May 16, 2004 Amelia, Nebraska Tornado


Simon, Jim (me) and Mark left Norman sometime after Midnight and headed for O'neil, Nebraska. Upon reviewing the conditions once in O'neal, we became very depressed. A thick cirrus deck have moved over the area from the southwest, limiting surface heating, and thus limiting instability. The cloud cover also made the cap that much more difficult to break.

Despite those limitations, we drove southwest hoping storms would fire along the boundary. To our luck, they did. Apparently the upper level support was just enough to initiate supercells. We ended up on state highway 11 near the Garfield/Holt county line. There we waited for a newly formed supercell to approach from the southwest. About 20 miles in the distance a large wall cloud was visible, and a large cone tornado touched down briefly.

As the storm approached we stayed to it's east along the highway. We were extremely lucky as the supercell produced another tornado (images below) as we got into position to the north of the mesocyclone, driving east along state highway 95.

Due to the extremely poor road network we were not able to view the next tornado. Nonetheless, observing two tornadoes, one at close range, was quite different than what I expected - which was nothing!






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