April 26 - May 6, 2012 Severe
Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska,
Donald Dolan and Tom Dolan
April 26, 2012 - Oklahoma
Landing in Oklahoma City with our primary target for Friday being
April 27, 2012 - Edmond, OK ending in El Dorado,
Storms started initiation in the afternoon in North Eastern
Kansas. We targeted one of the lower storms.
Below is a 3D view of our initial thunderstorm.
inch hail fell and then a near ground rainbow trailed behind the storm.
We ended our day in El Dorado, KS
Saturday April 28, 2012 - El Dorado,
backtracked and photograph the April 14, 2012 Waynoka, OK to El Dorado,
Broadcast tower toppled.
This was a series of Tornadoes generated from a
long lived Supercell that started down in Oklahoma and tracked passed
numerous communities in open country and went through Wichita, Kansas.
damaged southwest of Wichita from one of the many tornadoes from the
long track thunderstorm.
barn was destroyed and the debris was seen in the destroyed trees across
the field. the homeowners friend that came down from Alaska to
assist mentioned that his house had been replaced from a tornado that
had destroyed it several years before.
Trees up rooted by the Kansas and Oklahoma boarder from the long
track tornado producing storm.
We ended our day in Woodward, Oklahoma. During the night
numerous thunderstorms were generated before midnight that passed to the
south of our area prompting numerous NOAA radio alerts throughout the
April 29, 2012 - Woodward, Oklahoma
We started our backtracking the Woodward Tornado from its lift off
point northeast of town. Many of the homes that were destroyed two
weeks prior on April 15th have been removed down to the foundation.
Six people which included children lost their lives on this tornado that
came through the town after midnight.
Below is a barn destroyed outside of Arnett, Oklahoma near the
starting point for this long track tornado.
Watch your step. He sure can wag its tail!
We then headed to intercept thunderstorms in western Kansas
40 mile an hour winds, lightening and hail. Almost felt like a
sunburn after the lights went by.
We ended our day in Dodge City, KS
April 30, 2012 - Dodge City, Kansas
Our target for this afternoon will start in the upper part the Texas
Panhandle. We stopped for lunch and fuel in Perryton, Texas.
At 2:18 PM CDT the National Weather Service put out the first warning
for our target area west of Amarillo, Texas
We were passed by the weather channel's tornado hunt crew while
observing west of Claude, TX.
called in a storm report to the NWS in Amarillo for golf ball size hail
2 miles west of Claude, Texas.
We moved back further from the storm as it continued to produce hail as
it slowly passed Claude, Texas.
Lightening near forming funnel.
We watched slow unorganized rotation at the base of the thunderstorm in
The Weather Channel vehicles were located behind us after we pulled off
the highway to stay behind the storm. They loaded up and left when
the hail and rain started up. The hail can be seen streaking down
in the picture below.
Hail, rain and rainbow.
proceeded up the highway and stopped as larger hail started falling.
We filled up a hat with the the hail that covered the ground after it
slowed down enough to go out and retrieve some.
The ground was covered
with the large hail.
Reports came in later in the evening that the Weather Channel vehicles
windshields were destroyed by large hail. They were further ahead
of us in the storm as we kept holding towards the back edge of the
We called in a storm report to the NWS in Amarillo for
Hail that we measured at 2-1/4 inches in size. We were two miles
northwest of of Ashtola, Texas on Highway 287. The hail started to
melt rapidly in our warm car.
We ended up stopping for the night in Clarendon,Texas. The local tornado
sirens were sounding for the storm that was still working it way through
the city to our east. Lightening activity was intense.
May 1, 2012 - Clarendon, Texas to Kearney, Nebraska
Our plan for the day is to arrive in lower Nebraska traveling from
had clear blue skies in Texas as we traveled north.
Greensburg, Kansas was destroyed in 2008. Damage is still
present in parts of town mixed in with new construction.
Old Kansas farm house.
Kansas fields of green.
used by Hastings NWS
Storm Intercept in Nebraska
Sun setting in the clouds
Target for Wednesday is Eastern Nebraska.
May 2, 2012 - Kearney, Nebraska to Grand Island, Nebraska
We traveled over to stop by North Platte National Weather Service
office. Back on March 18th five tornadoes traveled east of North
Platte damaging homes and train cars.
Here is the link to the radar analysis of that event.
Reviewing analysis technicque with Steve Carmel at the National
Weather Service office in North Platte, Nebraska.
Tornado risk at 5 Percent today in Eastern Nebraska. We were
able to sit in on the afternoon weather briefing.
Steve Carmel and Tom Dolan
We traveled to the western side of North Platte and visited the Union
Pacific Bailey Rail Yard.
We took a tour of the Golden Spike Tower at the Union Pacific Bailey
Rail Yard which is the largest in the world. Here is a picture of
some of the many locomotives that are serviced at the yard. In
discussion with the on duty docent, the tornado on March 18th crossed
the yard at the far end of this picture toppling 31 rail cars. Two
Union Pacific employees were able to take cover inside a locomotive
while the tornado passed.
homes were destroyed from the tornado. The rail yard is in the
We watched a thunderstorm just north of Kearney, Nebraska. The
sun set to the west and the hail and rain core can be seen at the base
of the thunderstorm.
Below is a view of the thunderstorm. The purple is the hail
core and the storm had a slight hook formation in the trailing end but
the storm did not produce a tornado.
This picture shows both the sunset and the upper levels highlighted
by the sun.
Nebraska sunset and lightening flash in picture below.
We then headed east to track on tornado warned storm east of Hastings,
We attempted to intercept a tornado producing storm east
of Hastings but were cut off by merging thunderstorms. We decided
to move north for the night to be out of the evenings storms.
May 3, 2012 - Grand Island, Nebraska to Edmond, Oklahoma
toured the damage track for the tornado that occurred the night before.
The tornado touched down just past Davenport, NE and lifted before
hitting the next town.
Primary damage was to trees, an irrigation system and a barn was destroyed.
A painting in Davenport, NE. The tornado touched down Northeast
Irrigation systems destroyed by the tornado below.
Barn destroyed by the tornado.
The tree above is broken off and the grass is blown down and curved
around the backside.
Interesting to see the wind patterns in the grass from the tornado.
We intercepted the thunderstorm near Franklin, NE
Below is a 3D image of the thunderstorm.
A weak funnel structure visible below in the thunderstorm.
We then traveled south to be setup for activity in Texas. We
stopped along the way when we found the biggest ball of twine.
We travel and stopped in Edmond, OK with our target staging area to
be near Wichita Falls, Texas for Friday.
May 4, 2012 - Edmond, Oklahoma to Stephenville, Texas
Toured Fort Sill.
The site has many static displays.
very nice museum displaying cannon's from various periods.
War II tank display.
We arrived to Intercept two thunderstorms passing Archer City, Texas
passing south of town with Funnel Cloud trailing in Texas
passing to north of town
The 3D radar display below shows reverse hooks on the two
thunderstorms we were observing.
after it cleared town to the north.
View of the Southern thunderstorm
May 5, 2012 - Stephenville, Texas to Ardmore, Oklahoma
staged for the afternoon in Abilene, Texas and had lunch at Famous
Dave's BBQ. We anticipated initiation within an hour of our
location so took the time to relax and wait.
On exiting the restaurant we had storm initiation about a 45 minute
drive to our south.
We intercepted this thunderstorm below that had a small funnel visible.
Weak funnel visible in the upper left of the photo below.
Our position relative to the storms is visible below. The left
screen is the base reflectivity view. Clouds in blue with the
heavies rain being red. On the right side is the base velocity
view. This is the winds as seen by the Doppler Radar. Red is
winds traveling away from the radar and green is winds traveling towards
the radar. Notice on the storm to the left of our position.
The mix of wind patterns is a good indication that the storm has
potential for rotation.
Double Rainbow was observed as we traveled south.
We video taped long lasting lightening displays from these storms in
May 6, 2012 - Ardmore, Oklahoma to Departing Oklahoma City
left Ardmore, Oklahoma and had to travel through a line of thunderstorms
moving north. We encountered light hail in passing our final storm
of the trip.
We toured the lobby area at Norman NWS office and took a look at the
data probes, DOT 3 and Dorothy used in the movie Twister.
We drove past part of the damage path of the tornado that touched
down in Norman, Oklahoma on April 13.
We collected a fair amount of photos, data, video on this trip to do post trip analysis
and will provide updates to this website in the future.
June 8 - June 12, 2012
North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming
Friday June 8 - Denver, CO to Rapid City, SD
Saturday June 9 - Rapid City, SD to Fargo, ND
Sunday June 10 - Fargo, ND to Lincoln, NE
Monday June 11 - Lincoln, NE to Denver, CO
Tuesday June 12 - Denver, CO
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