Brief tornado near Council Grove, KS

posted in: Storm Chasing | 0
Storm Chase Details

Chase Date: April 27, 2012
Chase Partners:
Sarah Glenn

Chasers Encountered:
Adam Lucio, Lorraine Mahoney, Scott Bennett, Tony Laubach

Miles Logged: 758
States Chased: KS
Tornadoes Witnessed: 1
Severe Risks: SPC Outlooks

Chase Recap:

I was originally not looking at Friday the 27th as a chase day, but suddenly on Wednesday evening the NAM started showing a possible significant tornado outbreak in central and southeast Kansas. I got the OK to leave work early, but Cory Watkins was not able to go. I ended up making plans to chase with Stephen Jones.

I left work around 11 to head out to Kansas. Stephen was unable to make it, so I ended up heading up solo. Halfway to Wichita, Sarah Glenn posted on Facebook that she was thinking of chasing, and since I would be going by there anyway, I decided we could team up for the chase.

I still had high hopes, as the dryline was starting to fill down to the OK/KS border with towering CU. Unfortunately the cap would hold further south all day, but at 2 pm it seemed plausible we’d have the supercell outbreak in the warm sector along the dryline that was forecast.

We headed north out of Wichita and then east to near Marion which is where I had been a couple weeks prior on April 14 where we met up with Adam Lucio, Lorraine Mahoney and the rest in his group. We stood around in the sun watching towers struggle and become cut off by the cap. Tony Laubach stopped by too, and we watched one of his 9 lives flash before us as he crossed the road.

Storms continued to struggle, so we headed north to I-70 at Junction City and got gas and food. The storms were pretty crappy up that way, and it was obvious we had crossed the warm front as temperatures struggled. We decided to head east on I-70 while Adam went west. We didn’t go far though, stopping at KS-177 before decided to head south to the last storm which seemed to be getting more organized.

We intercepted the storm near Council Grove, and the motion was insane as the Warm Front must have been draped right at or near that area. Lots of rising and falling motion in the wake of the actual precip core, and even some rotation.

We stayed just east of town then decided to go up the old route 4 road which seemed like the only option. It was about then my GPS receiver decided to start acting up again, leaving me without any sort of idea where I was.

We observed a quick funnel to our northeast by a few miles and got some pictures and video of it before continuing north to where we observed a brief tornado. This would be the best we’d capture all day.

I continued north and east then just east trying to keep up, but gave up as the storm had obviously fallen apart. I also was having a heck of a time getting GPS back.

Finally got the GPS problem solved as we were on the road to the next storm which was going up 335 to the east of us near Osage City. It became tornado warned as well, but we never saw anything significant underneath.

We followed the next set of storms all the way north up US75 into Topeka before finally just giving up east of Topeka.

We met back up with Adam Lucio along with Scott Bennett and Bill Tribout at the Applebees in Lawrence before heading back to Norman. I rolled into Norman a little before 3 am