|2019 Field Season - May
4 - May 12 - Plan for this season is to start in Oklahoma City
to work the Central Plains storms.
Twin tornado photo above from May 28, 2018 eastern Colorado.
Attended and presented at the AMS 29th Conference on Severe Local
Storms held in Stowe, Vermont during the week of October 22-26, 2018.
Presented field research in poster and oral presentation. Link to
15.3A Tornado Visualization and Doppler Radar Analysis Project
2018 Field Research
We commenced the year in Denver, Colorado on May 19th
going to May 29th, 2018. This was our 10th season in
the field researching severe storms and tornadoes. Will be
updating with the findings for this year on this site as the season
Recently attended and sponsored
ChaserCon 2018 which is in its 20th year and was held during
Presidents Weekend. Great time to meet up with fellow storm
chasers and hear storm related presentations.
is Bill Kirkpatrick who we met up with at the Niles-Chapman EF-4 Tornado
in 2016, Dr. Greg Forbes who has done outstanding work on Tornadoes, and
myself, Tom Dolan. Dr. Forbes is holding my 2nd edition of my
Tornado Visualization Project which I made available at the conference.
As part of the video night provided a five minute video presentation
of the Oakley, Kansas Gust Front Tornado Convergence May 25, 2017.
Link to video: May 25, 2017
In 2016 we had intercepted the initiation of the Niles-Chapman EF-4
tornado. Donald and I met Bill a few days early. This
tornado traveled 26 miles in 90 minutes.
Tom Dolan and Bill Kirkpatrick on left and Donald Dolan on right.
2017 Field Research
The season took place May 24th -30th, 2017 with us starting in Wichita,
Kansas. Here is the link to our
National Storm Chasers Convention was held in Denver, Colorado
February 17-19, 2017.
Sunday Morning presented the Niles-Chapman EF-4 Tornado that we
observed and documented. The Tornado had a 26 mile path and was on
the ground for 90 minutes. Made an excellent case study for all
phases from initiation, mature and sustaining phase and dissipation that
included a collapse.
ChaserCon talks for Sunday morning were streamed by Severe Studios:
97th AMS Annual
Meeting | 22–26 January 2017 | Seattle, WA
Major Weather Impacts of 2016
The Major Weather Events and Societal Impacts of 2016 session is a
poster session and a one day oral session that includes submitted
abstracts and invited speakers. The session specifically focuses on the
significant weather/water and climate events and their related societal
impacts from Winter of 2015-16 through the Fall of 2016.
Tom Dolan provided an oral presentation on Tuesday morning covering
the significant EF-4 tornado. Links provide access to the recorded
presentation and handouts.
Analysis of the Observed Niles to Chapman, Kansas EF-4 Tornado on May
Recorded Presentation and
Handout of the presentation is provided online.
2016 Field Research
This season takes place May 19th -31st, 2016 covering the central
2016 Season Storm Research Link
On August 11, 2016 presented at the 18th Annual High Plains Chapter
Conference. The presentation covered the direct field observation
of Niles to Chapman,
Kansas EF-4 Tornado. The talk included the brief video samples of
the tornado as it progressed from initiation through dissipation, 3D
analysis videos, and post tornado damage path images.
Tornado getting ready to cross Interstate 70 on May 25, 2016 west of
3D view of the Niles-Chapman, Kansas EF-4 Tornado below at the time
it was ready to cross Interstate 70.
May 25, 2016 EF-4 Tornado caused damage southwest of Chapman, Kansas.
Building destroyed, truck flipped and metal draped in the tree.
Storm shelter is located in the bottom right.
3D Radar view of the Tulsa Oklahoma Tornado on March 30, 2016.
2015 Field Research
Link to May 14th - May 31st. 2015 season
This year the trip was an Explorers Club Flag Expedition that covered 18
days and 5600 miles. Numerous tornado and storms were studied to
match field observations with radar data.
The Storm Seasons of past
research trips can be found on the link above left.
High Plains Chapter of the AMS and NWA held its 2015
Conference in Goodland, Kansas August 12 and 13. This provided an
opportunity to present findings of the four Kansas Tornadoes that took
place on May 24, 2015. Images were captured and processed of the
over 3 hours of tornado activity with near miss of multiple towns during
the duration of the event. This included the merging of a squall
line that then forced the forth tornado to form directly south of Dodge
City, Kansas avoiding a possible direct hit.
24, 2015 a large mile wide tornado developed between Kismet and Plains,
Kansas. The image to the right is a blended image of the rotation
and wind directions.
We had parked just east of Kismet observing and video recording.
Images backlit by lightning display the tornado. Fortunately a new
circulation formed just east of Plains diverted the tornado north prior
to striking the town.
Northern California Explorers Club
September 25, 2015 presentation on the findings from this years
Explorers Club Flag Expedition.
2014 Field Research Link for
visit to Pilger, NE Twin Tornadoes during the 2014 season
3D Video link of the Doppler Radar Analysis of the Stanton-Pilger, NE
Tornado Complex that occurred on June 16, 2014.
Link to Video Stanton-Pilger,
Yarnell Hill Fire YouTube 32 minute
Documentary - A Geographical
Analysis includes a tribute to the lost storm chasers.
2014 CHASERCON Sponsor
- The 16th annual National Storm Chaser Convention will be held
President's Day Weekend, February 14-16, 2014 in Denver, CO.
Storm Chaser and Research Safety: In an effort to improve
safety in and around severe storms have added storm safety guidelines to this website modeled after the Fire
Safety orders and Watch Out conditions used in firefighting. Storm chasing and research can be
dangerous and risk of loss of life is real. Feedback is
2013 Field Research:
The El Reno Tornado was significant in its destructive power with the
growth of the storm to 11.7 miles high.
This brought tragedy to the Storm Chase Community with the
loss of four storm chasers/researchers during the El Reno Tornado on May
Tim Samara, his son Paul Samaras, Carl Young, all storm researchers, were
overtaken by this 2.6 mile wide tornado that was up to 3.3 miles long.
Here is an image of the radar showing the debris absent hole as seen
from the dual Doppler radar data. The scale of the hole is
comparable to those seen in hurricanes.
This storm season also brought tragedy in the wildland fire service
in Arizona with the loss of firefighters in one weather triggered event.
Strong cyclonic and anti-cyclonic rotation is documented with storm
heights reaching 40,000 prior to the firefighters being overrun.
On June 30, 2013, 19 Hotshots of the Granite Mountain Hotshots were
overtaken by a firestorm. A 12 minute lesson learned video was put
together to help understand this tragic event and was provided to the
fire investigators during their review. Additional close up radar
and photo imagery created into 32 minute put on YouTube.
Yarnell Hill Fire Documentary
Investigation Video: Yarnell Hill
Firestorm Shorter Tribute Video:
Last Stand at Yarnell Hill
The official fire investigation report can be found here:
This site is being used to catalog field weather research combined
with radar analysis of storms encountered. Additional analysis of
historical storms is being added using the new radar processing
techniques discovered during this research. Special interest is
being researched on the effect of rotation seen in radar data processed
and the actual damage from these tornadoes. New techniques
in analyzing radar data, blending of this new radar data and putting the
images in motion in a video format provides an exciting new way to view
these tornado generating storms. Work continues to automate the 3D
analysis for near real time modeling and forecasting. Field
Tom Dolan is the lead researcher with degrees in Geography,
Environmental Science and Computer Information Systems. He became
a paramedic in 1981 and holds his California Paramedic license but
currently focuses on large scale hospital information technology
projects as a practicing project management professional - PMP.
Field weather research commenced in 2009 with multiple annual trips to
model the findings with ground observations.
Navigation on this website includes annual trip reports listed under Storm
Seasons. Specific Tornadoes that have additional radar research performed
is listed under Storm Analysis.
- American Association of Geographers
- American Meteorology Society
- Explorers Club
- National Eagle Scout Association