Friday, 24 May 2013
It has been a very busy past few days. I attempted to write a post at the airport on Tuesday on the way home, but that proved to be both too time consuming and much too difficult. At the time I had only slept for about 3 hours two nights in a row. Not to mention the fact that after the Moore, OK tornado and chasing other tornadic supercells across southeast Oklahoma that evening, I needed to find a town with good cell phone reception in order to do a phone interview on CNN with Piers Morgan that night. Afterwards (it was around midnight by then) I had to drive all night back to Wichita – grab a 3 hour nap – and then catch my flight. And remember, upon returning home I went back to work the next day after yet another short nap for sleep. So, it might be appropriate to say I’ve been a little busy!
So today, after finally having the chance to catch up on sleep, I finally found the time to edit video from May 18 in Kansas. The first tornado was near the town of Rozel, KS and has been rated EF4. I was standing about a half mile or so east of it for a while. Eventually it came much closer to me. I was probably a couple hundred yards away at one point before I had to leave my position. There is more video of the tornado after it crossed the highway and for a few minutes after that, but I didn’t want this clip to be too long. In fact, I had to cut a lot of video from much of this tornado’s life to keep this clip short. (I don’t normally have issues with too much tornado footage…this was an extremely successful chase).
The second tornado developed further east with the new mesocyclone a bit west of the town of Larned, KS. This tornado quickly became a beautiful elephant trunk and had a very long rope out stage. Both tornadoes did little damage, which is always a good thing. In fact the only reason the Rozel tornado was rated so high (EF4) is because the doppler on wheels mobile radar was getting readings and measured wind speeds between 165 and 185 mph, supportive of an EF4 tornado.
This goes down as one of my more memorable chase days. I got right up next to a slow moving, photogenic, violent tornado harmlessly passing through a field. The Rozel tornado did pass by a farm and one or two homes were damaged. But nobody was hurt and the tornado, for the most part, missed the town. It’s unfortunate that homes were hit, but I’m glad no further damage occurred and that nobody was hurt. As a storm chaser, you want to see a tornado pass harmlessly through an open field like this tornado did for most of its life. And the second tornado west of Larned, KS danced around open fields for it’s entire life.
More coming soon. I still need to edit all the video from May 19 in Oklahoma. Yes, I saw the Edmond, Carney and Shawnee/Dale, OK tornadoes. So more coming very soon…