Visualization and Doppler Radar Analysis Project
Explorers Club Flag
May 14 - May 31, 2015
Donald Dolan and Tom Dolan
Thursday May 14, 2015 - Denver, Colorado to North Platte, Nebraska
traveled to North Platte, Nebraska after our arrival at the Denver
International Airport. The evening sunset providing an interesting
split shadow as the sun dropped behind low clouds.
The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) listed an enhanced outlook for Friday
which included the western Nebraska area.
We will review the models and updates in the morning and adjust our
location for Friday's storm initiation.
May 15, 2015 - North Platte, Nebraska to Ogallala, Nebraska
Moving west we intercept our first storm of the day
near Sidney, Nebraska.
The thunderstorm developed further as it passed Sidney
with the wall cloud located below, along with what appears to be a
funnel descending. The storm was tornado warned with rotation indicated
in the radar data.
Tornado Warning issued on the Sidney, NE thunderstorm. Storm is
located northwest of town.
The image on the left below is the Base Reflectivity with red as heavy
rain and pink being the hail indication. There is a pendant
pointing towards Sidney which is wrapping around the cyclonic
circulation. On the right is the Normalized Rotation with the blue
being cyclonic in circulation in the location of the wall cloud and
funnel. The green is anti-cyclonic circulation.
The image below is a blend of both the Base Reflectivity and the
Worked storms north then back along the Colorado and Nebraska border.
Low precipitation supercell developing phase. Similar to the type
of storm that passed by east of the Yarnell Hill Fire.
Storm Dissipation phase.
Cloud to cloud lightning over Nebraska sky.
Explorers Club flag on the Nebraska and Colorado State Line with a
severe warned storm moving towards Ogallala, Nebraska.
Completed the day at Ogallala, NE.
Saturday May 16, 2015 - Ogallala, Nebraska to Dodge City, Kansas
Flooding on the South Platte River. View of the river in Ogallala,
We decided to work our way into Kansas and see where the
storms would develop. The Severe Weather Outlook issued by the
Storm Prediction Center shown right displayed the various states where
strong storms were likely to develop.
Tornadoes formed in Eastern Kansas and in Oklahoma
outside of our days search area.
We encountered a strong squall line taking visibility
down to zero as we were coming into the Dodge City area.
The Doppler Radar located at the National Weather Service Office in
Dodge City, Kansas. Travel through a squall line to reach the
Sunday May 17, 2015 - Dodge City, Kansas to Altus, Oklahoma
was used to reposition south to setup for work in Texas starting on
Monday. Stopped by Greensburg, Kansas and Woodward, Oklahoma and
documented recovery progress.
The map on the right is the plot points using the GPS
SPOT logging "OK" Status. The live tracking page can be found on
the Current Research page and locating the tracking page.
May 18, 2015 - Altus, Oklahoma to Fort Stockton, Texas
we worked the eastern side of the Thunderstorm near Pecos, Texas.
Three tornadoes were reported with this storm.
Hail reports were baseball size. Decided to drop south
Tornado located south of Pecos, Texas near road FM 1450.
We had driven south and this was looking back.
May 19, 2015 - Fort Stockton, Texas to Big Spring, Texas
Visited the 2nd largest meteorite site.
Intercepted storms in the Texas Panhandle.
May 20, 2015 - Big Spring, Texas to Fort Stockton, Texas
First storm was intercepted east of Big Lake.
Later worked the eastern side of the storm near Fort
May 21, 2015 - Big Spring, Texas to Hobbs, New Mexico
May 22, 2015 - Hobb, New Mexico to Brownsville, Texas
Worked storm from both the north side and also around the south.
May 23, 2015 - Brownsville, Texas to Vernon, Texas
the passing of the shelf cloud seen above we arrived in Crowell, Texas
and waited out the storms over dinner. Flood warnings were being issued for the area.
May 24, 2015 - Vernon Texas to Liberal, Kansas
staged for the afternoon in the Texas Panhandle. With active
thunderstorm activity in Colorado we heading towards Kansas and then
diverted east to storms that where developing.
cloud near Liberal, Kansas.
We caught up to the storm and stopped to observe after
Kismet, Kansas as night had fallen. Lightning would illuminate the
storm but we decided based on radar information that following was no
longer safe. Tornado reports started coming in and we monitored
the radar data as it traveled and the rotation we south of Dodge City.
Above is a look at the 3D view of the tornado structure using the
Doppler Radar data. This is a blend of the Base Reflectivity and
the Normalized Rotation. The image to the right blends the Base
Velocity with the Normalized Rotation.
Damage just northeast of Plains, Kansas. Numerous irrigations systems
were damaged north of this location.
irrigations systems were damaged north of this location.
May 25, 2015 - Liberal, Kansas to Pratt, Kansas
Storms developed in Kansas with this one located at Jetmore, Kansas.
Evening storms in Pratt, Kansas.
May 26, 2015 - Pratt, Kansas to El Reno, Oklahoma
Tornado formed north of our position near Interstate 40.
Canadian River shown above flowing strong located south
of El Reno, Oklahoma.
The El Reno Tornado on May 31, 2013 with a width of 2.6 miles took the
lives of 3 storm researchers. Below is the location of the
May 27, 2015 - El Reno, Oklahoma to Woodward, Oklahoma
Tornado seen driving into Canadian Texas.
Tornado ropes out.
This tornado was viewed south of the airport near Canadian, Texas.
picture above taken from GPS plot position #14 looking approximately
May 28, 2015 - Woodward, Oklahoma to Dodge City, Kansas
activity is expected today and we will likely work western Kansas.
Held up to observe the rainstorm in Gunyon, Oklahoma and then continued
north into Kansas to a tornado warned storm near Garden City.
Garden City Siren. Tornadoes had developed earlier in the day west
Observed the storm for a while and then we headed to Dodge City for the
May 29, 2015 - Dodge City, Kansas to Goodland, Kansas
by the Dodge City National Weather Service office and shared some of the
3D radar observations from the May 24 Plains, Kansas Tornado.
Pictured are left: Kelly Sugden, Meteorologist, Tom Dolan, and Matt
Gerard, Lead Forecaster Meteorologist. Larry Ruthi, Meteorologist in
Charge, took the photo.
Thunderstorm warned storm North of Oakley, Kansas.
Forecast for wind gusts of 60 MPH and Nickel size hail.
Wind gust can be seen in the dust rising beyond the farmstead in the
Base Reflectivity view of the thunderstorm.
May 30, 2015 - Goodland, Kansas to Denver, Colorado
Fair weather today for our travels. Photo mural at Limon, Colorado
May 31, 2015 - Denver, Colorado to California
return flights depart from Denver, Colorado.
Field Days: 18
States Covered: Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma,
Texas and New Mexico.
Pictured: Tom Dolan and Donald Dolan.
Explorers Club Flag #213
Sculpture: "Proud Past" based on Cheyenne Warrior on the
plains. By Theodore Gall, JR. 1982
End of field research season.
Pre-Field Research Season Storm Analysis
of strong tornado
Radar analysis of the
Thursday April 9, 2015 - Rochelle and
Fairdale, IL EF-4 tornado
View of the Base Velocity with the tornado debris column.
Radar Analysis Video Link on YouTube "Outdoorstorms" Channel:
Link: Rochelle-Fairdale, IL EF-4
Tornado April 9, 2015
Base Velocity view with missing data returns at the
tornado funnel location.
Debris ball can be seen in this Base Velocity side
The Correlation Coefficient view to the right as the
tornado passes over the town.
Copyright 2009-2017 by Tom Dolan. All rights reserved. Federal copyright law
prohibits unauthorized reproduction.