arrived back at my place in Hoffman Estates, IL. This concluded this rather successful chase trip (May 9 being a very hard "pill" to swallow). Total mileage on the chase vehicle was 2,506.5 miles.


MAY 6-9 CHASE MAIN PARTICIPANTS

CHASER NAMEHOME / BASE CITYCALLSIGNCHASE DATESOCCUPATION
CHRIS COLLURACHICAGO, ILKG4PJN5-6 TO 5-9IT CONSULTANT


STORM REPORTS FOR MAY 6-9, 2016

This graphic above is a composite of the SPC storm reports from May 6 through May 9, 2016. In the graphic, tornado reports appear as red dots, wind reports (over 50 knots) as blue, and hail (1" or larger) reports as green ones. Black squares and triangles represent significant wind (over 65 knots) and hail (2" or larger) reports, respectively. During the 4-day period, there were a total of 546 storm reports. Out of these reports, there were 55 tornado reports, 223 wind reports (4 significant), and 268 severe hail (34 significant) reports. The tornado reports for May 9, especially in Oklahoma, was 29.


FORECASTING AND TARGET AREA - MAY 7, 2016

The graphic above shows the SPC (Storm Prediction Center) outlook areas for May 7. The left shows the tornado probabilities in a slight-risk area as per the 1630z outlook. In the middle image, the graphic for one of the mesoscale discussions (MCD 545) is shown prior to issuance of tornado watch 143. To the right, is tornado watch box 143, valid until 7 PM CDT (which had to be extended due to the Wray supercell complex, explained in more detail below).


STORM SATELLITE IMAGERY - MAY 7, 2016

This is a graphic showing the visible satellite image with storms (especially in NE Colorado) for May 7 during the late afternoon / evening (around 2245z). The image is annotated showing important features with the tornado producing storm near Wray, Colorado as well.


FORECASTING AND TARGET AREA - MAY 8, 2016

The graphic above shows the SPC (Storm Prediction Center) outlook areas for May 8. The left shows the tornado probabilities in an enhanced-risk area as per the 1630z outlook, with a 10% hatched area for significant tornado possibilities. In the middle image, the graphic for one of the mesoscale discussions (MCD 556) is shown prior to issuance of tornado watches 149 and 150 for Oklahoma and Kansas. To the right, are tornado watch boxes 149 and 150, valid until 9 PM and 10 PM CDT, respectively.


STORM SATELLITE IMAGERY - MAY 8, 2016

This is a graphic showing the visible satellite image with storms developing over western sections of Kansas and Oklahoma late in the day (around 2245z) on May 8. The image is annotated showing important features such as fronts and the position of the dryline as supercell storms were developing. Our supercell was the one developing just north of the "break" in the activity near and just south of the Kansas / Oklahoma border.


STORM RADAR / SATELLITE IMAGERY - MAY 9, 2016

In the image above, both the visible satellite and radar image (base reflectivity) is shown for the violent tornadic supercell that occurred north of Sulphur, Oklahoma during the afternoon of May 9. I was NOT chasing this storm (unfortunately) because I had to head back to Chicago that day (travel day) for work the next morning. The impressive radar presentation (right image) of this storm shows an extremely powerful mesocyclone (velocity is the upper-right inset, and correlation-coefficient in the lower-right inset - Prominently showing the grey-blue "debris" ball) as this storm was producing a potentially violent wedge tornado. The satellite image to the left shows the supercells in Oklahoma firing along the dryline (annotated), including the one in the radar images (circled). Impressive to say the least!


DETAILED CHASE LOG FOR MAY 6-9, 2016

1). May 7, 4:30 PM - Observation and penetration of a severe thunderstorm from south of Wiggins and Fort Morgan, Colorado in Morgan and Washington counties from near Highways 34 and 71 and eastward to between Akron and Anton along Highway 63. The storm was a cluster of severe thunderstorms, with a supercell storm on the tail end (southern portion of the storm complex). These storms remained over open country, and produced some brief tornadoes and funnels as well (the tornadoes were not directly observed). Strong winds over 60 MPH, very heavy rains, frequent lightning, and golfball sized hail was also observed with these storms. The supercell storm along the line segment had a striking visual appearance and strong rotation. These storms were caused by upslope wind flow, a low pressure area, upper trough, and surface heating. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A 2009 Ford Escape was used to observe the storms. A tornado watch was also in effect for portions of the area until 7 PM MDT.

2). May 7, 7:00 PM - Observation of an extremely severe and tornadic thunderstorm from near Yuma, Colorado along Highway 34, and into Wray near Morgan County. This storm was observed from a range of 20 to 30 miles at the most intense point, after abandoning the previous storm observed too long above. This was a classic cyclic supercell storm, producing more than 3 tornadoes, one of which struck the northern outskirts of Wray causing damage. These tornadoes were highly visible, and could be seen more than 30 miles away from the storm, especially looking east from near Yuma on Highway 34. At least two of the tornadoes from this storm were observed, despite being farther away (as myself and some storm chasers were also focusing on the cells to the west too long) from other storm chasers who were closer to this cell. The core was not penetrated. Rotating wall clouds and funnels persisted after the storm passed north of Wray and weakened. Damage was observed north of Wray on 385, and it was closed, ending the chase with fuel low. Conditions causing the storm were upslope wind flow, a low pressure area / dryline, upper trough, and surface heating. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A 2009 Ford Escape was used to observe the storms. A tornado watch was also in effect for portions of the area until 7 PM MDT, later extended via a special MCD for this supercell.

3). May 8, 6:30 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of an very severe and possibly tornadic thunderstorm in Woods County, Oklahoma from near Highway 64 and 281. This storm was a classic supercell storm (which evolved from LP). Strong rotation with a wall cloud, funnels, and a powerful RFD were observed with this storm. A brief tornadic spin up / gustnado near the RFD impacted the chase vehicle (no damage), with blowing dirt and causing my ears to pop! The storm also contained large hail (1" was observed outside the main core), winds near 60 MPH (the gustnado had gusts over 70), frequent lightning, and very heavy rains. The storm was caused by surface heating, a dryline, upper trough, and low pressure area. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A 2009 Ford Escape was used to chase the storm. A tornado watch was also in effect for this area until 9 PM CDT.

This concludes the chase log for the central US Plains (including chases in Kansas and Missouri) chase trip for May 6-9, 2016. The summary includes a total of 3 severe thunderstorms. At least 2 tornadoes were observed, possibly 3 from two of the severe storms. The main chase vehicle conducting this chase was a 2009 Ford Escape SUV. This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.


GALLERY FOR MAY 6, 2016

Here is a picture of myself in front of my chase vehicle and ready to head out towards the primary target area after working on May 6, 2016.


GALLERY FOR MAY 7, 2016

Another view of the front of my chase vehicle with hail-guards while on a supercell storm near Akron, Colorado on May 7.
Mammatus clouds over Akron, Colorado on May 7.
Daniel Shaw from Australia in his chase vehicle (he was chasing with Eric Treece) along Highway 34 in Colorado during the afternoon of May 7.
Beautiful gust front pushing out of Washington County, Colorado as a cluster of storms becomes outflow dominant on May 7.
Tail-end "charley" LP supercell storm (with beautiful sculpted striations) on the southern end of a line segment of severe thunderstorms northwest of Anton, Colorado late in the day on May 7.
Rotating portion, and small funnel, of the LP storm (with impressive structure) northwest of Anton, Colorado late on May 7.
Meanwhile to the east and southeast towards Morgan County, a soon-to-be tornadic supercell develops south of Wray on May 7.
After bailing on the line segment and LP storms to the west, I rushed east along Highway 34 towards a tornadic supercell near Wray, Colorado during the evening of May 7. This storm produced highly visible tornadoes, and despite being 20 to 30 miles west of the supercell (unfortunately), they were still visible. In this picture, a stove-pipe (later rated EF-2) tornado is clearly visible just left of the roadway with a possible second tornado to the far left just lifting!
Weakening phase of the Wray, Colorado tornado viewed from east of Yuma, Colorado at long-range on May 7.
Another view of the Wray, Colorado tornado viewed from east of Yuma, Colorado at long-range on May 7.


GALLERY FOR MAY 8, 2016

The next day, May 8, was a chase day in southern Kansas / northern Oklahoma. My vehicle is prepared for the chase during a major storm chaser convergence and fuel / lunch stop in Greensburg, Kansas.
Many chase vehicles, including the Doppler on Wheels (DOW) trucks and the TWIRL (Tornadic Winds In-situ and Radar observation at Low levels) research team along a side street in Greensburg, Kansas on May 8.
Storm chaser / structural engineer Tim Marshall with members of the TWIRL team and one of the DOW trucks in the background in Greensburg, Kansas on May 8.
LP supercell developing west of Alva, Oklahoma during storm initiation along the dryline with my chase vehicle in the foreground along Highway 64 on May 8.
Intensifying classic supercell storm beginning to split west of Alva, Oklahoma on May 8.
Wider view of classic supercell storm near Alva, Oklahoma on May 8. Note the beaver's tail to the upper right in the photo.
Rotating wall cloud associated with the supercell storm as it passes northeast of Alva, Oklahoma and intensifies late in the day on May 8.
Inflow feeder bands curving into the southeast portion of the supercell storm to the northeast of Alva, Oklahoma on May 8.
Rotating wall cloud / funnel on the supercell northeast of Alva, Oklahoma on May 8. An intense gustnado / RFD vortex of some sort impacted the chase vehicle just before this picture was taken and I repositioned.
Rear-flank downdraft (RFD) clear slot with blue sky punching into the backside of the Alva, Oklahoma supercell just before splitting again and weakening on May 8.
Three vans from one of the storm chasing tour groups observing the weakening supercell east of Alva, Oklahoma late on May 8.


GALLERY FOR MAY 9, 2016

Unfortunately I could not chase on what turned out to be the BIG chase day, May 9 (down in S Oklahoma). I needed to head back for work in Chicago May 10, and that area was too far away. This is the bridge in Kansas City for I-35, crossing the Missouri river.


CHASE MAP FOR MAY 15-17, 2016

This is a chase map for the chase from May 15 through May 17, 2016. The chase track is in blue which includes the active chase track involving the target area for May 16. The target area appears as a yellow outlines for the main chase day (May 16). The green path in the inset is the flight to and from Chicago, IL and Dallas, TX. The storm main intercept and path is denoted by the dashed red line and red "X".


CHASE TRIP CHRONOLOGY FOR MAY 15-17 2016

This chase trip for May 15 to May 17 was another "spot" chase trip, involving a flight to and from Chicago, IL to Dallas, TX, and joining two others I met near Decatur, TX for the main chase day, which was May 16. On May 15, I left Chicago on a flight from there to Dallas, securing the rental vehicle there (a 2016 Toyota Yaris). Leaving Dallas via I-35, I headed to Highway 380 west out of Denton to Decatur, meeting up with Derek Sibley and Mark Farmer who drove out there earlier that day. Mark's vehicle is a restored classic Dodge Charger and not suitable for storm chasing. He parked his vehicle there at a restaurant parking lot and both he and Derek moved their equipment into my vehicle. The three of us headed west and northwest on Highway 287 through Wichita Falls to highway 283 north out of Vernon, continuing into Oklahoma to Highway 6. With the potential target in the Oklahoma Panhandle on May 16, we chose Elk City to stay for the night off I-40 and Highway 6.

May 16 was to be an interesting, and fun, chase day. The initial target area was anywhere from Canadian, Texas to Guymon, Oklahoma. It became clear this final target would be quite a ways west of these locations. After a thorough forecast for the day, I decided to first head to Canadian, TX and eventually head west out of there. We packed up and left via Highway 6 west to 83 north out of Wheeler, arriving in Canadian for an early lunch. We left Canadian and headed to Perryton (DOW trucks and many chasers were there), then generally west on Highway 15 through Gruver to Stratford, Texas. By mid afternoon, it became clear the atmosphere was too stable to the east, and the triple point (intersection of the north side of a dryline segment and stationary front) was to be the focus of storm initiation. A more mixed and unstable atmosphere was encountered near Stratford, Texas. A temperature gradient with cooler air was also noted as one proceeded north towards Guymon, OK.

By roughly 3:30 PM, some storm cells began initiating in an upslope wind flow southwest of Campo, Colorado and northwest of Boise City, Oklahoma. Meanwhile, the Storm Prediction Center issued mesoscale discussion (MCD) 633, and subsequent severe thunderstorm watch 176 valid until 10 PM CDT for the area. SPC probabilities were also an enhanced-risk, with 5% tornado, 30% wind, and 30% hatched (significant) in their outlooks, stretching NW to SE across the OK / TX panhandles. The storm became severe and an organized supercell just west of the OK / NM border at the "end" of the OK Panhandle. This storm was intercepted there, and followed as it moved east and southeast, passing SW of Boise City, OK near Highways 56 / 412 and 385, before bowing out into an MCS near Stratford, Texas near Highway 287. Large hail and at least two tornadoes were observed with this cyclic supercell storm, mainly near Felt, Oklahoma. As for Derek Sibley, this was his FIRST tornado!

After wrapping up the chase and letting the now multicell storm go at around 6:30 near Stratford, we continued southeast on 287 through Cactus and Dumas to I-40 in Amarillo, having steak dinner at the Big Texan steakhouse. Some smaller supercell storms were noted to the west while traveling down 287, but the airmass near Amarillo remained capped and stable (clear blue skies) with the now outflow dominated storms remaining north. After dinner, we continued east on I-40 to 287 southeast. We reached Wichita Falls after midnight and spent the night there. The MCS caught up with Wichita Falls at about 3 AM on May 17, with hail and severe thunderstorm conditions. We woke up early and left Wichita Falls, reaching Decatur for a late breakfast. Mark recovered his vehicle, and he and Derek departed from there. I headed back east to Denton on 380, then south to Dallas on I-35, returning the rental car by noon, and flying back to Chicago a bit later. Total rental-car mileage was 1,136 miles.


MAY 15-17 CHASE MAIN PARTICIPANTS

CHASER NAMEHOME / BASE CITYCALLSIGNCHASE DATESOCCUPATION
CHRIS COLLURACHICAGO, ILKG4PJN5-15 TO 5-17IT CONSULTANT
DEREK SIBLEYHOLLYWOOD, FLKG4PJN5-15 TO 5-17STUDENT / LIFEGUARD
MARK FARMERNAPLES, FLKG4PJN5-15 TO 5-17MANAGEMENT

This chase trip was a group effort of three people including myself. Both Derek Sibley and Mark Farmer joined me on this chase trip, with them chasing with me in my chase vehicle and Mark (who drove from Florida) leaving his vehicle in Decatur, Texas during that time.


STORM REPORTS FOR MAY 16, 2016

This graphic above is an image for the SPC storm reports for the main chase day of May 16, 2016. In the graphic, tornado reports appear as red dots, wind reports (over 50 knots) as blue, and hail (1" or larger) reports as green ones. Black triangles represent significant hail (2" or larger) reports. On May 16, there were a total of 107 storm reports. Out of these reports, there were 9 tornado reports, 35 wind reports, and 63 severe hail (9 significant) reports.


FORECASTING AND TARGET AREA - MAY 16, 2016

The graphic above shows pretty much our refined target area was to the west and northwest of much of the SPC outlooks. The left image is from the 13z enhanced outlook issued, with a large 5% tornado probability area stretching (and widening) from NW to SE across the OK / TX panhandle areas. The hail and wind probabilities were both at 30%, with the hail being hatched for significant. The middle image is mesoscale discussion MCD 633, which led to the issuance of two "nested" watch boxes, both valid until 10 PM CDT, with tornado watch box 177 "inside" the severe thunderstorm watch box 176. This was the first time I've seen SPC issue a "watch within a watch"!


STORM SATELLITE IMAGERY - MAY 16, 2016

The graphic above shows both the visible satellite (at roughly 5 PM CDT) and radar images of the tornadic supercell my group and I were on (base reflectivity and inset for the velocity couplet) to the right. The annotations on the visible satellite image denote the dryline and stationary front, as well as a few other important aspects. Note the intersection of the stationary front and dryline, called a triple point, which is firing supercell storms in the extreme western portions of the Oklahoma panhandle. In the images on the right, a distinct velocity couplet and reflectivity of the supercell storm as many chasers (green dots) are intercepting it.


DETAILED CHASE LOG FOR MAY 15-17, 2016

1). May 16, 5:00 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of an extremely severe and tornadic thunderstorm from near the Oklahoma / New Mexico border north of Highway 412 / 56 in Cimarron County near Wheeless, and east and southeast to near Highway 385 near Boise City and eventually east and southeast towards Stratford, Texas from along Highway 287. The storm was a powerful classic supercell storm that evolved to HP. This cyclic supercell storm produced at least three tornadoes, two of which were observed (one near Felt, Oklahoma and another along Highway 56 / 412 SW of Boise City). The first was a stovepipe that came out of the rain (looking NE from Highway 56 / 412) then evolved to elephant trunk and roped out after 10 minutes. The second was a cone tornado that lasted about 4 minutes southwest of our location during another storm cycle. The third was barely visible and rain wrapped west of Kerrick, Texas as the storm became highly HP. After that, the storm evolved to a bow segment and merged with an MCS (storm cluster) as it neared Stratford. The storm core was not directly penetrated, but had hail to baseball sized. Golfball sized hail was observed from our positions with this storm, which left some dents on the vehicle. The storm also contained torrential rains, 70 MPH wind gusts, and frequent lightning with some close hits. The storm also had a striking visual appearance with many inflow bands and striations. These storms were initiated by upslope wind flow and surface heating. They were sustained by a low pressure area, upper trough, stationary front, and advancing dryline (triple point). Documentation was digital stills, audio, and HD video. A 2016 Toyota Yaris was used to observe the storms. A severe thunderstorm and tornado watch were also in effect for the area until 10 PM CDT.

This concludes the chase log for the central US Plains (including chases in Oklahoma and Texas) chase trip for May 15-17, 2016. The summary includes a total of one severe thunderstorm. At least 2 tornadoes were observed, possibly 3 from this the severe storm. The main chase vehicle conducting this chase was a 2016 Toyota Yaris rental. This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.


GALLERY FOR MAY 15, 2016

This is a picture of our chase group after I met up with them in Decatur, Texas on May 15 and we were staying that evening in Elk City, Oklahoma. From left to right is Derek Sibley, myself, and Mark Farmer.


GALLERY FOR MAY 16, 2016

A severe storm, with overspreading anvil, can be seen west of Cimarron County, Oklahoma and over New Mexico / Colorado during the afternoon of May 16. This was to become the main (and tornadic) supercell of the day.
Rapidly intensifying supercell storm comes into better view out of New Mexico and into Oklahoma west of Cimarron County during the afternoon of May 16.
Amazing inflow banding and beavers tail features associated with the intensifying supercell storm west of Cimarron County, Oklahoma on May 16.
Rapidly wrapping RFD and mesocyclone intensification as the supercell storm continues moving east and southeast west of the OK / NM border in Cimarron County on May 16.
Initial development of the soon to be Felt, Oklahoma tornado, looking northeast from just north of Highway 56 / 412 and east of the OK / NM border on May 16. This feature was seen wrapping up, intensifying, then becoming visually lost in the rain.
Continuing northeast on Highway 56 / 412 and near Felt, Oklahoma, a large stove pipe tornado emerges from the rain wrap around 5 PM CDT on May 16.
Another view of the Felt, Oklahoma tornado on May 16 during its mature phase.
The Felt, Oklahoma tornado on May 16 beginning to occlude and rope out.
Close up of the Felt, Oklahoma tornado on May 16 roping out.
Second tornado near Felt, Oklahoma southwest of our position, and over Highway 56 / 412. This was from the second "cycle" of this supercell about 15 minutes after the first tornado lifted.
This is a view south from along the border road (Oklahoma / Texas) east of Highway 385 and west of 287. There is quite possibly a rain wrapped tornado in there, but it's nearly invisible because of the rain wrap. This view is south just north of the hook of the HP supercell storm, and south of giant hail in the FFD region. Cloud motion was very rapid, as this is in the so called "bear's cage" of the supercell storm, in a maneuver called "hook slicing".
Derek Sibley checking out the radar and navigation options on the laptop while the HP supercell storm looms out the window to our west as we stopped north of Stratford, Texas late on May 16.
Looking northwest of Amarillo, Texas, a supercell storm looms high into the sky late on May 16. Note the airplane and contrail to the left going south of the storm at high altitude. This storm was producing baseball sized hail at the time.


GALLERY FOR MAY 17, 2016

While heading southeast towards Decatur, Texas (from Wichita Falls) along Highway 287, and elevated strong to severe storm looms to our north early on May 17. These types of storms are caused by the low level jet going up and over a warm front / boundary and (isentropic) lifting both a stable layer and elevated mixed layer above that, causing storms with high bases.
Derek Sibley and Mark Farmer prepare to depart back to Florida in their vehicle (a Dodge Charger) they left in Decatur, Texas. Although not suitable for chasing, Mark's car here boasts a 6 speed manual and over 400 HP. After I dropped them off, I continued back to Dallas to fly back to Chicago later that day. These folks were great people to chase with.


CHASE MAP FOR MAY 21-28, 2016

This is the chase map for May 21 through May 28 with the chase / ferry track in blue as well as the final target areas outlined in yellow polygons. The red X's denote storm interceptions. The total miles logged on this trip was 4,125.6 miles.


CHASE TRIP CHRONOLOGY FOR MAY 21-28, 2016

The day-by-day chronology for this chase trip is below. The absolutely terrifying image above was taken looking east on I-70 near Chapman, Kansas and shows the violent (at least EF-4) wedge tornado crossing the roadway late on that day after being on the ground for at least 90 minutes! This chase trip was one of the most successful weeks out chasing in the central USA in my chasing career, with a total of at least 15 tornadoes intercepted from May 21 through May 28.

This is an "expedition" style chase trip that is done once a year, particularly during the latter part of May for a week or two. In this chase log section, the trip from May 21 to May 28 in the Central USA is depicted (I was available to chase until May 30, but came back 2 days earlier for the holiday and with chase prospects winding down after the 28th). The trip started on May 21 with a long drive from Chicago, Illinois in the morning all the way to Oklahoma City by late evening. This was anticipating activity in the OK / TX panhandle area on Sunday, May 22 and activity in that same general area afterwards. I left Chicago via I-55 through Saint Louis, MO to I-44 SW into NE Oklahoma. Passing through Tulsa, I continued on I-44 (Will Rodgers Turnpike) into Oklahoma City for the night, ending an initial drive of over 822 miles. Tornadic storms did occur in W Kansas on May 21 (the distant tops of which were visible from NE Oklahoma), but I was not chasing since this was strictly a travel day.

May 22 was the first main chase day of this trip, and turned out to be a very good one in the Texas Panhandle, with tornadoes intercepted near Memphis, Texas that afternoon. I forecasted early in Oklahoma City and decided a good starting point will be near Amarillo and areas northeast (or southeast of there). I headed out down I-44 to I-40, reaching Conway, Texas (east of Amarillo) by early afternoon. There I looked at data and prepared the vehicle, installing the hail guards. The storm prediction center had this area (TX Panhandles) in an enhanced risk, with a 5% tornado, 15% wind, and 30% (hatched for significant) hail outlook. By about 3 PM, mesoscale discussion MCD 676 was issued and subsequent tornado watch box 190 valid until 10 PM CDT. Storm initiation began by late afternoon, with two areas, one to my NE and another closer to my SE, both in good areas for tornado potential. I went east via I-40 to Jericho, then south on Highway 70 to Clarendon, then southeast on Highway 287 to near Memphis, and southwest of there. A tornadic supercell was encountered southwest of Memphis, which produced several tornadoes around 7 PM. After this storm evolved to a cluster of storms, I headed back up Highway 287 straight into Amarillo for the night. Nearly every supercell storm in the target areas produced tornadoes today.

May 23 was to be yet another long but successful chase day, with severe thunderstorms and after dark tornadoes intercepted in the eastern Texas Panhandle. I got up and forecasted for the day, determining a preliminary target anywhere from I-40 near Shamrock, southward to near Childress, despite many chasers targeting areas farther north. The Storm Prediction Center had these areas under an enhanced-risk outlook, with a 5% tornado, 15% wind, and 30% (hatched for significant) hail probability. By late morning I left Amarillo via I-40 east, stopping in Shamrock, Texas. In Shamrock I met up with many chasers there, including George Kouranis, Scott Mc Partland, and Bill Hark. By early afternoon, the SPC issued mesoscale discussions 693 and 695, then subsequent tornado watch boxes 199 and 200 valid until 10 PM CDT. I headed out of Shamrock via Highway 83 south to 203 west towards Quail. An LP supercell was observed by about 4 PM northwest of Hedley, Texas. This storm weakened after a couple of hours, so I headed back southwest towards Memphis. More storms were developing to the southwest, so I headed west out of Memphis on 256 / Highway 70, eventually targeting a tail end "Charley" storm near Turkey, Texas. This storm was a major supercell, and produced tornadoes after dark to the southeast of Turkey, some of which observed at close range. After wrapping up chasing, I back tracked up Highway 70, eventually to Clarendon to 287, taking that northwest back into Amarillo for the night.

May 24 was one of those chase days that goes up there close to number one in my chasing career, with a cyclic supercell intercepted near Dodge City, Kansas that produced at least 8 tornadoes! The day began in Amarillo by forecasting and initially targeting an area anywhere from Woodward, Oklahoma to Coldwater, Kansas. This was a region ahead of the dryline and near an outflow boundary driving high CAPE and streamwise vorticity by late afternoon east of a low pressure area. I headed out of Amarillo mid morning by heading east on I-40 to Shamrock, then north on Highways 83 and 60 north and northeast, finally taking route 15 to Woodward by early afternoon. Looking at data, the area to be was a bit farther northwest to near Clark County in Kansas, where convergence was maximized at the dryline / boundary triple point. The SPC had this area outlooked in an enhanced risk, with a 10% tornado (hatched for significant), 15% wind, and 30% (also hatched) hail in their probabilities. Mesoscale discussion MCD 706 and subsequent tornado watch 204 valid until 12 AM midnight. I left Woodward via 270 and 283 through Fort Supply and met up with a large number of chasers (Dan Robinson, George Kouranis, Scott Peake, etc) near the intersection of highway 283 and 64 north of Laverne, OK. Initiation began at about 5:15 to the southwest of Mineola, Kansas and west of Ashton. I headed north on 283 to near Mineola for fuel stop, and intercepted a violent supercell storm (with multiple / simultaneous tornadoes observed) near Dodge City. I continued northeast and northeast around Dodge City via 56 / 400, then 50 west to 110 street north, following the storm to south of Jetmore where it weakened with its final tornadoes. Wrapping up the chase, I headed back down to Highway 54 / 400, then east (passing another severe storm near Pratt) until Wichita for the night to be in position for any subsequent chase days (May 25 possible being marginal / off day). May 25 was originally expected to be a marginal / off day with only minimal chase prospects, but wound up turning into a pretty interesting chase day to say the least, with both an LP supercell and violent wedge at the end of the day! I started out in Wichita picking up a backup hard drive and forecasting. I had doubts about a measly 2% tornado outlook on SPC, as the upper air and dryline / boundary dynamics had me thinking tornadoes were a real possibility. My original target area was to be from Salina to 50 miles north of Wichita and points west of there near Hutchinson. I headed out of Wichita via I-135 north to Highway 50 near Newton to stop and look at data. By late afternoon, SPC introduced a slight risk outlook, with an upgraded 5% tornado, 15% wind, and 15% (hatched for significant) probabilities. Mesoscale discussion MCD 726 and subsequent tornado watch box 210, valid until 9 PM CDT. These areas were agreeing with, but a bit south of my forecasted targets. By late afternoon, an LP supercell developed near El Dorado, Kansas. I passed back on I-135 to Highway 254 east to Highway 77 for that storm. This LP storm weakened and unfortunately a tornadic storm developed way north of the target areas near Salina. I decided to go for it, a gamble of nearly 100 miles! I made my way up Highway 77 all the way to Herington, then west and northwest on routes 4 and 44 intercepting the supercell near and east of Abilene along I-70. A large and violent wedge tornado was observed with this storm, supposedly on the ground all that time (90+ minutes)! I followed the storm through Chapman until dark, then bailed as it weakened, pretty much backing my way back down to 77, then 15 south back to Newton, and finally I-135 back into Wichita for the night. What a day.

May 26 was to be another very promising chase day, with an SPC moderate risk issued by 1630z over much of central Kansas, with a 15% hatched (significant) tornado, 15% wind, and 45% hatched (significant) hail probabilities. But contrary to the day before, messy convection early in the day made sure this was not to pan out in any expectation. I forecasted and started the day by leaving Wichita by late morning, and heading up I-135 to the primary target area, which was to be from Salina and points southwestward to the NE of Dodge City, where a low pressure system, dryline, and stationary front was supposed to focus storms. By about 1 PM, disorganized clusters of storms began developing and their cool pool stabilized the primary target area. Discouraged, I headed west off I-135 via Highways 4 and 14, having lunch in Ellsworth. The only area that was now viable for chasing was south near and east of Dodge City. Meanwhile, the Storm Prediction Center issued mesoscale discussions 740 and 741, and subsequent tornado watch box 214 valid until 10 PM CDT for the main chase areas. Small storms just developed everywhere. By late afternoon and small area southeast of Dodge City showed promise, but only to be HP storms which eventually became undercut by outflow. The only tornadoes that formed today were a large one in Colorado and smaller one far NE Kansas. I continued chasing from near Pratt, to and past Greensburg along Highways 54 / 400 and 34 to 183, wrapping up the chase near Protection and heading back up to a small chaser convergence in Greensburg. That night, I headed back east to Wichita again for the night, which has been a common "base city" on these chases. Upon turning into the hotel parking lot, my vehicle left tire fell into a ditch to the left of the lot entrance that was hidden by flooding. The vehicle was winched out while I was staying at thre hotel with little or no damage.

May 27 was a chase day and one of the last real chase days in the Central USA, with severe storms intercepted south of Wichita and into northern Oklahoma, then ending with the start of my trip back towards Chicago foreseeing a quieter weather pattern. I woke up and forecasted for the day, and the target area was at most just south of Wichita and into north-central Oklahoma. SPC had a slight risk outlook, with a 2% tornado, 15% wind, and 15% (hatched for significant) probability. I checked out and headed into town to have some preventative maintenance done to the vehicle (belt and oil changed) as well as cleaning the mud from the ditch the night before off the front. By early afternoon, mesoscale discussion MCD 764 and subsequent severe thunderstorm watch box 224, valid until 10 PM CDT for central KS and OK. Storms began initiating by early afternoon, and these became supercellular and were intercepted near Braman in Kay County Oklahoma and northward into Sedgwick County, Kansas near Highway 81 and I-35. Hail and some funnels were observed. The chase was wrapped up by late afternoon, and I headed back up I-35 to the Kansas Turnpike. I passed Emporia and made it to Kansas City for the evening.

May 28 was the final day of this trip, cut short (as many other chasers did) from May 30 due to a quieter pattern expected. It was BOTH a travel day and marginal chase day as well, as storms pretty much developed en-route back to Illinois. I left Kansas City mid to late morning via I-35 north to Iowa and into Des Moines, taking I-80 east out of there by afternoon. The Storm Prediction Center had eastern Iowa and western Illinois in a slight-risk outlook, with a 2% tornado, 15% wind, and 15% hail probability. By early afternoon, the SPC issued Mesoscale Discussion MCD 769 and eventually a severe thunderstorm watch box 225 valid until 9 PM CDT over these areas. While heading east on Interstate 80, thunderstorms were encountered from central, then into eastern Iowa and Illinois. Some strong winds and cold-core funnels were observed. After passing into Illinois and east of the Mississippi River, the storms weakened and I took I-88 / Highway 30 east to I-39 north to Rockford. I passed Rockford, then headed east on I-90 to Highway 59, and returned to my hotel here in Hoffman Estates, IL - Ending the trip with a total of 4,125.6 miles logged on my vehicle.


MAY 21-28 CHASE MAIN PARTICIPANTS

CHASER NAMEHOME CITYCALLSIGNCHASE DATESOCCUPATION
CHRIS COLLURACHICAGO, ILKG4PJN5-21 TO 5-28IT CONSULTANT


CUMULATIVE STORM REPORTS FOR MAY 21-28, 2016

This is a comprehensive / cumulative map of all Storm Prediction Center (SPC) storm reports from May 21 through May 28, 2016. In this map, each red dot represents a tornado report. A green dot represents severe hail (1" or larger), and a blue dot represents severe winds at or over 58 MPH. If significant hail (over 2") is reported, or significant winds (over 65 knots / 75 MPH), a black triangle or black square is used, respectively. The inset in the graphic is the totals of these severe weather reports during this period.


DETAILED CHASE LOG FOR MAY 21-28, 2016

1). May 22, 4:30 PM - Interception and penetration of a very severe thunderstorm near Groom, Texas along Interstate 40 in Carson County. This storm was the left split of a developing supercell storm of which its southern component eventually became tornadic. Mainly large hail was observed from an I-40 underpass, with pieces ranging from quarter to golfball sized. Frequent lightning, heavy rains, and 45 MPH winds were also observed with this storm. Conditions causing these storms were surface heating, a low pressure trough, upper trough, and dryline. A 2009 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A tornado watch was also valid for the area until 10 PM CDT.

2). May 22, 7:00 PM - Interception and penetration of an extremely severe and tornadic thunderstorm southwest of highway 287 in Hall County, Texas to the southwest of Memphis and near Lakeview. The storm was a cyclic HP supercell storm, forming on the south end of a cluster of severe thunderstorms. This storm developed intense rotation, and at least three large tornadoes were observed with this storm (cone with a small satellite and multi-vortex that nearly became wedge dimensions before becoming rain wrapped). These tornadoes fortunately occurred over open country. The storm also contained extremely heavy rains, causing flash flooding. Frequent lightning with close hits, winds gusting over 60 MPH (especially inflow), and hail up to tennis ball sized was observed with this storm. Conditions causing these storms were surface heating, a low pressure trough, upper trough, and dryline. A 2009 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms. Documentation was digital stills, HD video, and audio. A tornado watch was also valid for the area until 10 PM CDT.

3). May 23, 4:30 PM - Interception and penetration of a very severe thunderstorm to the north of Hedley, Texas in Donely County to the northwest of Highways 287 and 203. This storm was an LP supercell storm. Large hail to golfball sized, 30 MPH winds, frequent lightning, and light rain was observed with this storm. The storm undergone downscale development and dissipated after a few hours. Conditions causing the storms were surface heating, a low pressure trough, dryline, and upper trough. A 2009 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A tornado watch was in effect for the area until 10 PM CDT.

4). May 23, 9:00 PM - Interception and penetration of an extremely severe and tornadic thunderstorm to the southeast of Turkey, Texas in Hall County and east of Highway 70 along county road 656. The storm was an HP / classic supercell storm. This supercell had a striking visual appearance, and multiple funnels were produced. The storm back-built to the northwest after dark, and intensified significantly. A large tornado was observed south of my location on 656 at about 9:30 CDT. This was a multivortex / cone tornado, mainly lightning illuminated. This tornado moved southeast, then turned north, and moved northwest! Winds gusting from 80 to 100 MPH with torrential sideways rain and hail to tennis ball sized were encountered at this time. The tornado evolved to a wedge tornado, then crossed the road to my east, then a large cone tornado to my north before lifting. Frequent lightning with close hits was also observed with this storm. The storm also caused flash flooding, but the tornado remained over open country. Conditions causing the storms were surface heating, a low pressure trough, dryline, and upper trough. A 2009 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A tornado watch was in effect for the area until 10 PM CDT.

5). May 24, 6:30 PM - Interception and observation of an extremely severe and tornadic thunderstorm from north of Mineola, Kansas to and past Dodge City in Clark and Ford Counties from along Highway 283. This thunderstorm was a violent cyclic classic supercell producing multiple tornado "families". The storm developed to the northwest of Mineola and moved to the northeast, barely missing the western portions of Dodge City. The core of the storm, containing extremely large hail (one report had 5 inch hail, larger than a compact disc) and strong winds, was not penetrated. The storm produced at least 8 tornadoes with multiple cycles, and was observed from initiation to dissipation south of Jetmore, Kansas. The tornadoes were pretty much all varieties: stove pipe, elephant trunk, multiple vortices, cones, even a truncated wedge! Even more spectacularly, there were times when there were two (twins), or even three, tornadoes on the ground simultaneously (usually one from the original mesocyclone still on going, with a new tornado on the next new cycle)! The tornadoes remained mostly over open fields, and thankfully passed west of Dodge City, damaging mostly outbuildings. The supercell storm had an impressive and striking visual appearance (like an "upside down wedding cake" and striations). One of the last tornadoes onserved was even anticyclonic (revealed with time-lapse footage)! Frequent lightning with some close hits was also encountered, with isolated 1" hail stones falling in 50 to 60 MPH inflow. Conditions causing the storms were surface heating, a low pressure trough, dryline / boundary interactions, and upper trough. A 2009 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A tornado watch was in effect for the area until 12 AM CDT the next day.

6). May 24, 10:00 PM - Penetration of a severe thunderstorm near Pratt, Kansas in Pratt County along Highway 54 / 400. This storm was a multicell severe / HP supercell storm. Very heavy rains, frequent lightning with close hits, hail up to half-dollar (1.5"), and winds gusting over 60 MPH. Conditions causing the storms were a low pressure trough, boundary interactions, and upper trough. A 2009 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms. Documentation was audio. A tornado watch was in effect for the area until 12 AM CDT the next day.

7). May 25, 6:00 PM - Interception and observation of a severe thunderstorm near El Dorado, Kansas in Butler County near Highways 254 and 77. This storm was an LP supercell storm, with an impressive "barber pole" updraft, and striking visual appearance despite its small size. The storm core was small and probably had 1" hail, but was not penetrated. The storm undergone downscale evolution and basically evaporated after a couple of hours. Conditions causing the storms were surface heating, a dryline, low pressure trough, and upper trough. A 2009 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms. Documentation was HD video, time-lapse, and digital stills. A tornado watch was in effect for the area until 9PM CDT.

8). May 25, 8:30 PM - Long-range interception, observation, and indirect penetration of an extremely severe and violent cyclic long-track thunderstorm from near Abilene, Kansas and I-70 in Dickinson County. This storm was first observed from a 100 mile distance, with an overshooting top (probably to 60,000 feet) and a long-range intercept was done given the fact that is was in a great environment for tornadoes, despite SPC outlooks. When the storm was finally intercepted east of Abilene, a large and violent wedge tornado, up a mile and a half wide, was observed at close range west of Chapman and crossing I-70. This was an extremely powerful tornado, which was supposedly on the ground for a staggering 90+ minutes! Damage observed was trees debarked and ground scouring. The tornado did extensive damage to anything it hit. In addition, 70 MPH winds, tennis ball sized hail, frequent lightning, and horizontal rain was encountered with this storm. Conditions causing the storms were surface heating, a dryline, low pressure area, and upper trough. A 2009 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms. Documentation was HD video, time-lapse, audio, and digital stills. A tornado watch was in effect for the area until 9PM CDT.

9). May 26, 7:00 PM - Observation of a severe thunderstorm from Bucklin to near Protection along Highways 34 and 183 in Ford and Comanche Counties. The storm was an HP supercell storm, developing on the southern end of a line segment. The main core of the storm was not penetrated, but contained 2" hail and strong winds. The storm became undercut by outflow and later weakened near Greensburg in Kiowa County. The storm had a striking visual appearance with a "stacked plates" effect during its most intense phase. Conditions causing the storms were surface heating, a low pressure area, dryline, and upper trough. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A 2009 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms. A tornado watch was also in effect for the area until 10PM CDT.

10). May 27, 4:30 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of a very severe thunderstorm from southwest of Braman in Kay County Oklahoma and northward into Sedgwick County, Kansas near Highway 81 and I-35. The storm was an HP supercell storm. Frequent lightning, very heavy rains, 50 MPH winds, and hail to 1.25" were encountered with this storm. The main core had hail to baseball sized, and was avoided as I had my front hail guards removed at the time. Some funnels were also observed, one with a large wall cloud, before these storms became outflow dominant. Conditions causing the storms were surface heating, a dryline / Pacific cold front, low pressure area, and upper trough. Documentation was digital stills, audio, and HD video. A 2009 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms. A severe thunderstorm watch was also in effect for the area until 10PM CDT.

11). May 28, 5:30 PM - Observation of strong to severe thunderstorms in eastern Iowa and western Illinois near I-80 and from Davenport in Scott County and eastward across the Mississippi River into Rock Island County. The storm was a multicell cluster of severe thunderstorms, with some transient supercells. The cores were not directly penetrated, but heavy rains, small hail, frequent lightning, and winds gusting near 60 MPH were encountered east of Davenport on I-80. These storms were encountered during the end of this chase trip and en-route to the Chicago area. These storms were caused by an advancing Pacific cold front, surface heating, and upper trough. Documentation was digital stills. A 2009 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms. A severe thunderstorm watch was also in effect for the area until 9PM CDT.

This concludes the Chase Log for the central US Plains and Midwest (tornado alley) main 2016 chase trip from May 21 through May 28. The summary includes a total of 11 severe thunderstorms and at LEAST 15 tornadoes. One severe thunderstorm alone in Dodge City, Kansas on May 24 notably was the most prolific tornado producer, with at least 8 tornadoes, with multiple tornadoes on the ground simultaneously. Many of the other severe storms observed produced significant tornadoes, notably the northern Kansas storm on May 25 which had a violent (EF4+) tornado on the ground for at least 90 minutes! The main chase vehicle conducting all chases was a 2009 Ford Escape SUV. This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.


GALLERY FOR MAY 21, 2016

Heading out via a long road trip and through Saint Louis, Missouri en-route to Oklahoma City (from Chicago). Beautiful view of the gateway arch.
While passing through Tulsa, Oklahoma, a ray of light is cast across the sky. Actually this is most likely the shadow cast from the 60,000 foot overshooting top of a tornadic supercell storm, at least 250 miles away near Leoti, Kansas at the time!


GALLERY FOR MAY 22, 2016

May 22 was a chase day with the main chase target areas in the Texas Panhandle region. In the images above, the left shows the Storm Prediction Center tornado outlook issued at 1630z (about 11:30 AM CDT). Two 5% tornado areas are in the outlook, surrounded by a large 2% area in a slight-risk stretching almost from Canada to Mexico! The southern 5% tornado area is the one I targeted on May 22. In the middle image, the visible satellite is shown for about 2345z (roughly 6:45 PM CDT). At least four massive supercells and their anvils can be seen over Texas, the northern two being the Spearman, Texas storm that many chasers were on, as well as the Memphis storm I was on south of the Spearman one. The right image shows the intense gate-to-gate radar velocity image of the Memphis, Texas storm as it was producing tornadoes.

Here is a picture of the memorial for Tim and Paul Samaras, and Carl Young, killed in 2013 in the May 31 El Reno, Oklahoma tornado. The old memorial is to the left, and a more permanent one is to the right with a flagpole added and pictures of the three chaser-scientists engraved in the granite surface. This was taken just to the east of the intersection of Radio and Reuter Roads on May 22, 2016 while en-route to my first target area of the day.
Supercell storms initiating in Carson County, Texas near Groom. The view is looking up at the top of the developing storm through the windshield and hail guards while heading east on I-40 on May 22.
A piece of large hail that fell near Groom, Texas on May 22.
HP / Classic supercell storm to the west of Memphis, Texas in Hall County. A funnel and RFD can be seen developing in the rotating base of this storm. This was during the evening of May 22, 2016.
Funnel developing on the supercell storm west of Memphis, Texas.
Possible brief tornado, the first of this storm, west of Memphis, Texas late in the day on May 22.
Later on the cyclic supercell storm passed to the southwest of Memphis, and near Lakeview, Texas. In this picture, the so called "Bear's Cage" cane be seen looking west in 60 MPH inflow winds, with a large forward-flank funnel to the left, and tornado touching down near the inflow and RFD point to the right.
Tornado widens into a large cone / truncated wedge tornado near Lakeview, Texas.
Same tornado evolves to a multi-vortex tornado.
Another large tornado southwest of Memphis, Texas and southeast of Lakeview in Hall County. The view is looking SW on May 22.
Another view of the tornado becoming partly rain wrapped and with a satellite to its right just before bailing on the storm (this was coming right at me) and heading NE towards Memphis, Texas near dusk on May 22.


GALLERY FOR MAY 23, 2016

May 23 was another Texas Panhandle chase day, similar in many ways to May 22. The left image above shows the Storm Prediction Center 1630z tornado outlook with a large 5% tornado area extending from the Oklahoma and Texas Panhandles down through Texas and almost to the Mexican border. The target area was in the northern portion of this area, in the eastern Texas Panhandle. The middle image shows visible satellite is shown for about 0045z for 5/24 (roughly 7:45 PM CDT on 5/23). More supercells and their anvils can be seen over the Texas Panhandle, with the Turkey, Texas storm being the middle one (2nd from the top). To the right is the velocity couplet north of me, about the time one of the large tornadoes was north of me off CR 656 and southeast of Turkey in one of the images below.

Chaser "convergence" in Shamrock, Texas near I-40 before a great chase day on May 23. From left to right: Mark Robinson, Jason Persoff, and George Kouranis. These folks were checking out my hail grills on my vehicle.
Group "selfie" of the group of chasers in Shamrock, Texas on May 23 before chasing. Jason Persoff is taking the picture.
LP (low precipitation) supercell storm near Hedley, Texas in Donely County during the early afternoon of May 23.
Doppler on wheels (DOW) vehicles associated with the TWIRL project along highway 203 near Hedley, Texas. Tim Marshall and Josh Wurman is in this group of researchers as well.
A view of the anvil and main updraft of the LP supercell near Hedley before undergoing downscale development on May 23. This storm was producing golfball sized hail.
Tail end "Charley" classic supercell storm to the north of Turkey, Texas in Hall County late in the afternoon on May 23, 2016. This storm would eventually produce tornadoes after dark east of town!
View of inflow tail and updraft region of the Turkey, Texas supercell storm on May 23.
Rotating wall cloud and funnel develops on the classic supercell storm north of Turkey, Texas.
Interesting "rotor" like feature north of the Turkey, Texas supercell after it split. The view is looking SSW. Quite possible the horizontal "tube" of air along a boundary (that the storm is anchored on) being pulled in and before being lifted / tilted vertically.
Small needle funnel on the supercell storm now southeast of Turkey, Texas. This entire base was rotating after the storm split earlier. The view is north around dusk on May 23.
Large wall cloud / funnel southeast of Turkey, Texas (view is NW) as the storm re-organizes and becomes an HP storm for a bit after dusk on May 23.
Large hail laying in the ground from the storm SE of Turkey, Texas after dark on May 23. Some pieces were tennis ball sized. One can be seen impacting the road just left of the center of the picture.
Lightning illuminated image of the updraft base of the rapidly intensifying supercell southeast of Turkey, Texas after dark on May 23. The view here is to the east from just north of a developing tornado.
Lightning illuminated clouds (note the mesocyclone and barely visible cone tornado developing underneath it near the center of the picture)! The view is south on May 23 from County-Road 656.
Lightning illuminated cone tornado (with lightning strike to its left) well after dark to the southeast of Turkey, Texas on May 23.
Partial rain wrap and cone tornado as lightning strikes to the right of the tornado.
Closer view of lightning strike and cone tornado to my south.
Closer still of the lightning and cone tornado southeast of Turkey, Texas. Very strong inflow / RFD (winds 80 to 100 MPH) is buffeting me and the image is blurred. Time to back off!
Blurry (lightning illuminated) of the same cone tornado that has transitioned to a multi-vortex / wedge tornado (this tornado was rated EF-3 later). The tornado is now moving NORTHWEST and I am in its path. I am making a hasty retreat west in powerful winds.
Tornado continuing to move NW, crossing the road where I was a few minutes earlier in its multivortex stage. This view is looking east on County-Road 656. Tornado is lightning illuminated, and is centered pretty much over the road and to the right of the center of the picture.
View of large cone / wedge tornado to my north after backing off earlier and returning east on County-Road 656. The view is due north and I am in near calm winds now. A loud roaring sound could be heard as I took this picture. This tornado lifted a few minutes later.


GALLERY FOR MAY 24, 2016

May 24 was a chase day with a rather complicated forecast and target area, originally in the Oklahoma Panhandle, but adjusted northwest into SW Kansas at the end of the day. Two areas of tornadic potential can be seen on the 20z (3 PM CDT) SPC outlook in the left image. One 10% area is in Colorado, and my target in SW Kansas, the latter being significant (hatched). In the middle image, supercell storms are active on the visible satellite at around 2245z (5:45 PM CDT). The arrow points to the supercell storm that would be the prolific Dodge City tornado producer, developing along a NW to SE oriented boundary / confluence axis, and ahead of the dryline (triple-point). To the right is the base reflectivity (with pronounced hook) of the supercell storm as it was producing tornadoes near Dodge City, Kansas. The black “hole” around the radar site is the “cone of silence” above the radar (KDDC) at such close range.

Again we meet! Huge chaser convergence before a major chase day at the intersection of 283 and 270 south of Laverne, OK on May 24, 2016. From left to right here is: Jason Persoff, Dan Robinson, and Danilo Grkovich. Many chasers were on this remote roadside lot. Scott Peak is standing in the background to the left as well. A hot dog stand would have been nice!
First rotating wall cloud / funnel forming on the soon to be cyclic supercell between Mineola and Dodge City, Kansas on May 24. The view is to the west.
First tornado touches down during the afternoon / evening south of Dodge City, Kansas on May 24. This storm will be referred to as the "Dodge City Supercell", a classic and violent cyclic storm that will produce at least 8 tornadoes, some of which with multiple instances on the ground simultaneously!
First tornado intensifies. Note the two chaser vehicles in close range!
First tornado occludes, then begins to rope out slowly. This view is zoomed in to show the intense ground circulation and two chase vehicles in close proximity.
Sinuous rope out of the first tornado south of Dodge City.
View of the main and most intense cyclic tornado of this storm. A large stove pipe quickly develops over the open country south of Dodge City (May 23).
Another view of the intensifying stove pipe tornado.
Here is a "selfie" (self portrait) of myself, my chase vehicle, and the mayhem unfolding a couple of miles behind me southwest of Dodge City, Kansas on May 24!
Stove pipe tornado at its maximum intensity and width. Wow!
With the near steady-state stove pipe tornado in progress, the new mesocyclone forms sympathetically east of the main one. This new area goes on to produce a multivortex tornado, along with a few smaller tornadoes, all while the stove pipe to its left is on-going!
Close up of the multivortex / multiple tornadoes to the right of the main stove pipe tornado on-going.
At least two tornadoes on the ground. Main stove pipe to the left, smaller tornado on-going to the right!
Close-up of one of the tornadoes to the right of the main stove pipe on the new mesocyclone.
Wider view of both mesocyclones, with a new tornado about to form on the right (new) one, and the stove pipe still ongoing to its left.
Both the old (left, with massive stove pipe tornado) and new (right, with tornado on the ground as well) mesocyclones. Twin tornadoes (wow)!
Main stovepipe and new mesocyclone to the right, with simultaneous tornadoes a minute or so later. This was repeated a few times. Eventually, the new (right) mesocyclone became dominant, and absorbed the weakening / roping out stove pipe from the old mesocyclone. This weakening tornado wrapped around the new mesocyclone like a satellite tornado before being absorbed.
Wider view of the process where the new mesocyclone was intensifying and just before the stove pipe (now a thinning rope) to its left became entrained into it. Massive upward motion also noted on the right (forward flank) of the new mesocyclone / wall cloud.
As the storm nears the western sides of Dodge City, Kansas on May 24, it intensifies again (new mesocyclone now dominant and the stove pipe is gone). It is VERY fortunate this tornado "family" missed Dodge City proper. In this picture, at least eight subvortices can be seen rotating around a large "main" developing tornado.
Large truncated cone / wedge tornado grazing the west sides of Dodge City, Kansas with my vehicle in the foreground. I am on the south side of town looking NW.
View a few minutes later showing a large truncated cone / wedge with a stove pipe (internal subvortex) in the middle of it! Note that another mesocyclone is about to form east (right) of this tornado, and will be part of the next storm "cycle".
Close up of truncated cone / wedge tornado with internal subvortex. The motion on this was incredible.
The highly cyclic supercell storm continues to the north of Dodge City, damaging only a few outbuildings. In this picture, yet another new mesocyclone (and large wall cloud) is forming east of the cone tornado in progress. This is now late afternoon on May 24.
Old (former) mesocyclone and newest one forming to its east with impressive supercell structure. The former mesocyclone has a tornado (formerly the cone tornado) that is roping out.
Close up of tornado roping out prior to additional tornado-genesis to its east.
Twins again! Rope tornado from former mesocyclone still on the ground, and a large elephant trunk / stovepipe tornado on the newest mesocyclone to the right. The view is NW and the storm is north of Dodge City and south of Jetmore.
Elephant trunk has now formed a large cone tornado, rope almost gone at the time. Power flashes occur as powerlines are taken down by this new tornado.
The cyclic supercell storm finally weakens south of Jetmore, Kansas as cells began firing south of it. During the last cycle, this anti-cyclonic (rotating clockwise, and rare in the northern hemisphere) forms just after the elephant trunk / cone weakened. After this, the storm did not produce any more tornadoes, and upscaled to a line segment of severe storms.
While heading east on Highway 54 / 400 towards Greensburg, Kansas - I am treated to one of the most intense rainbows and sunsets I ever seen.


GALLERY FOR MAY 25, 2016

May 25 was originally supposed to be a marginal chase day, but turned out to be way more than expected in Kansas. Originally the main chase target was to be in central Kansas, near the I-135 corridor, and anywhere from Wichita northward to Newton. The SPC has a 5% tornado probability outlining this pretty well on their 20z (3 PM CDT) slight-risk outlook. More importantly and probably overlooked by forecasters at SPC, a boundary with a surface low and dryline is evident, especially in the middle visible satellite image, from 2345z (around 6:45 PM CDT). The 2% probability over north-central Kansas is therefore "under forecasted" (should be higher). Also evident in the middle image is the violent cyclic supercell near Salina to the north (arrow), as well as a weakening low-precipitation storm (next arrow below) near El Dorado, Kansas. The violent supercell to the north is developing near the triple-point (intersection) of the dryline and a boundary extending from west to east, and ahead of a low pressure system. The right image shows the supercell storm about the time I contacted it (see pictures below), and a wedge tornado was in progress near Chapman, Kansas, with a prominent debris ball (arrow points to the purple "blob").

Low precipitation (LP) supercell rotating hard near El Dorado, Kansas on May 25, 2016. This storm weakened via downscale evolution and essentially evaporated in a stronger cap. Attention turned to a distant tornadic supercell in the northern fringes of the target area for the day.
Here is a picture of an overshooting top, probably 60,000 feet high, from 75 miles distance of a tornadic supercell storm currently near Salina, Kansas. This was the storm that will have a tornado on the ground for nearly two hours! I am heading north (after being "suckered" south to a dying LP storm) for a long-range intercept.
Getting closer, maybe 25 miles away, the back-sheared anvil from the Salina / Abilene, Kansas supercell - Still with a large wedge tornado in progress - Looms over the afternoon sunlight looking NW on May 25.
Finally I can see the base - And there it is! A large wedge tornado from a distance of about 10 miles, while the cyclic supercell was passing near Abilene, Kansas.
RFD clear slot and violent tornado from 5 miles away, and to the ESE of Abilene, Kansas approaching I-70.
Violent tornado, looking ENE, approaching I-70 between Abilene and Chapman near sunset on May 25, 2016! A loud roaring sound could be clearly heard at this time.
Violent wedge tornado near Interstate 70 and not far from Chapman, Kansas. This is about a half of a mile away, close enough to FEEL the roar of it!
Wedge tornado at its most intense crossing the ENE jog of I-70 and headed just south of Chapman, Kansas after being on the ground for 90 minutes. The white streaks falling are hail stones to tennis ball sized. The object in the highway to the lower left is a large turtle crossing the road!
Violent wedge tornado almost over I-70 and headed due east towards Chapman, Kansas.
Tornado now over the Interstate. Traffic stopped and police creating a rolling roadblock so no one drives into it. Incredible motion. Wedge tornado now about to graze the south side of Chapman, Kansas. This tornado was rated at LEAST EF-4, with winds strong enough to bend railroad tracks!
A pile of debarked mangled trees swept up the embankment on the south side of I-70 near Chapman, Kansas. Also note the grass is almost gone and the ground has been scoured to bare dirt.


GALLERY FOR MAY 26, 2016

May 26 was one of those days that was supposed to be an "outbreak" type event, but was grossly "over-forecasted" by the Storm Prediction Center. A large area of 15% (hatched for significant) tornado probabilities, along with a moderate-risk outlook for 1630z, was centered over central Kansas. Storms were expected to develop near Dodge City and intensify northeast of there. However, convective models (CAMS such as the HRRR) did not show that. Instead early initiation and messy storm development was shown, and by as early as 19z, that became the outcome. This early day convection pretty much trumped the instability required for violent tornadoes, especially near the Salina area (a tornado DID form northeast of there later, but not many chasers were on it). The final target areas shifted southwest to near Dodge City once again. In the middle image, a visible satellite from 2345z (6:45 PM) shows storms developing in many areas, but a complex of storms forming in SW Kansas in better air that has not been convectively turned over from earlier storms. To the right, a base reflectivity image shows a line segment of severe storms with a rotating "tail-end Charley" storm on its southern end.

HP supercell storm on the south end of a line segment near Ford and Comanche Counties in Kansas during the evening of May 26, 2016. This was pretty much the only good storm of the day.
Panoramic view of the HP supercell storm over Ford and Comanche Counties from near Protection, Kansas on May 26.
Rotating section of a supercell storm near Greensburg, Kansas as it was being undercut by outflow late on May 26.
Bark Comstock with his tour group (Extreme Tornado Tours) in Greensburg, Kansas. The "over-extended" damaged door was from strong winds during the May 25 violent tornado in northern Kansas a couple days earlier.
Interesting gust front, sunset, and "whales mouth" over Greensburg, Kansas from an outflow dominant storm late on May 26.
My vehicle stuck in a flooded ditch, and conveniently in my hotel in Wichita for the night on May 26-27. The poorly designed parking lot was flooded by heavy rains, and the entrance was not visible. Luckily a call to AAA had the vehicle winched out quickly with no damage.


GALLERY FOR MAY 27, 2016

May 27 was a lower end chase day in the south-central Kansas and north-central Oklahoma regions, near the I-35 corridor. In the left image, a large slight-risk outlook was issued by SPC at 1630z, with a 2% tornado probability for this area as well. In the middle image, storms can be seen developing over Kansas in the 2245z (5:45 PM CDT) visible satellite. The storms over south-central Kansas and north-central Oklahoma can be seen, with a large gust front pushing out from them (outflow dominant). A Pacific cold front / boundary can be seen arching back over western Kansas with a line of supercells over that area, as the front becomes almost E-W oriented. The base reflectivity image to the right shows the initial supercell storms (producing baseball sized hail and funnel clouds) near the central OK / KS border.

Supercell storm developing south of the Oklahoma / Kansas border and west of I-35. The view is from Sedgwick County in Kansas, looking south, on May 27, 2016.
Supercell intensifies and becomes HP (high precipitation) with a hail core containing hail up to baseball sized on May 27. The view is to the south from Sedgwick / Kay counties.
Funnel on forward flank of mesocyclone from a storm near I-35 and south of Braman, Oklahoma.
Hail core of HP supercell storm near Braman in Kay County Oklahoma.
Funnel and wall cloud on HP supercell storm southwest of Braman (Kay County) Oklahoma.
Computer laptop display showing the base reflectivity radar of an intense line segment with the view out the window as I drive on I-35 towards Emporia, Kansas.


GALLERY FOR MAY 28, 2016

May 28 was both a travel day and chase day combined, since storms were expected on the travel route from Kansas to Iowa and Illinois. In the left image above, a mesoscale discussion (MCD 769) is shown for eastern Iowa and western Illinois. A slight risk was also in place, with a 2% tornadic potential. The route back was timed so that the target area would be encountered at the time of peak heating. In the middle image, a large upper level low can be seen over NW Iowa and a surface low in that same general area on the 2045z (3:45 PM CDT) visible satellite. Thunderstorms are developing in both the cold core environment (central Iowa and northwest of there), and to the east near the IA / IL border. To the right is a base reflectivity of a supercell storm (note the hail spikes too) near Davenport, Iowa before the thunderstorm complex weakened and formed a squall line.

View of a supercell storm forming on the southern part of a line segment from near Davenport, Iowa on May 28.
Small funnel on the updraft of a severe storm near Rock Island County, Illinois.
Blowing dust and inflow ahead of a line of severe thunderstorms in Rock Island County, Illinois.
Backside of supercell storm / line segment near Rock Island County, Illinois. Note the RFD clear slot and wall cloud.
This is a large dent in the main hail grill that protected the front windshield. Probably a tennis ball to baseball sized hailstone (most likely from May 23). Had the grill not been there, the windshield most likely would have been shattered.
Again - Celebratory steak dinner at the Outback Steakhouse back in Chicago to wrap up the final travel day of the trip.


CHASE MAP FOR OCT 3-5, 2016

This is a chase map for the chase from October 3 through October 5, 2016. The chase track is in blue which includes both the active chase track and trip between the "base" city of Dallas, Texas and the target area(s) mainly in Kansas shown. The target areas appear as yellow outlines for the main chase day (October 4). The actual storm intercept and path is denoted by the red "X" and red dashed storm path line. In the inset, the green track is the flight to and from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to the base city of Dallas, Texas, with the box showing the area of chase interest for this period.


CHASE TRIP CHRONOLOGY FOR OCT 3-5 2016

This chase trip for October 3 through October 5 was a "spot" chase trip, anticipating a chase day in the north-central Oklahoma and south-central Kansas area, mainly on October 4 (with the other two days being travel days). This chase was done on a tight schedule, and activity in these areas also was to persist into October 6 and 7 (with tornado potential in Kansas on the 7th), but only one day was available to chase due to a hurricane interception that same week back in Florida. On October 3, after flying back from Canada earlier that same day, I gathered my equipment and flew out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida late, and arrived in Dallas, Texas. I secured the rental vehicle, a 2016 Ford Fiesta, and headed out of Dallas via I-35E to I-35 and into Moore, Oklahoma for the night. At this time, it appeared the area in north-central OK and SW Kansas would be a good target.

The following day, October 4, I got up early and forecasted. The prime area was to be west of Wichita, Kansas. This area was on the exit region of a speed max aloft, providing the upper level support for severe storms. The surface dryline and intersecting pacific cold front also were forecasted to be west and northwest of Wichita, Kansas. The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) also had this area outlooked in an enhanced-risk, with a 10% tornado, 15% wind, and 30% (hatched for significant) hail outlook. The tornado outlook of 10% was in a small area near Wichita, Kansas and points west of there. A large 5% tornado, probability also extended south into western Oklahoma and north into Kansas as well. By late morning, I prepared the rental vehicle and left Moore, Oklahoma and headed north on I-35 to highway 177 near Braman, Oklahoma to avoid the Kansas Turnpike.

I continued to the west and northwest along Highways 177 and 81 into Kansas and eventually Highways 49 and 14 to near Cheney, then northeast of Kingman, Kansas near Pretty Prairie. The Storm Prediction Center issued Mesoscale Discussion MCD 1753 by late afternoon, and subsequent tornado watch box 490 valid until 9 PM CDT. Another separate, but overlapping MCD (754) and tornado watch was issued for western Oklahoma as well. The correct target area appeared to be west of Wichita, as capping concerns made me reluctant to pick a target in SW Oklahoma. By late afternoon, severe storms began forming along the dryline boundary. A very sharp moisture gradient was noted west of Kingman, Kansas with the dryline passage, with cloudless skies west of the boundary. The storms developed in this area, and the southern most storm became the dominant cell. This would be the target supercell storm of the day.

I got the chance to run into chasers Alice and Kirk Short near Highway 400 north of Cheney, and Tony Laubach and Ed Grubb farther east near Garden Plain as the storm was cycling with a rotating wall cloud. Going to HP (high precipitation) mode, the supercell storm was followed east on Highway 400, then northeast of Wichita to near Maize and Highway 96, then finally east to near I-235 and I-135 north. A possible brief tornado was noted on a wall cloud east of Maize, and the storm had a very impressive structure. The storm was followed until just after dark east of I-135 in rural areas east of Park City. After the storm moves east and at night, I headed back west to I-135, then south to I-235 and spent the night on the west side of Wichita. I proceeded to take the equipment out of the vehicle that night, since the next day I needed to rush back to Dallas, TX to fly back to FL to chase a hurricane!

October 5 was a travel day, with me leaving Wichita during the mid morning, and heading back down I-235 to I-35 south. I headed all the way south to I-35E and into Dallas, Texas by afternoon. I grabbed an early dinner there, and returned the rental vehicle as well. I arrived back at the airport there (Love Field), and flew back to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, arriving there just before midnight on October 5. Plans then changed from wrapping up a Great Plains tornado type chase, to a full-on hurricane chase of hurricane "Matthew" (see my separate section for that chase). Total mileage on the rental vehicle was 943 miles.


OCT 3-5 CHASE MAIN PARTICIPANTS

CHASER NAMEHOME / BASE CITYCALLSIGNCHASE DATESOCCUPATION
CHRIS COLLURADEERFIELD BEACH, FLKG4PJN10-3 TO 10-5IT CONSULTANT


STORM REPORTS FOR OCT 4, 2016

This graphic above shows the SPC storm reports for October 4, 2016. In the graphic, tornado reports appear as red dots, wind reports (over 50 knots) as blue, and hail (1" or larger) reports as green ones. Black squares and triangles represent significant wind (over 65 knots) and hail (2" or larger) reports, respectively. On October 4th, there was a total of 66 storm reports. Out of these reports, there was just 1 tornado report (not on the Wichita storm, but these are confirmed reports), 24 wind reports (1 significant), and 41 severe hail (3 significant, including 2 on the Wichita storm) reports.


FORECASTING AND TARGET AREA - OCT 4, 2016

The graphic above shows the SPC (Storm Prediction Center) outlook areas for October 4. The left shows the tornado probabilities (10%) in the enhanced-risk area as per the 1630z outlook. In the middle and right images, the graphics for mesoscale discussions (both MCD 1753 and 1754) is shown prior to issuance of tornado watch 940 for my target area. Both MCDs are shown to provide a good analysis of what’s going on.


STORM SATELLITE AND RADAR IMAGERY - OCT 4, 2016

This is a graphic showing the visible satellite image with storms developing in Kansas (important features are annotated) during the late afternoon / evening (around 2245z). The right image is a radar image (base reflextivity) showing the HP supercell storm west and northwest of Wichita, Kansas during its most intense phase of evolution.


DETAILED CHASE LOG FOR OCT 3-5, 2016

1). Oct 4, 7:00 PM - Observation and penetration of a very severe thunderstorm from near Kingman, Kansas and points east and northeast to the northwest of Wichita, Kansas in Sedgwick County, from along Highway 54 / 400 and east of I-135 and Park City. The storm was a supercell storm which started out as a classic supercell. The storm evolved to an HP storm near Wichita, with a very striking (stacked plates) visual appearance, rotating wall cloud and funnels, and intense (green shaded) hail core / vault on its northern FFD side. The storm was not directly penetrated during its intense phase, where hail reports of over 2" occurred in Sedgwick County. Winds gusting over 65 MPH, hail to 1", frequent lightning, and torrential rains were encountered with this storm. A brief tornado also may have been observed near Maize, Kansas, bit has not been officially confirmed. Some flooding, power outages, and tree / sign damage was also observed with this storm. These storms were caused by a dryline, Pacific cold front, a low pressure area, upper trough, and surface heating. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A 2016 Ford Fiesta rental was used to observe the storms. A tornado watch was also in effect for portions of the area until 9 PM CDT.

This concludes the chase log for the central US Plains (including the chase in Kansas) chase trip for October 3-5, 2016. The summary includes a total of 1 severe thunderstorm. A possible weak tornado may also have been observed. The main chase vehicle conducting this chase was a 2016 Ford Fiesta Rental. This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.


GALLERY FOR OCT 3, 2016

Here is a picture of the chase vehicle being prepared to this short chase trip on October 3. This was a Ford Fiesta that got over 40 miles to the gallon (and costed less than $20 to fill it up at some of the cheaper gas stations)! Here the hood is open to run the 12 VDC power from the battery into the inverter in the car.


GALLERY FOR OCT 4, 2016

View (looking west) of the developing dryline near Kingman, Kansas from under a rain free base that will soon become a supercell storm on October 4th.
Explosive development of severe storms, viewed from just behind the dryline / Pacific front intersection west of Kingman, Kansas.
Wall cloud forming south of updraft-downdraft interface near Cheney, Kansas as the supercell storm moves east of the dryline and into Sedgwick County.
Wall cloud and intense inflow features as the supercell storm evolves from classic to HP mode west of Wichita.
Possible weak toornado to the northwest of Wichita near Maize, Kansas while in powerful inflow.
Impressive structure of HP supercell storm at dusk while looking west on I-135 and north / northeast of Wichita, Kansas near Park City.
Beautiful cloud to ground (CG) lightning strike on backside of storms over I-135 north of Wichita, Kansas late in the evening on October 4.


GALLERY FOR OCT 5, 2016

Flying out of Dallas, Texas (during the evening of October 5) and later into a hurricane warning in Florida on the last flight back! Note the supercell storm looming over the horizon to the upper right!


OTHER CHASES IN 2016 IN THE MIDWEST

This section is for any other chases and / or storm pictures taken in the central United States / Midwestern areas during 2016. These include any chases or observations of storms that were local chases (particularly to the Chicago area and / or trips lasting a single day), but not part of a dedicated / longer chase trip. In the image above, taken southeast of Ottawa, IL on June 22 well after dark, the unmistakable and down right terrifying silhouette of a large tornado is revealed by continuous lightning looking southwest towards Seneca.


DETAILED CHASE LOG FOR THIS SECTION (OTHER CHASES)

1). Mar 15, 5:30 PM - Interception and observation of a very severe thunderstorm near West Point, Illinois near Highways 110 and 94 in Hancock County. The storm was a classic supercell storm with a rotating wall cloud, and was followed northeastward towards Plymouth before it weakened. The storm core was not directly penetrated, but contained winds near 60 MPH (mainly RFD), heavy rains, occasional lightning, and some small funnel clouds. The storm core had hail to golfball sized, and this was noted covering the ground near Tennessee, IL later in a small swath. The storm was caused by a warm front, strong upper trough, surface heating, and a low pressure area. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A 2009 Ford Escape was used to chase the storm. A tornado watch was valid for the area until 9 PM CDT.

2). Mar 15, 6:15 PM - Interception, observation, and penetration of a very severe and tornadic thunderstorm from near Carthage, Illinois in Hancock County and points east and northeast along Highways 136 and 9 through Good Hope and Bushnell in McDonough and Fulton counties, and eventually through Peoria along Highway 24 in Peoria County. This storm was a powerful HP / classic supercell storm, which produce 3 tornadoes. The first of these tornadoes was observed passing just north of Carthage as a diffuse, rain-wrapped tornadic circulation. The second storm "cycle" occurred in McDonough County near Blandinsville and towards Good Hope, where an extremely powerful RFD surge to 80 MPH was encountered south of another multi-vortex tornado. A low bowl shaped lowering with intermittent ground circulations was observed before rain wrap ensued again. A final possible tornado, in heavy rain and west of Trivoli, IL, was observed as a large and broad funnel at dark. Extremely heavy rains, frequent lightning, and hail to 2" were observed as well. Winds outside the RFD surges also gusted near 70 MPH. This storm also caused flooding and some damage. The storm passed near Peoria before upscale growth into a powerful MCS / bow segment. The storm was caused by a warm front / cold front occlusion point, strong upper trough, surface heating, and a low pressure area. Documentation was digital stills, audio, and HD video. A 2009 Ford Escape was used to chase the storm. A tornado watch was valid for the area until 9 PM CDT.

3). Mar 15, 8:30 PM - Penetration of a small severe thunderstorm near I-39 and I-80 in LaSalle County, Illinois. This storm was an elevated severe storm on the backside of a cluster of severe storms associated with an occluded cold front. The storm had winds near 60 MPH and hail up to 1". Frequent lightning, with close hits (one about 100 yards from the roadside), and torrential rains were also encountered. This slightly elevated severe storm was caused by an occluded cold front, strong upper trough, and a low pressure area. Documentation was audio. A 2009 Ford Escape was used to chase the storm. A tornado watch was valid for the area until 9 PM CDT.

4). Mar 31, 1:00 PM - Observation of a strong thunderstorm at an office location in Hoffman Estates in Cook County, IL just north of Interstate 90 and west of Highway 59. This was an unwary observation from a fixed location (office building). The storm was part of a line / cluster of strong thunderstorms, and had an area of weak rotation at one point. Frequent lightning, very heavy rains, 40 MPH winds, and hail to 1/2" was observed with the passage of this storm. The vehicle parked at the location was a 2009 Ford Escape. Documentation was audio and digital stills. The storm was caused by a low-pressure area, cold front, and upper trough.

5). June 22, 7:30 PM - Observation and penetration of a very severe and tornadic thunderstorm in Lee County, Illinois near Highway 52 around Amboy and towards Mendota. The storm was an intense HP supercell storm, which contained rain wrapped tornadoes. One of these possible multiple vortex tornadoes were observed in poor visibility from the north in powerful easterly winds (gusting over 70 MPH). The storm contained winds gusting over 70 MPH, small hail, frequent lightning with some close hits, and torrential rains. The storm had a large, wet RFD. Damage was observed near Mendota, particularly to power poles, signs, and trees. Some roof debris and sheet metal was noted across the roadway in some cases. Power was also knocked out and there was flooding. The storm also had a striking visual appearance (stacked plates and striations) looking north or west. This storm was eventually abandoned for another supercell storm to the southwest. Conditions causing the storms were surface heating, a low pressure area, warm front, and upper trough. Documentation was HD video and digital stills. A 2009 Ford Escape was used to chase the storm. A tornado watch was valid for the area until 1 AM CDT the following day.

6). June 22, 9:00 PM - Observation and penetration of an extremely severe and tornadic thunderstorm in LaSalle County Illinois from Highway 23 between Ottawa and Troy Grove, and southeastward to near Seneca and Morris on Highway 6 south of I-80. This storm was also a large HP supercell storm. The storm produced several confirmed tornadoes, one weak one observed west of Ottawa, and another significant one near Seneca along Highway 6 at around 9:05 CDT. This was a very large cone tornado, almost a wedge, illuminated by lightning. The storm produced very intense and frequent lightning with many close hits, small hail, torrential rains, and winds gusting near 80 MPH (mainly FFD). The large tornado near Seneca destroyed a house, powerlines (power flashes observed), and flattened crops before evolving to a stove-pipe, then roping out and becoming wrapped in rain. The storm was abandoned as it passed south of Morris, however, a possible tornado was observed again from 30 miles distance as the storm was passing well to the south near Odell and Pontiac while attempting to photograph lightning. This storm also had a very striking visual appearance, much of which was revealed by the continuous lightning. Conditions causing the storms were surface heating, a low pressure area, warm front, and upper trough. Documentation was HD video and digital stills. A 2009 Ford Escape was used to chase the storm. A tornado watch was valid for the area until 1 AM CDT the following day.

7). July 23, 5:30 PM - Interception and observation of strong to severe thunderstorms from near Woodstock in McHenry County, Illinois near I-90 and later to a fixed location near Lawrence and California Avenue in the north side of Chicago in Cook County. The storm was a multicell cluster of strong and severe storms, initially with some embedded supercells. The storms had slight rotation but became outflow dominant quickly. Heavy rains, 50 MPH winds, and frequent lightning with some close hits were observed. Some tree damage and flooding was noted in the Chicago area, with power out in a few places. The storms were caused by surface heating, a stalled frontal boundary, and an upper trough. A 2009 Ford Escape was used to chase the storms. Documentation was digital stills. A severe thunderstorm watch was also valid for the area until 10 PM CDT.

8). July 24, 6:00 PM - Observation of strong to severe thunderstorms from near Foster Avenue and North Broadway while stuck in traffic west of Lakeshore Drive on Chicago’s north side in Cook County, Illinois. The northern side of the storm was penetrated and contained winds gusting near 60 MPH, small hail, very heavy rains, and frequent lightning with some close hits. The storm was a multicell cluster of severe thunderstorms. Some flooding and tree damage was observed, with power out in a few places. The same storm caused a platform collapse on a local train station farther to the west. Conditions causing the storms were surface heating, a stalled frontal boundary, and an upper trough. A 2009 Ford Escape was used to observe the storms. Documentation was audio.

This concludes the chase log for the central United States and Midwest (including tornado alley / Illinois as of July 26, 2016) for ANY OTHER chases in 2016 not part of a special section (especially those for single-day "spot" chase trips). The summary includes a total of 8 observations. Out of the observations, there were 7 severe thunderstorms and 1 strong thunderstorm. Out of the thunderstorms, 5 possible tornadoe were observed. The main chase vehicle conducting these chases was a 2009 Ford Escape. This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.


GALLERY FOR MARCH 15 (OTHER CHASES)

When the sky looks like this - Something is going on with the atmosphere! Mid level ACCAS with convective rolls over IL as upper level trough moves overhead from the west on March 15, 2016.
Supercell storm southwest of Carthage, IL on March 15, 2016.
Explosive development of supercell storm looking at back-sheared anvil and updraft tower as the storm moves out of far NW Missouri and into West-Central Illinois (west of Carthage). March 15. 2016.
Possible weak and diffuse tornado west of Carthage, IL on March 15, 2016.
Close-up and rain wrap of wall cloud and weak / diffuse tornado west of Carthage, IL on March 15, 2016.
Intensification as supercell cycles east of Carthage and into McDonough County with an intense RFD clear slot! March 15, 2016.
Possible tornado behind the intense RFD clear slot in McDonough County, IL on March 15, 2016.
Closeup of possible tornado in McDonough County, IL on March 15, 2016.
Another funnel wrapped in rain to my north in far NE Fulton County, IL on March 15, 2016 near sunset. Possible part of the tornado that affected Trivoli, IL.
View of embedded mesocyclone in MCS as the storm moves east after dark with upscale growth into a cluster of storms late on March 15, 2016 west of Peoria, IL.


GALLERY FOR JUNE 22 (OTHER CHASES)

Ready to chase and convective initiation as Daniel Shaw and I watch the storm developing in Illinois on June 22, 2016.
Intesifying HP supercell storm near Amboy, Illinois on June 22, 2016.
View looking south into the mesocyclone near Amboy, IL with an HP storm. Note the strong easterly winds kicking up spray! Most likely a multi-vortex tornado rain wrapped in there. Late on June 22, 2016.
Backside of possible "bowl" lowering near Amboy, Illinois with a rain wrapped HP tornado to my south on June 22, 2016.
Tree damage and storm chasers dodging debris in the road east of Amboy, Illinois late on June 22, 2016.
One of many intense CG lightning hits near Ottawa, Illinois after dark on June 22, 2016.
Back-lightning by lightning flash on video frame grab of Seneca, IL tornado on June 22.
Lasalle / Seneca, IL tornado with bright lightning back-light on June 22. Crappy frame-grab from dash-cam video.
Power flashes from the Lasalle / Seneca tornado in Illinois on June 22, 2016.
Better composite view of the Lasalle / Seneca, IL tornado by combining two frames with lightning illuminating the foreground and dimly back-lightning the tornado on June 22.
Large lightning-illuminated tornado in Lasalle County, IL (near Seneca and south of I-80 looking WSW on Highway 6). This was roughly 9:05 CDT on June 22, 2016.


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