Visualization and Doppler Radar Analysis Project
Explorers Club Flag
May 19 - May 29,
Donald Dolan and Tom Dolan
May 19, 2018 - Denver, Colorado to Garden City, Kansas
We arrived at Denver International and commenced moving towards Eastern
Kansas. Picture taken of clouds looking towards Hays, Kansas.
GPS SPOT devices are accompany this years trip. They are in a
group setup. Routine check ins will be done along with active
tracking when working a storm. We started in Denver, CO and drove
488 miles to Garden City, KS.
Club Flag #114 accompanied us on this years research work. Will be
following the storm activity over the weekend and then will back track
the May 1, 2018 Tornadoes near Tescott, Kansas to match it up with the
3D radar data.
completed the day in Garden City, Kansas. Some storms continued during
May 20, 2018 - Garden City, Kansas to Claremore, Oklahoma
Intercepted Thunderstorm Warned storm west of Appleton City, Missouri.
had staged our position on Interstate 70 east of Kansas City.
Updated Convective Outlook was issued from the Storm Prediction Center
for western Missouri. We started traveling due south in
preparation to intercept storms.
Southwest to intercept thunderstorm.
Reflectivity of the storm.
to the right shows a stronger anti-cyclonic circulation following the
storm on the left side shaded in green. The blue on the right is
the cyclonic circulation which is weak.
Velocity of the storm.
Below looking southwest from our position observing the quickly
approaching severe warned thunderstorm.
Looking at the northwest base of the storm in the picture below.
As the storm promptly passed our position and we worked to move out
of the way as it was forecasted to have 2 inch hail. Strong winds
and rain making for poor visibility.
tracks of our route as we move towards and around the Severe
Thunderstorm Warned storm. A pair of tracking devices are setup in
a group are being tested.
Completed the day in Claremore, Oklahoma. 535 miles driven.
Plan is to move towards the Texas Panhandle.
May 21, 2018 -
Claremore, Oklahoma to Amarillo, Texas
Will be heading towards Moore, Oklahoma. Moore was hit by an EF-5
tornado five years ago.
The Norman Regional Moore Hospital was in the path of the EF-5 tornado
and had extensive damage. Above is the picture of the new
Headed to Amarillo, Texas for the evening.
May 22, 2018 - Amarillo, Texas to Portales, New Mexico
Worked severe warned thunderstorm west of Roswell, New Mexico.
May 23, 2018 -
Portales, New Mexico to Perryton, Texas
Thunderstorms developed in the Oklahoma Panhandle. We move south
out of the way of this one.
and Tom posed for a picture with the Explorers Club Flag with the
thunderstorm in the background.
where we stopped for the initial storms and then we worked our way to
the Severe Thunderstorm Warning to be on the east side.
The local rancher stopped by to visit. He mentioned they have had
as little as 2 inches of rain this year. We mentioned that radar
indicates he should be getting a good amount from the thunderstorm
approaching his ranch from the west as shown in the picture below.
Lightning west of Perryton, Texas in picture above.
May 24, 2018 - Perryton, Texas to Goodland, Kansas
City, Kansas warning siren. Heading towards Scotts City, Kansas to
stage for storms.
May 25, 2018 - Goodland, Kansas to Salina, Kansas
Oakley, Kansas from the same vantage location when observing the May 25,
2017 event. The picture to the right is seen a year later with
A year ago we had been following a thunderstorm that was
ahead of a larger thunderstorm that was further west. An outflow
gust front from the rear storm caught up to the 30,000 feet of cyclonic
circulation and pulled it in and up into the circulation.
The picture below was taken half way through the event.
Over the builds to the right is where a preceding attempt to pull up
into the circulation occurred. The storm was still circulation
over the building to the left from the remnant cyclonic circulation.
The rotation on the left pulled up the dust from the vacant cornfield
making the outer circulation visible. The gust front circulation
was pulled up and into the cyclone. The outer circulation is
typical not seen unless there is debris circulating around the
Studied and took damage photos from the May 1, 2018 Tornado path near
Visited initial start locations for the Niles-Chapman EF-4 Tornado from
May 25, 2016.
May 26, 2018 - Salina, Kansas to
we moved our position to Sidney, Nebraska to be for Sunday's
Visited Henry Diehl west of Salina at his farms.
Henry provides live field storm reporting for the KSAL radio group in
Salina. We shared information related to the May 1st
Tornadoes he was tracking live near Tescott, Kansas.
Horn warning siren in Holdrege, Nebraska.
May 27, 2018 - Sidney, Nebraska to
We moved south and started working Tornado Warned storms in Northeast
moved down the eastern side of the storm and allowed it to move past us.
The next storm we moved further south to get away from the hail that was
Above is the forward facing dash camera with our position facing east
towards the tornado warned storm. Typically is difficult to see a
tornado from this side of the storm once precipitation is occurring.
Rotation was present on the tornado warned storm but no tornado occurred
with this storm. On the left is the rotation with the green being
anti-cyclonic and the blue being the cyclonic circulation or the area of
interest for the tornado formation. The right image is the rain
and hail. The purple represents hail within the storm.
May 28, 2018 - Sterling, Colorado to
Colorado warning siren.
Sunday morning we moved west from Sterling, Colorado the positioned
south of Akron, Colorado. At 2:38 PM Mountain Daylight Time (MDT)
a thunderstorm was developing at our location. The Storm
Predication Center had this area of Colorado in a 10% risk for the
development of tornadoes. The area was also in a tornado watch
which are the yellow boxes depicted on the right.
Jamie Allen, a tourist from England introduced himself to us while we
were parked. He had come out to see a tornado but had no data
coverage. We offered to him to follow us for the day since we had
full radar data coverage on the storm and its movements.
stayed near the storm but frequently had to adjust our position as it
was a hail producing storm. The samples on the left is a golf ball
size hail that is 1-3/4 inches and the one on the right is quarter size
hail at 1 inch. These can do damage to vehicles and do sting a bit
when you get hit by them. We moved.
Below cyclonic rotation (blue) is present in the thunderstorm going up
30,000 feet. This rotation taking place is at 4:11 PM MDT.
Looking south at the initial tornado at 5:02 PM MDT.
Donald and Tom Dolan with Explorers Club Flag #114 at 5:17 PM MDT.
Picture taken by Jamie Allen.
Dual twisters with picture taken at 5:18 PM MDT.
May 29, 2018 - Denver, Colorado
Return flights out of
Copyright 2009-2018 by Tom Dolan. All rights reserved. Federal copyright law
prohibits unauthorized reproduction.