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2014 Season
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May 2 - 11, 2014 Severe Weather Project

Donald Dolan and Tom Dolan

 

 

Friday May 2, 2014 - Oklahoma City, OK to Perry, OK

We traveled to Oklahoma City and started traveling north.  The recent tornado outbreak provided opportunity to analyze storms. 

Saturday May 3, 2014 - Perry, OK to Murdo, SD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the warm weather in the south plains decided to head up to South Dakota to test equipment.  Drove along side the rail lines along the way.  Travel day.  Sunset in Nebraska reflecting of the engines.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday May 4, 2014 - Murdo, SD to Sturgis, SD

Currently forecast for 20% chance of thunderstorms after 5 PM.  Will head that way and stage, take in the sites.  Visited Devils Tower, WY and tested MesoDome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skies cleared up for the evening.

Monday May 5, 2014 - Sturgis, SD to Ogallala, NE

Visited Mount Rushmore in the morning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Intercepted the afternoon thunderstorms in Sturgis, SD with some rain.  High based, windy, with good visibility as we followed.

 

 

 

 

Tracked along the afternoon thunderstorms heading east from Sturgis, SD

 

 

 

 

Trailing feature of the thunderstorm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3D view of the thunderstorm with growth to 25,000 feet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

High based thunderstorm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday May 6, 2014 - Ogallala, NE to Hays, KS

We stopped off and visited the National Weather Service on North Platte, NE.  We then continued traveling to central Kansas on our way further south.

Wednesday May 7, 2014 - Hays, KS to Ardmore, OK

We stopped off and visited Greensburg, KS on our way south.  We went down into the big Well.  A new museum is setup above the well site.  In chatting with the staff member she recalls when the tornado first struck her home there was a calm period that followed.  Her phone had rung and after answering it had to take shelter again as the second part of the tornado past.  The tornado was a mile wide and she  was in the eye of it.  She was not able to rebuild but still works in town.

Reconstruction of the town has slowed down.  One area of improvement would be to plant replacement trees on the vacant lots to start the vegetation re-growth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Storms are initiating in Oklahoma. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moved east and then south of this storm.

 

We observed this thunderstorm in Central Oklahoma.  Here the rain and hail core seen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We worked our way south of the storm above. The 3D radar view above shows the base reflectivity of the storm with pink being the hail and red the heavy rains.  The storm is crossing the Red River coming from Texas. 

The view to the right is the rotation that is trailing the thunderstorm with the base being the area shown in green and yellow above.  No reports were made that the circulation reached the ground.

 

Here is a view of the storm from the north east as we drive south.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are located at the white circle observing the storm as it passes by.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

View of the wall cloud with the approaching thunderstorm near Waurika, OK.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This wide angle picture above is taken from the GoPro camera.

Thursday May 8, 2014 - Ardmore, OK to Perry, OK

Target starting point was Vernon, TX then worked our way back towards north central Texas. 

 

Worked our way up through Oklahoma but no real storm growth seen. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stopped and watched the lightning in Perry, OK.

 

 

Thursday May 9, 2014 - Perry, OK to Texarkana, AR

Visited Mayflower, AR that was hit by a tornado on April 27, 2014.  The tornado went through Mayflower and continued on to Vilonia, AR.  This was both a destructive and deadly tornado.

During the tornado on monitored the path as it was occurring collecting 3D Radar images.  Processes and posted them an hour after Mayflower was hit.  The YouTube link can be found here.

Mayflower Arkansas Tornado 2014

Currently working up an additional radar analysis video and will add the link.

 

 

 

The tornado as it was entering town displayed a large debris ball on the base reflectivity radar images.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below are some damage photos in Mayflower, AR taken May 9th (Tornado April 27, 2014)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With all tornadoes, safety is important.  The power lines go down and can still have power following the storms impact.  Always assume a down line is live.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The picture above is a sample of a large area from the west side of town where extensive large tree damage was done.  This added to the debris ball seen in the radar images.

 

 

 

 

 

The radar image above shows the tornado still picking up debris after hitting Mayflower as it continues towards Vilonia, AR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The cross section above is the tornado crossing over Mayflower Arkansas on April 27, 2014.  The Doppler Radar is located near Little Rock beyond the view of the tornado.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This cross section above is the tornado crossing over Vilonia Arkansas on April 27, 2014.

 

We traveled southwest and intercepted a thunderstorm at De Gray Lake, AR.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We chose to observe the storm from the lake vantage point as most the routes in Arkansas have tall tree canopies.

 

 

Thursday May 10, 2014 - Texarkana, AR to El Dorado, KS

We traveled due north on the western edge of Arkansas to work the storms in the Missouri and Kansas area. This tornado siren was located in one of the towns we passed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While heading west to catch the developing storms we waited at the train crossing. 

 

 

This car decided not to wait.

 

Our initial storm was just East of Wichita, KS near the town of Severy, KS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We kept our distance to avoid the down range hail.  We then routed to the next developing thunderstorm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next storm was a Tornado producing storm that had two tornado reports.

The next storm just west of our position had a brief tornado reported crossing the road at 4:40 PM CDT.  The radar image at left is the 4:39 PM with indication of rotation.  The snapshot below was taken of the storm at 4:42 PM from our position. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A brief tornado touchdown was reported on this storm near Atlanta, KS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Submitted several storm photos to the Wichita National Weather Service office which were posted on their website.  May 10th & 11th 2014 Severe Storms

Thursday May 11, 2014 - El Dorado, KS to Oklahoma City

Trip mileage 4092.  Return day flights.

June 5 - 9, 2014

Tom Dolan

Thursday June 5, 2014 - Denver, CO to Eads, CO

Arrived in Colorado and staged in Castle Rock, CO for the storms to initiate. 

About 5 miles east of Limon, CO on Hwy 86

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waited for the storm to continue moving east.  Had to pull back several times as large hail was encountered.

Location about 18 miles south of Limon, CO on Hwy 71

 

 

 

 

 

While observing this storm a reporter, Trevor Hughes of USA TODAY stopped by.  It began to rain so inviting him to do his interview in the vehicle. We exchanged stories and he published an article in USA Today.  Link to USA Today article:

Tempted by the tempests, chasers converge on Colorado

In his article he shows a picture of his damaged windshield from a large hail stone. 

Continued to parallel the backside of the thunderstorm and was treated to a full rainbow while the hail was falling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3D Base Reflectivity view of the thunderstorm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday June 6, 2014 - Eads, CO to Vega, TX

Staged in .

Saturday June 7, 2014 - Vega, TX to

Waiting for afternoon storms to commence...

Sunday June 8, 2014 -  to

Text...

Monday June 9, 2014 -  to Denver, CO

Return flight.

 

 

On Monday June 16, 2014 - Pilger, NE (Radar Analysis)

A series of tornadoes formed Near Stanton, Nebraska with numerous additional tornadoes occurring and striking Pilger, NE.  These strong and damaging tornadoes were rated EF-4 by the National Weather Service with unfortunate loss of life. 

This link is a 7 minute video of the Stanton Pilger Tornadoes from processing the Doppler Radar data of the event.  Stanton-Pilger, NE Tornado Complex Doppler Radar Analysis

 

 

 

 

On August 8, 2014 stopped by and took pictures of the clean up and recovery efforts in Pilger, Nebraska.

Pilger Public School.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All that remains of the school.

 

 

New town warning siren below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below is a view of the damage path following cleanup looking southwest from the school. Lots have been cleared and some new construction has begun.  Many of the populations elderly has relocated to another town choosing not to rebuild as discussed with a local firefighter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An observation from visiting other damage sites is the lack of return vegetation following cleanup as compared to wildfires.  If possible, tree replacement should be performed early to assist in returning the site to a healthy state.  Joplin, Greensburg and other sites have left the non-built areas vacant which prolongs the visible recovery and healing.

One of the few buildings spared demolition near the main tornado path.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fire department was dispatched to the tornado damage at Stanton, Nebraska.  They left their doors open and the Pilger Tornado winds blew through the building and blew out the rear wall.  The building did not collapse and the remaining fire trucks were spared.  The trucks have been relocated to separate building in town for the time being.

 

Below is separated debris piles cleared out from the town buildings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Metal scrape, power lines and an old tub.  Remnants of the destructive tornado.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Truck damaged from the storm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2009-2017 by Tom Dolan. All rights reserved. Federal copyright law prohibits unauthorized reproduction.

 

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