Saturday, June 8, 2013

On-Campus / TIG Chase 2013

This years combined on-campus and TIG chase was one of the best eight-day chases MSU has had.  The team was chasing a tornado warned storm each of the first six days.  Below are descriptions, videos, and images of our four best chases.

Day one (May 26th) the team left Oklahoma City and headed north into Nebraska.  After a couple hours of park time, storms began to develop just east of North Platte.  The team jumped onto the southern storm and where treated to a visually appealing classic supercell that slowly morphed into an LP storm.

The video above is mislabeled as Kansas.

Day two will always be known as the day of big balls.  Prior to chasing we saw the Worlds largest ball of twine.  Storms developed in the late afternoon along the Nebraska-Kansas state-line.  The southern storms became tornadic, but our team was too far south to see the tornado.  After a couple of hours of watching the storm, we poked into the core into see if we could find any hail.  We did.  The largest stone we found was 5.25 inches in diameter, with numerous 3.5 - 4.5 inch stones.

Cawker City, KS

 3 - 4.5 inch stones

Largest stone found (measured 5.25")

Day three began in Salina, KS and ended in Salina, KS.  After a lazy lunch and a couple hours of park time, a storm formed just north of Salina moving NE.  After 30 minutes of strengthening the storm became stationary and began to produce a short tracked, long duration EF-4 tornado.  Some reports have the tornado on the ground for over an hour, moving only a couple of miles.

 Large nearly stationary tornado

Base Ref. and Velocity Loop of nearly stationary storm.

The last day of chasing was May 31st.  This is an infamous day as many lives where lost including chasers.  The El Reno, OK tornado was initially rated and EF-3, but examination of high resolution mobile radar data increased the rating to EF-5.  The width of the tornado was determined to be 2.6 miles (the widest tornado in U.S. history).  The team intercepted the tornadic storm just south of El Reno, OK.  We watch the amazing rotation in the storm with the tornado apparent in lightning strikes (bottom left of video).

We then drove south and could see the tornado to our west.  The tornado originally was paralleling the road moving south, but then turned east and crossed behind us.
Video says EF-3 (upgraded later)

Once south we could see the now very large tornado to our north.

No comments:

Post a Comment