2016 TWIRL Project
Tornadic Winds: In-situ and Radar measurements at Low levels (TWIRL). His talk will present some chase cases where our group deployed instrumented pods in the paths of tornadoes. These data can be correlated with wind speeds that the Doppler On Wheels was measuring. That way, we can get an idea of what the wind profile of a tornado looks like.
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[00:00:00.543]Good afternoon, let's go ahead and continue
[00:00:02.426]with our main speaker for the symposium.
[00:00:04.822]My name is Vince Miller, and I'm not gonna say anything
[00:00:07.538]about myself other than the fact that I drove all the way
[00:00:10.586]from the Denver, Colorado area to introduce Tim Marshall.
[00:00:15.042]For those of you who don't know of Tim,
[00:00:18.064]I'll give you a little bit of basic information,
[00:00:20.094]but if you've been coming to the Weather Fest here,
[00:00:22.432]this will be his third presentation.
[00:00:25.990]If you talk to meteorologists and ask them,
[00:00:29.140]"What got you into weather," often times they'll say,
[00:00:31.282]"Well, it's just something I've always been interested in."
[00:00:34.174]And this is what Tim would tell you, but often times
[00:00:38.150]there's a seminal event that happens,
[00:00:39.816]and, in Tim's case, it was the F4 Oak Lawn, Illinois tornado
[00:00:45.008]that occurred when he was 10 years old,
[00:00:48.288]and the tornado was about a half mile from where he lived.
[00:00:52.405]And that tornado, which occurred in 1967,
[00:00:55.992]unfortunately killed 33 people and injured 500,
[00:00:59.730]but since it was an F4 tornado, you can imagine
[00:01:02.306]the type of devastation that it caused.
[00:01:04.504]And after the event, Tim saw some of that devastation,
[00:01:08.872]and that was it, "I'm definitely gonna be a meteorologist."
[00:01:12.708]So, he got his under-graduate degree in meteorology
[00:01:15.676]at North Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois,
[00:01:18.952]and then decided to get a masters degree
[00:01:21.416]in atmospheric science in Lubbock, Texas
[00:01:23.630]at Texas Tech University.
[00:01:25.786]And talk about serendipity; on his trip to Texas by car,
[00:01:31.904]as he entered the state of Texas,
[00:01:33.934]he saw his very first tornado.
[00:01:37.000]And that has led to about 40 years of research
[00:01:40.472]and storm chasing, and roughly 350 tornadoes.
[00:01:46.242]So, you'd be hard-pressed to find somebody who knows
[00:01:48.580]more about tornadoes than Tim.
[00:01:51.565]Here in Nebraska, if you go back to June 3rd in 1980,
[00:01:57.654]and actually if you wanted to find a very interesting
[00:02:00.846]presentation, go into the National Weather Service site
[00:02:03.996]out of Hastings, Nebraska, but on June 3rd, 1980
[00:02:08.798]there was a super-cell thunderstorm complex
[00:02:11.038]that developed just north of Grand Island,
[00:02:13.572]and it moved south southeast at about eight miles per hour.
[00:02:17.172]And in little less than three hours, it produced at least
[00:02:21.176]seven tornadoes in and around Grand Island.
[00:02:24.984]One of them was an F4, three of 'em were F3 tornadoes,
[00:02:30.024]and three of those five tornadoes were anticyclonic,
[00:02:33.580]meaning that the way that the winds rotated
[00:02:35.545]around the tornado were very unusual,
[00:02:37.670]since about 99, more than 99% of tornadoes
[00:02:41.338]in the Northern Hemisphere rotate in the opposite direction.
[00:02:46.332]That particular tornado led to a book and a movie,
[00:02:50.414]Night Of The Twisters,
[00:02:52.206]but also led to a lot of tornado research
[00:02:54.418]and engineering research.
[00:02:56.756]And, again, talk about serendipity.
[00:02:59.568]Engineering department at Texas Tech came up to Grand Island
[00:03:03.464]and the area to survey damage from that outbreak,
[00:03:07.426]and Tim came along as a meteorologist,
[00:03:10.688]and decided very quickly, "I need to know more about why
[00:03:19.146]"Why do structures fail," et cetera, et cetera.
[00:03:22.646]So, Tim spent several more years getting a masters degree
[00:03:27.112]in civil engineering.
[00:03:29.254]So, in terms of knowledge about weather
[00:03:33.188]and how it relates to buildings, crops, damage,
[00:03:36.700]probably the world's premier expert on this.
[00:03:41.504]Recently Tim has worked on a project,
[00:03:44.233]been part of a project.
[00:03:45.244]Givin' my presentation away here.
[00:03:47.002]Oh, sorry, about that.
[00:03:49.270]So, you can see the name of the project here
[00:03:51.204]that he's been associated with.
[00:03:53.206]The acronym is TWIRL, and that comes from using the letters
[00:03:57.980]from Tornadic Winds: In-situ and Radar measurements
[00:04:00.908]at Low levels.
[00:04:02.905]If you look on the web page,
[00:04:04.956]this is a National Science Foundation funded web page,
[00:04:08.554]it says that, this is the headline,
[00:04:10.962]Atmospheric Scientists Boldly Go
[00:04:13.762]Into The Heart Of A Tornado.
[00:04:16.406]Most of us, whether we're atmospheric scientists or not,
[00:04:19.870]do not really want to go boldly into the heart
[00:04:22.406]of a tornado.
[00:04:23.904]So, that was a little misleading, but what Tim,
[00:04:27.334]and some of the people he worked with did,
[00:04:29.910]was try to get instrument packages in the path
[00:04:33.144]of the tornado, which means that at times they did get,
[00:04:37.626]for perhaps some of you, that's just a little too close.
[00:04:41.476]But this is what his talk is gonna be about,
[00:04:43.884]how they did that, some of the results that they learned,
[00:04:46.460]and you're gonna see three fascinating events that happened
[00:04:50.100]last spring, one in the state of Oklahoma,
[00:04:53.788]and two in the state of Kansas.
[00:05:04.044]Wow, you drove all the way from Denver
[00:05:05.752]to give me that great introduction.
[00:05:06.946]Thank you, Vince, it's great to have friends like that,
[00:05:09.438]to do that, that's wonderful.
[00:05:11.874]Thank you, again, everybody.
[00:05:13.414]I've glad to be back here at such a beautiful venue here.
[00:05:16.944]This is wonderful!
[00:05:18.358]I'm glad to see such a great crowd here.
[00:05:22.236]I'm obsessed with severe weather.
[00:05:24.126]To me a clear day is boring!
[00:05:30.440]I wanna see some action with Mother Nature.
[00:05:32.372]I wanna see those skies getting dark.
[00:05:34.234]I wanna see lightning and thunder.
[00:05:36.180]Don't you all want to see the same?
[00:05:38.728]That's why you're here, right?
[00:05:41.745]It's not a clear day, it's not partly-sunny.
[00:05:43.490]No, it's storms.
[00:05:45.923]So, I'm obsessed with severe storms,
[00:05:48.420]and as a meteorologist and engineer, I wear two hats;
[00:05:53.894]one hat is I go out and chase tornadoes in the day time,
[00:05:57.492]and then if they hit something, I come back the next day,
[00:05:59.872]and put on my engineering cap and try to figure out
[00:06:04.047]what the EF rating was.
[00:06:07.478]This project I wanna talk to you about last year,
[00:06:10.278]the TWIRL project, I was asked by Dr. Wurman and Kosiba
[00:06:16.886]to be point on the scout vehicle,
[00:06:20.797]that we go in front of tornadoes,
[00:06:22.224]and drop these instrumented pods in front of them.
[00:06:24.662]Who would do that here, anybody?
[00:06:27.792]Well, a lot of you would.
[00:06:30.120]Some people think that's crazy, but I loved the chance,
[00:06:34.120]and they've asked me back.
[00:06:34.953]I've done this now four years, and they've asked me back
[00:06:38.245]for number five this year, so that's great.
[00:06:40.368]We're getting better at these things.
[00:06:42.275]So, here in this picture, you can see the vehicle we had.
[00:06:45.445]Brand new Dodge pickup truck that we've trashed
[00:06:50.357]this past year, and we have this custom cab on the back end,
[00:06:55.010]and it has five instrumented pods in there,
[00:06:58.895]and these are quite the machines.
[00:07:01.880]There are three vehicles that carry this.
[00:07:04.460]So, there is Admiral Wurman and Kosiba
[00:07:08.330]in a lighter moment at a convenience store near Mexico.
[00:07:11.900]And we've chased all the way down to the Big Bend,
[00:07:14.375]all the way up to Montana.
[00:07:16.670]We'll go wherever we can.
[00:07:18.775]We have three DOW vehicles;
[00:07:20.185]these are Doppler On Wheels vehicles.
[00:07:22.810]You've probably seen some television shows about that.
[00:07:26.112]They wanna scan a tornado,
[00:07:28.785]but they can't scan near the ground.
[00:07:31.185]They can only scan, maybe, as low as 300 feet
[00:07:37.035]above the ground.
[00:07:38.642]So, they don't really know what the winds are
[00:07:40.870]near the ground.
[00:07:41.703]What they need are those pods because then
[00:07:44.900]they can correlate what's happening at 300 feet
[00:07:48.170]versus what's happening near the ground,
[00:07:49.715]where we all live.
[00:07:51.575]And they've gotten some great correlations,
[00:07:53.900]and we'll talk about that here,
[00:07:55.430]and then the three scout vehicles, so three and three.
[00:07:57.725]We'll be back out, again, in the blue vehicles.
[00:08:01.670]So, here's the ideal intercept.
[00:08:03.830]If you have at least two of those three Doppler On Wheels
[00:08:07.418]triangulating into a tornado, which is that gray circle
[00:08:11.295]that becomes the yellow circles as you go on up,
[00:08:14.595]and we have a beautiful array of pods, A through I.
[00:08:17.700]The tornado runs over some of those pods,
[00:08:20.192]then we can see what's happening up here,
[00:08:22.480]we can see what's happening down here,
[00:08:24.580]and we can do a correlation.
[00:08:26.440]And they have gotten over 150 tornado datasets,
[00:08:30.685]where they have measurements up here,
[00:08:32.290]but they only have two datasets down here
[00:08:35.440]because it's very difficult to get hit with a tornado,
[00:08:39.055]as we will see, very difficult.
[00:08:42.025]In TWIRL 2016, this is what we did.
[00:08:44.695]We went 17,000 miles approximately.
[00:08:47.755]Yes, we went through Nebraska, and saw a tornado out there
[00:08:52.495]in Northeast Colorado, but we've also saw my first tornado
[00:08:57.745]Yes, they do get tornadoes in Montana.
[00:08:59.515]And we went all the way up there to try to see
[00:09:01.675]if we could put a pod in front of a tornado.
[00:09:04.585]We had two successful intercepts,
[00:09:06.220]one near Dodge City, Kansas and one near Sulphur, Oklahoma,
[00:09:10.465]and I'm gonna talk about that here.
[00:09:12.250]So, here's the best of the best of the season
[00:09:15.190]out of the 24 tornadoes that I saw last year.
[00:09:18.520]I'm gonna talk about Sulphur, Oklahoma,
[00:09:20.830]which is we had our first pod hit in CSWR history,
[00:09:25.990]and that's the Center of Severe Weather Research.
[00:09:27.970]I'm gonna talk about, in red, Dodge City then,
[00:09:30.580]where there were 12 tornadoes.
[00:09:32.065]We had one series get hit with a pod,
[00:09:35.185]and then my best tornado chase ever
[00:09:40.285]in 40 years I've been doing this, Solomon, Kansas.
[00:09:44.155]The tornado lasted 90 minutes,
[00:09:45.520]crawled at only 17 miles an hour.
[00:09:47.590]Hey, for some of you joggers, you could keep a long pace
[00:09:50.335]with that thing as you job with your GoPro.
[00:09:56.000]So, it was an awesome chase year.
[00:10:02.450]And I'm gonna talk to you about the Sulphur, Oklahoma chase
[00:10:04.880]of May nine, 2016.
[00:10:07.280]By the way, this chase case is sponsored by my friends
[00:10:10.745]over at Capital One Bank.
[00:10:13.310]What's in your wall cloud?
[00:10:18.620]Now on for the surface.
[00:10:21.125]The surface analysis, and I like to draw up
[00:10:23.025]a surface analysis.
[00:10:24.270]Even though we live in a computer age today,
[00:10:26.507]here's a surface analysis.
[00:10:28.300]We have this target.
[00:10:31.270]Ardmore is what I selected at 10 o'clock in the morning.
[00:10:34.180]There's a dry line; that's the scallop black line.
[00:10:37.345]And then the green; that is a solid dew point.
[00:10:43.015]You know what a solid dew point line is called?
[00:10:45.625]This is a good one, isodrosotherm.
[00:10:49.420]Use that tonight.
[00:10:50.455]"What did you learn today at Weather Fest?"
[00:10:51.985]"I learned about an isodrosotherm."
[00:10:54.925]Equal line of dew point.
[00:10:56.533]That's a good one.
[00:10:57.798]So, here we have the dew point axis coming on up,
[00:11:01.323]and then I figured the dry line,
[00:11:03.508]and everything's gotta be timed.
[00:11:04.803]If you can see that dew point at Childress, Texas
[00:11:09.938]in the corner there, 36.
[00:11:11.708]74 is the temperature over 36 with the west wind.
[00:11:14.888]In the Dallas area, where the arrow is, is a 55 dew point.
[00:11:18.623]And that's all gonna increase during the day.
[00:11:22.928]How many of you actually do forecasts,
[00:11:24.563]looking at the weather maps?
[00:11:27.070]Some of you do that.
[00:11:28.368]850 is sittin' there about three, 4,000 feet
[00:11:31.058]above the ground.
[00:11:32.198]Here we have a trough over the lee side of The Rockies,
[00:11:36.368]which is all that, the trough you see there
[00:11:39.038]in the dark lines.
[00:11:39.871]Those are lines of equal height,
[00:11:42.500]and then we have the wind speeds;
[00:11:44.473]and the wind speeds are either a full barb at 10 knots,
[00:11:47.818]half barb at five knots, or a flag, which is 50 knots,
[00:11:51.808]and we like to see flags 'cause that means
[00:11:54.038]there's a lot of wind, and it takes a lot of wind
[00:11:56.718]to produce a tornado.
[00:11:57.795]So, here we have a solid flag at Dallas, 50 knots,
[00:12:01.693]with 40, almost 40, now it's 30,
[00:12:05.151]looks like 45 knots at Oklahoma City.
[00:12:07.208]So, this is really nice winds to have at the south.
[00:12:09.725]700 millibars, nine or 10,000 feet above the ground,
[00:12:13.323]still the trough is there.
[00:12:15.183]Nice turning going to the southwest.
[00:12:17.338]We wanna see winds going from south to southwest
[00:12:20.143]at this elevation, and then at 500, southwest or west
[00:12:23.895]is even better.
[00:12:24.953]And look at those flags coming out of Mexico and into Texas.
[00:12:28.953]So, that's really good to see.
[00:12:31.263]Way up at the top near the jetstream level,
[00:12:33.498]and that's the blue, this you need to have strong winds
[00:12:36.838]aloft to vent the updrafts, to carry that upward motion
[00:12:40.828]out because otherwise as warm air rises it condenses,
[00:12:46.546]if you don't have a strong jetstream,
[00:12:48.293]that is gonna fall right back through the updraft,
[00:12:50.978]and destroy the updraft.
[00:12:53.543]We call those pulse storms.
[00:12:54.878]They occur a lot of times in the middle of the summer
[00:12:57.681]when there's no winds aloft.
[00:12:59.253]We want winds aloft to take that and get it out of there,
[00:13:02.283]producing that anvil,
[00:13:03.663]and that's why we had a strong updraft.
[00:13:06.393]So, here's the morning satellite,
[00:13:08.323]and I look at the morning satellites, visible.
[00:13:11.278]We got low clouds over Eastern Oklahoma and Kansas,
[00:13:14.963]and we have the two Ls, those are the upper lows.
[00:13:17.498]There's one up in Northern Nebraska,
[00:13:20.378]one over in Southeast Colorado, and that little LS
[00:13:22.608]is a surface low in Central Kansas.
[00:13:25.803]And I like to be on the boundary where they go
[00:13:28.188]from clear air to the cloudy air,
[00:13:30.078]and see if we can get some storm development
[00:13:31.808]later in the day.
[00:13:32.848]Anybody look at soundings here?
[00:13:34.693]These are weather balloons that are tossed
[00:13:36.613]through the atmosphere a couple of times during the day.
[00:13:39.653]And what we like to see, in red, on the upper-left panel
[00:13:42.818]is the temperature and the green is your dew point.
[00:13:46.936]And, so, you can see near the ground they're together,
[00:13:49.668]and we like to see a lot of moisture there.
[00:13:52.158]That's 65 over 64, which is great at Oklahoma City area.
[00:13:56.711]But there's a weakness in the wind profile at mid levels,
[00:13:59.648]but we have to think that when they launch these balloons
[00:14:01.883]in the morning, the atmosphere's gonna change
[00:14:03.953]by the afternoon.
[00:14:04.786]So, we have to anticipate what's gonna happen.
[00:14:06.948]With that trough moving in, the winds are gonna increase,
[00:14:09.963]and that's a good thing.
[00:14:11.793]So, by one o'clock improved winds at mid levels,
[00:14:14.388]and those are by the flags that are just to the right
[00:14:17.020]of that sounding.
[00:14:19.063]And then in the upper right is the thing called a hodograph,
[00:14:21.403]which we look and see how long it is,
[00:14:24.193]and stretchy it is, or how curved it is,
[00:14:26.338]and it has curving in the low levels
[00:14:28.408]and straight line above, which is nice to see.
[00:14:31.213]So, when you look at the risk here,
[00:14:33.283]how many of you look at the Storm Prediction Center page?
[00:14:36.778]Web page, and you see those risk areas,
[00:14:38.893]and you know they have marginal, slight, and enhance.
[00:14:41.923]What does that mean?
[00:14:42.958]I think of it in terms of icecream cones.
[00:14:46.728]A marginal is one scoop.
[00:14:50.803]Slight risk is with three scoops.
[00:14:52.738]I like a slight risk.
[00:14:54.096]I see a lot of tornadoes on slight risk.
[00:14:55.643]Enhance, my goodness, I really, really like enhanced.
[00:15:00.173]And then, of course, moderate risk is almost phenomenal
[00:15:05.048]to see, and we got one for tomorrow, by the way.
[00:15:07.313]Anybody going to Houston tomorrow?
[00:15:10.788]So, at 2:05 a severe box came out over Kansas
[00:15:13.423]and northern half of Oklahoma, and the tornado box
[00:15:17.923]came out over the Ardmore area eastward,
[00:15:20.488]so I was happy about that.
[00:15:22.528]So, we positioned our scout vehicle,
[00:15:24.253]and this is a Doppler Radar image,
[00:15:26.038]and you know about these.
[00:15:27.706]Red means a lot of precip, and purple means hail.
[00:15:32.605]And we wanna see a hooked feature on the left end of it.
[00:15:37.743]Here we have two cells that have hooked features,
[00:15:40.353]and we're in Scout Three, which is the circle labeled
[00:15:43.683]Scout Three, and we're on Interstate 35,
[00:15:45.858]south of Oklahoma City.
[00:15:47.193]And the town of Wynnewood is there,
[00:15:48.723]and then Route 7, Davis, Sulphur,
[00:15:50.388]and we're gonna be working our way
[00:15:52.488]from where it says Scout Three all the way over
[00:15:54.533]to Highway 177.
[00:16:00.818]What do we have here?
[00:16:01.868]This is radial velocity.
[00:16:03.173]The first one was reflectivity just showing you
[00:16:05.435]the intensity of the echo, but radial velocity shows you
[00:16:09.703]what's happening with the winds.
[00:16:14.341]Here we have a color bar, and if you see that
[00:16:16.648]on the right side, the color bar is minus for green,
[00:16:22.318]which means going away, and reds indicate speeds toward.
[00:16:27.448]And we have kind of a spin going on,
[00:16:29.258]and that's why the Wicked Witch is going, "All right."
[00:16:31.898]Down to the southwest corner, and it's moving toward
[00:16:34.703]Scout Three, fantastic.
[00:16:37.523]Before I knew it, boom, a tornado!
[00:16:40.478]It was a very weak signature, why is that?
[00:16:42.638]Because you have to think about where is your nearest radar?
[00:16:46.778]If it's 50 or 100 miles away, it's not seeing at low levels.
[00:16:50.483]By the time it sees rotation at this level,
[00:16:52.988]there could be a tornado on the ground,
[00:16:54.348]and, in fact, there was.
[00:16:55.893]So, where's the nearest radar here?
[00:16:59.688]Norman, where's the nearest radar to this place,
[00:17:06.293]So, it's a far piece away.
[00:17:07.501]How far is that?
[00:17:09.768]It's pretty far away, so you have to think that
[00:17:11.268]when they're the showing the radar,
[00:17:13.038]that beam is sittin' up higher.
[00:17:16.608]So, here we have multi-vortex on the ground
[00:17:18.273]and it's coming right towards us, fantastic!
[00:17:20.913]We're gonna think about deploying our pods here.
[00:17:23.268]It was taking on a multi-vortex characteristic,
[00:17:26.195]and, so, we started deploying pods.
[00:17:28.228]Here's POD L down.
[00:17:29.683]This pod weights about 70 pounds,
[00:17:32.548]so two people have got to handle it.
[00:17:34.678]It has, in the white box there, the steel box
[00:17:38.458]on the bottom right, that's a little computer in there,
[00:17:41.098]and it records temperature, relative humidity,
[00:17:44.068]barometric pressure, wind speed, wind direction
[00:17:46.168]one time per second!
[00:17:49.276]At one meter, so little more than about three feet
[00:17:52.708]above the ground.
[00:17:54.043]And we have to adjust it, make sure it's facing north.
[00:17:56.743]Make sure the time is okay, and we have to do all this
[00:18:00.300]in adverse conditions while a tornado's coming towards you.
[00:18:03.623]So, we have to concentrate,
[00:18:04.931](laughs) make sure we get the data.
[00:18:07.963]So, here's the next scan at 4:11.
[00:18:10.483]We have this little blob of yellow the southwest.
[00:18:14.503]That's the infamous debris ball that's going on there,
[00:18:18.058]and we're out of position.
[00:18:19.700]The tornado decides to move east rather than northeast,
[00:18:22.838]and we have to go to the south to try to get in its path.
[00:18:26.678]And, again, so difficult to get hit by a tornado, really is.
[00:18:31.456]So, here's the radial velocity scans,
[00:18:33.348]and now you see red and green together,
[00:18:35.808]and that's a good thing, and then you see on the right,
[00:18:37.698]there is red within green.
[00:18:39.693]That's what they call folding, Doppler Radar folding.
[00:18:43.128]The scale on the right only goes to 70 knots,
[00:18:46.938]and if the winds are greater than 70 knots,
[00:18:49.173]that scale just folds over.
[00:18:51.024]So, it goes, when the greens are away at minus 70,
[00:18:55.338]say it's minus 90, it's gonna fold back to red.
[00:18:58.248]And, so, it's good at folding.
[00:19:00.273]That's a very strong rotation being picked up
[00:19:02.013]all the way from the Norman Radar Oklahoma, City area
[00:19:06.153]about 70 miles away.
[00:19:09.518]So, Pod M is down.
[00:19:10.391]We're now laying a string of pods every 100 meters or so
[00:19:15.068]to try to get, we don't know where the tornado's gonna hit.
[00:19:18.010]Sometimes the tornado goes between our pods.
[00:19:20.003]We don't know, let's try to see if it's gonna hit anything,
[00:19:22.298]and then POD N goes down.
[00:19:24.395]So, here now at 4:18, we were right there adjacent
[00:19:28.848]to the tornado, and see what happens.
[00:19:31.518]And there's the radial velocity.
[00:19:33.253]When you have red and green next together, you're close.
[00:19:37.351]The tornado crosses the road right in front of us,
[00:19:39.218]misses all the pods.
[00:19:46.658]I'm trying to get hit here, folks!
[00:19:50.274]So, there the tornado goes on by,
[00:19:52.333]and now we're behind the storm.
[00:19:54.028]And, as I know from chasing, if one tornado is produced
[00:19:58.553]by a storm, there's a very good likelihood
[00:20:00.503]that another tornado is gonna be produced by that storm.
[00:20:04.748]So, we have to go east and, sure enough, at 4:24,
[00:20:08.048]we see a circulation to our east now right over I-35.
[00:20:11.423]So, now we have to race back to the east,
[00:20:14.018]and try to get in front of that next tornado.
[00:20:17.183]So, meanwhile, we got this tornado to our south,
[00:20:19.328]and it roared.
[00:20:20.228]It's a small tornado, very difficult to get hit
[00:20:22.628]by a small tornado, and it was rated EF4.
[00:20:26.783]It was a very violent tornado.
[00:20:29.723]But, in the meantime, we're having to concentrate now
[00:20:32.108]on this second possible tornado.
[00:20:33.893]Look at this reflectivity feature,
[00:20:35.603]and you see that little notch of low reflectivity there?
[00:20:39.008]That's inflow, and we wanna be in that zone.
[00:20:42.108]So, we have to move ourself to the east,
[00:20:45.183]but doing so, given this angle, we're gonna have to go north
[00:20:49.920]of the tornado.
[00:20:51.428]Being north of a tornado's not the best place to be
[00:20:55.463]'cause tornadoes sometimes go to the north.
[00:20:59.663]Anyways, I had the two other crews behind me,
[00:21:02.363]and as we were moving east, the inflow jet out of the north
[00:21:06.833]comes roaring across the road,
[00:21:08.663]and the power poles begin coming down,
[00:21:10.538]and fortunately the power poles went down behind me,
[00:21:14.033]but it cut off the other two vehicles.
[00:21:15.968]So, now we're on our own.
[00:21:18.323]We're the only crew, and we only have one pod left.
[00:21:24.188]So, now we're racing to the east.
[00:21:25.628]So, as that rogue tornado goes on,
[00:21:27.368]we're moving ahead, trying to get into that notch, again,
[00:21:29.760]ahead of the tornado.
[00:21:31.533]We're still trying to get east.
[00:21:34.010]Found a road there.
[00:21:35.623]Looking to my south now, this is a rotating wall cloud.
[00:21:39.208]Even though it's a still picture, can you imagine
[00:21:43.713]We're looking south, so, those cloud tags in the foreground
[00:21:46.798]are roaring to the right!
[00:21:48.748]And a circulation is there, and here we are emerging
[00:21:53.588]from the back end of the hook.
[00:21:55.043]No hail, all the hail is up in the forward flank.
[00:21:58.728]I said, "What's this?"
[00:22:00.063]Happens to be a horizontal vortex funnel
[00:22:04.073]sticking out of the northeast side of the updraft.
[00:22:07.093]Very unusual; seen this only a few times.
[00:22:09.688]Meanwhile, back to our south, multi-vortex large wall cloud
[00:22:14.143]in progress to our south.
[00:22:16.738]And now we've emerged out.
[00:22:18.645]Does this look familiar to you?
[00:22:20.512]Yeah, the old hook, the figure six.
[00:22:23.602]And we're in a good position here,
[00:22:25.447]but we certainly don't wanna stay there
[00:22:27.052]because the tornado's going to maybe try to turn
[00:22:29.792]to the north, and then it's curtains for us.
[00:22:31.997]And we don't want to be in a tornado.
[00:22:34.997]It's not my goal.
[00:22:36.962]So, we race to the east.
[00:22:38.597]There is the couplet that's going on
[00:22:40.157]with the folded velocities, and that tornado is wobbling
[00:22:43.127]a little to the north now, and it is touch-and-go here.
[00:22:46.367]Oh, it's getting close, and it is a big tornado.
[00:22:49.742]This is not the little, tiny one that we saw earlier;
[00:22:53.132]this is a big one.
[00:22:54.542]The great thing about big tornadoes,
[00:22:55.847]it's easier to get hit by them,
[00:22:57.735]but the bad thing about 'em, we don't wanna be in one,
[00:23:00.717]and it's more difficult to get out of there.
[00:23:03.657]So, anyways, we got up close to it.
[00:23:06.222]4:55, it's coming over the hill.
[00:23:08.322]It's hilly terrain, lots of trees, tough to navigate,
[00:23:11.832]and I'm trying to position.
[00:23:13.632]At 177 this tornado, get in front of it,
[00:23:17.322]and here's the velocities, and it is really close.
[00:23:21.672]And the thing about a tornado,
[00:23:23.112]when it's close to you, it looks nothing like a tornado.
[00:23:26.472]It is just a rotating fog bank of flying debris.
[00:23:31.887]So, we knew we were in the right place.
[00:23:37.341]So, I said, "All right, fellas, let's drop this pod,
[00:23:39.816]"and get out of here!"
[00:23:41.256]So, we dropped the pod, the RFD comes right around.
[00:23:45.086]It's like in a carwash, it's blinding froth.
[00:23:48.451]We saw a roof start to go to the right,
[00:23:50.971]power lines start coming down.
[00:23:52.771]We emerge out of the froth just in the nick of time,
[00:23:55.576]and the pod gets hit.
[00:23:56.941]And here is a, Scott Peake,
[00:23:58.419]I don't know if you know Scott Peake,
[00:23:59.434]but he's probably closer to tornado than most people,
[00:24:01.841]but we were closer than he is.
[00:24:03.746]And when you're close than Scott Peake,
[00:24:05.516]you are really, really close.
[00:24:08.321]So, here we have the, what you see is the north edge
[00:24:12.131]of the wedge, and those two little white dots,
[00:24:14.726]that's our vehicle sitting there, isn't that right?
[00:24:20.121]And you see how small you are compared to a tornado,
[00:24:23.976]you kind of feel a little smaller.
[00:24:27.874]And here is from the south, a friend of mine, Gabe Garfield,
[00:24:31.411]going, "This is what we were in front of!"
[00:24:35.626]So, now let's shift and look at the Doppler On Wheels.
[00:24:38.516]The Doppler On Wheels close up.
[00:24:41.126]The red circle is the tornado.
[00:24:43.691]Our pod is in the tornado at this time.
[00:24:45.986]The yellows are away, the greens and blues are towards you.
[00:24:49.751]So, you can imagine that circulation,
[00:24:51.491]and the tighter the circulation,
[00:24:53.261]the smaller the circles you see.
[00:24:54.881]And there's actually a sub-vortex, the tiniest circle,
[00:24:57.336]in the northwest is a sub-vortex.
[00:24:59.871]So, there we are, and the scale is only one kilometer,
[00:25:02.211]which is only .62 miles.
[00:25:04.908]So, you can see how close we are.
[00:25:06.151]We are at the edge, and the tornado's moving
[00:25:08.821]right for us here.
[00:25:10.786]So, there's the pod, and those are in meters per second.
[00:25:13.636]So, it's 40 meters per second multiplied
[00:25:15.781]by 2.2 for miles per hour.
[00:25:19.531]So, here's the tornado, and here's our Scout Three
[00:25:21.821]at the intersection.
[00:25:22.856]Our pod is in the tornado, and the tornado's getting
[00:25:25.499]awful close to us, and we use the 177 escape route.
[00:25:29.391]And, look at, there we go, and there's the tornado,
[00:25:32.001]and, whoa, is that close?
[00:25:34.206]We are really on the edge of this tornado the whole time,
[00:25:37.741]and our pod got hit.
[00:25:39.406]So, it was interesting here this time,
[00:25:41.404]the pod is having northwest winds at 20 meters per second,
[00:25:45.411]and we were on southwest winds at 20 meters per second.
[00:25:48.081]That's pretty neat.
[00:25:49.386]And then there's the tornado, and it crosses the road
[00:25:52.139]just to our north, and I'm talking about a few hundred yards
[00:25:56.204]to our north.
[00:25:57.896]So, it's the first pod hit for CSWR.
[00:26:00.671]They were very happy with it.
[00:26:02.066]The right picture shows you the pitted side,
[00:26:05.606]the gravel from the road pitted the paint of it.
[00:26:08.284]We lost the vein.
[00:26:09.801]These pods cost about 6,000 bucks each,
[00:26:13.086]and Admiral Wurman was very happy, yet, he lost that
[00:26:17.358]because he got great data.
[00:26:20.551]So, it was EF3 on that tornado,
[00:26:23.086]and there's the tornado tracks.
[00:26:24.886]So, the forecast was good.
[00:26:26.326]We got a good pod hit, and now it's time
[00:26:28.621]for Storm Chaser Jeopardy!
[00:26:32.108]You know how Jeopardy works.
[00:26:34.601]I give you the answer, and you give me the question.
[00:26:39.786]Are you ready?
[00:26:41.586]Here we go.
[00:26:43.236]Wizard Of Oz lost best picture to this very long,
[00:26:49.951]What was that?
[00:26:51.586]What is Gone With The Wind?
[00:26:53.251]And that is absolutely correct,
[00:26:54.661]and an appropriate name, I might add.
[00:26:57.911]Now on to the Dodge City, Kansas Chase of May 24, 2016,
[00:27:02.156]and this was in Kansas.
[00:27:05.126]I love Kansas; it's wonderful!
[00:27:07.331]This chase case is sponsored by Scud Light.
[00:27:10.271]For all you do, this Scud is for you,
[00:27:13.376]and go to the Scud website for the Scud playbook.
[00:27:17.854]My target that day was Ashland, Kansas.
[00:27:21.786]It's a little, tiny town south of Dodge City,
[00:27:25.086]southeast of Dodge City, north of Gage-Woodward area.
[00:27:28.056]On the border there's a stationary front
[00:27:30.381]across the Kansas-Oklahoma line.
[00:27:34.266]The winds in Kansas are easterly in the morning,
[00:27:37.191]and I like that 'cause that's best low-Level helicities,
[00:27:40.026]and helicities mean spin, and the dry land is out west.
[00:27:44.301]So, it's not gonna be too much of a player.
[00:27:45.906]And the moisture's moving on up.
[00:27:47.406]71 temperature over 67 at Gage, G-A-G,
[00:27:51.609]and Dodge City is 66 over 66 in fog
[00:27:54.671]with an east light easterly wind.
[00:27:56.771]I love to see that; that's wonderful.
[00:27:58.916]This is May.
[00:28:01.181]You've got a front stalled east west.
[00:28:04.789]What more could you ask for?
[00:28:06.696]850 millibars, low-level jet.
[00:28:09.186]When you got fog, and you have 50 knots of wind over you,
[00:28:13.658]that's amazing, fog and wind.
[00:28:15.796]You don't think of fog and wind be there, but it's there.
[00:28:19.196]And 700, a little weak trough off the West Coast.
[00:28:23.781]Southwesterly is a weaker southwesterly,
[00:28:25.846]but the thing about upper air, which is kind of a misnomer,
[00:28:28.441]first of all, weather balloons are only twice a day launched
[00:28:32.411]and they're 400 miles apart.
[00:28:34.751]So, sometimes there's stronger winds in between
[00:28:37.521]at different times of the day, and you don't see it
[00:28:40.604]so you have to anticipate it.
[00:28:41.996]500, nice southwesterlies, 25 knots at Dodge.
[00:28:46.148]Spud flow at 250 millibars, not too bad.
[00:28:49.086]30 knots at Dodge, 50 knots at Albuquerque,
[00:28:52.176]and that higher wind is coming in,
[00:28:54.711]and that's what we like to see.
[00:28:57.081]Now SPC puts out two outlooks,
[00:28:59.451]one for Northeast Colorado and one for Southwest Kansas.
[00:29:02.181]So, now you got two enhanced, what do you do?
[00:29:04.111]It's like choosing between Mello Yello or Mountain Dew.
[00:29:05.681]What do you do, they're about the same.
[00:29:09.581]Maybe some of you can tell the difference; I can't.
[00:29:14.661]The thing about this, and this what happens when you get
[00:29:16.836]later in the season is you deal with a thing
[00:29:18.774]called a capping inversion, and a capping inversion
[00:29:21.001]is a warm layer of air that sits above the moisture,
[00:29:23.596]and prevents the atmosphere from overturning
[00:29:26.206]until maybe later in the day.
[00:29:28.366]Maybe later in the day the cap is released,
[00:29:30.511]and you have an exploding overturning atmosphere,
[00:29:32.551]and that's what we want, but sometimes a cap is too strong.
[00:29:37.116]We'll see what happens, Dodge City.
[00:29:38.781]3:20 SPC though things were gonna happen,
[00:29:40.851]and there was my target on the left, in the oval,
[00:29:44.781]the dark circle, or the ellipse.
[00:29:47.226]And then the forecast for SPC, the red box,
[00:29:51.066]which we like to see red boxes.
[00:29:53.931]This is interesting.
[00:29:54.764]This is the radar out of Dodge City,
[00:29:56.066]and they're really close by to what's happening here,
[00:29:59.531]just a few miles away.
[00:30:00.806]And we have this north-south band here; that's a boundary.
[00:30:05.171]And then south of Dodge we have another east-west boundary.
[00:30:09.311]And I like boundaries.
[00:30:10.976]Boundaries are where storms can develop on,
[00:30:13.791]and use the circulating winds that are already there
[00:30:18.156]to begin their spinning.
[00:30:20.331]So, the atmosphere can spin before the storm is there,
[00:30:24.501]and that's what we like to see.
[00:30:25.836]At 5:38 south, this is south of Minneola, looking northwest,
[00:30:30.066]a little lowering develops on this beginning storm.
[00:30:34.861]And I have S for super-cell or Superman storm.
[00:30:38.198]What's going on here is that storm is developing
[00:30:40.976]on this boundary, and the boundary goes east-west,
[00:30:43.181]where the green is, and then that boundary wraps in an S
[00:30:47.051]into the back end of this storm.
[00:30:49.616]Isn't that amazing, the storm is using the boundary,
[00:30:52.286]or the boundary is using the storm to begin this rotation.
[00:30:57.461]And our scout vehicle's right there,
[00:30:59.561]ready for what's gonna happen.
[00:31:01.301]You think maybe a hook is gonna develop in this?
[00:31:04.536]Circulation already there; before there's even a tornado,
[00:31:07.506]the circulation's already there.
[00:31:10.866]So, now, here's our Scout Three in that dot.
[00:31:14.811]We're coming up to an east-west road called Saddle Road.
[00:31:17.346]Highway 283 goes up to Dodge, and you see the reflectivity.
[00:31:20.683]You see where it's got that hook, and it's almost green.
[00:31:25.531]S is in there; that's the boundary.
[00:31:28.126]So, the hook is developing into that circulating boundary.
[00:31:33.301]Amazing, already there radial velocity wise.
[00:31:36.331]Boom, tornado right to our southwest, perfect.
[00:31:40.046]Gonna intercept it.
[00:31:42.062]Apparently it had other plans.
[00:31:45.363]A second tornado begins to develop.
[00:31:48.183]We're east of it, now what do you do?
[00:31:50.088]You gotta pick Mountain Dew, Mello Yello.
[00:31:54.648]What's gonna happen here.
[00:31:55.818]We have this one tornado that's on the ground,
[00:31:58.218]and we're going west towards the one tornado,
[00:32:01.488]but the tornado must have seen me,
[00:32:02.958]and is now heading back to the northwest away from me.
[00:32:07.998]Tornado's going northwest; it's supposed to go northeast.
[00:32:12.093]Will somebody tell Mother Nature what's going on?
[00:32:14.208]But there is a second tornado to our south,
[00:32:16.548]and it's just developing.
[00:32:18.843]So, here we're looking at this tornado to our southwest,
[00:32:21.415]and we're gonna start deploying pods.
[00:32:23.818]And we deployed a pod just off the road,
[00:32:27.358]and this thing on the right, this is a multi-vortex.
[00:32:31.588]Sometimes you can see the little white filaments down,
[00:32:34.063]but it hit the pod.
[00:32:36.343]And, so, there's the hook echo.
[00:32:38.198]You can see where that yellow and that red wrap around,
[00:32:42.638]and there's our scout just to the east of the tornado.
[00:32:45.278]And there's the radial velocity
[00:32:47.378]tells you where the tornado's at.
[00:32:49.518]So, we had another pod hit on this day.
[00:32:51.783]So, now we're driving north on one of those famous Kansas
[00:32:55.218]dirt roads that turn into muck,
[00:32:57.948]but we had a four-wheel drive.
[00:33:00.183]Four-wheel drive means nothing.
[00:33:06.783]We got stuck in a ditch.
[00:33:08.088]We started going up a hill,
[00:33:09.133]and then we started slowing down.
[00:33:10.196]Oh, gun it, gun it, gun it, gun it,
[00:33:11.493]and then you start going sideways.
[00:33:12.628]No, no, no, no, no, no, no,
[00:33:13.593]and over into the bar ditch we went.
[00:33:17.026]So, now we're in a bar ditch.
[00:33:20.041]I said, "Well, we gotta get of this some way."
[00:33:22.513]And it's a big Dodge truck.
[00:33:24.208]It's hard to get out of a ditch with a big Dodge truck
[00:33:26.008]and there's not a single tree in site
[00:33:27.748]to wrap around our tow cable.
[00:33:29.743]So, I just decided I'd assume command of the vehicle.
[00:33:33.420]I was the passenger, not the driver, and I'm now the driver,
[00:33:36.158]and I just gunned it, and we rode that bar ditch
[00:33:39.028]until we hit one of those aprons
[00:33:40.633]and popped up onto the road.
[00:33:42.058]So, chase resumes.
[00:33:45.853]So, here's what's going on now.
[00:33:47.353]How many tornadoes you see here?
[00:33:48.733]We got the big one in the back.
[00:33:50.968]You got a little filament coming on the left, you see that?
[00:33:53.623]Just to the right of the tornado,
[00:33:54.913]and then there's another filament hitting the ground
[00:33:57.255]to the right.
[00:33:58.088]So, we got three tornadoes on the ground simultaneously.
[00:34:01.428]Which one do you pick?
[00:34:04.235]We were stuck in the mud at that time,
[00:34:07.025]watching all three of these tornadoes.
[00:34:09.025]One to the west starts to rope out,
[00:34:11.383]and this one to the northwest congeals
[00:34:13.553]and becomes a big, fat cone.
[00:34:17.610]Moves up into western parts of Dodge City.
[00:34:19.933]Dodge City was very lucky that day.
[00:34:22.873]It could have been hit.
[00:34:24.478]Another tornado develops one after another, five and six.
[00:34:28.588]We move on up to west Dodge City.
[00:34:32.213]Look at this thing to our north, tornado number eight.
[00:34:36.546]Is that a wall cloud, or is that a wall cloud?
[00:34:39.208]Isn't that amazing?
[00:34:40.460]And what we're seeing here to our, we're looking north,
[00:34:43.025]is that rear flank downdraft has this low cloud base,
[00:34:46.980]goes to the north, and curves back into the circulation.
[00:34:49.388]There are two tornadoes there on the ground there.
[00:34:52.225]That's quite the tornado.
[00:34:54.100]And then we get, finally, back in business here.
[00:34:57.535]You can see the boundary, that green lines that goes,
[00:35:01.000]that's the boundary.
[00:35:02.635]That's still there, and the storm is now north
[00:35:04.415]of the boundary, wrapping it in.
[00:35:06.545]Still there's the tornado on the ground.
[00:35:09.294]And they get bigger.
[00:35:11.185]It's in the cooler air.
[00:35:12.790]Cool air doesn't necessarily mean bad news;
[00:35:15.385]it depends what kind of winds you got.
[00:35:17.155]The winds here were out of the east.
[00:35:19.660]And we had tornadoes 12 and 13, that's right.
[00:35:22.606]13 tornadoes that day.
[00:35:24.330]And here's the tracks from the first one
[00:35:27.600]all the way up to number 13.
[00:35:29.130]Slow-moving, there's Dodge City there.
[00:35:31.740]I would say probably that whole thing encompasses 20 miles.
[00:35:36.937]Not as slow as the Grand Island tornado outbreak in 1980,
[00:35:40.945]but slow enough.
[00:35:43.120]So, ended the chase, and we weren't the only ones got stuck.
[00:35:45.820]The DOWs also got stuck, and we had to pull them out
[00:35:48.150]with our tow straps here on the left.
[00:35:50.145]And we had some great anticrepuscular rays,
[00:35:53.468]which are rays opposite the sun, going down to a point
[00:35:57.625]on the eastern horizon.
[00:35:59.230]So, a great chase for us, so it was wonderful.
[00:36:01.865]And there's a great forecast, as well, so not bad.
[00:36:06.757]It's time for Storm Chaser Jeopardy, once again!
[00:36:10.505]And, of course, you all did great this first time.
[00:36:12.535]These questions now, a little higher, a little harder.
[00:36:16.330]See how well you do.
[00:36:18.220]Again, I give you the answer, you give me the question.
[00:36:23.095]She played the Wicked Witch of the West.
[00:36:32.630]Who said that?
[00:36:38.090]Man, you guys are good!
[00:36:40.835]We have any Wizard of Oz fans here?
[00:36:42.845]Yeah, in fact, that's what got me interested a lot
[00:36:45.340]in severe weather.
[00:36:47.775]What a great witch, huh, phenomenal!
[00:36:49.810]You couldn't have asked for a better witch.
[00:36:52.894]That was a fantastic witch.
[00:36:54.085]On to the Solomon, Kansas event,
[00:36:56.050]which is my best chase ever,
[00:36:58.990]and I've done over 2,000 chases, and 40 years,
[00:37:05.305]this is my best, the creme de la crop.
[00:37:08.840]Chase case is sponsored by The Chase Distillery.
Celebrate your extra day
[00:37:13.335]with a great chase.
[00:37:14.445]I didn't change anything; I'm just using their logo.
[00:37:18.415]My target that day was Junction City, Kansas.
[00:37:21.250]If you all know where that's at, it's along I-70.
[00:37:24.810]East of Salina, west of Topeka.
[00:37:27.420]Again, a stationary front is there.
[00:37:30.543]Easterly winds or light winds north of there.
[00:37:33.160]Strong south winds ahead of that, and the dry land out west.
[00:37:36.230]The dry land's not a player here.
[00:37:37.970]This cool boundary is sitting there
[00:37:40.035]from overnight convection.
[00:37:41.930]Overnight storms play a significant role
[00:37:44.540]in how things are going to evolve the very next day.
[00:37:48.155]So, I look very carefully at where overnight storms are.
[00:37:53.675]So, with the 850, again, we're now weaker winds aloft,
[00:37:57.965]but still things can change during the day.
[00:38:00.605]We have a weak trough through the central plains.
[00:38:03.320]25 knots at Topeka.
[00:38:05.103]20 knots with westerly winds at Dodge.
[00:38:08.265]So, weak, a lot of chases, said, "I'm staying home.
[00:38:11.030]"The winds are too weak aloft."
[00:38:12.905]Again, these are just weather balloon point measurements.
[00:38:15.905]You don't know if the winds are stronger in between,
[00:38:18.140]and you don't know, this is seven a.m.,
[00:38:19.995]what's gonna happen at noon?
[00:38:21.945]The weather could be completely different at noon
[00:38:23.595]than it is at seven, right?
[00:38:26.010]700 millibars, cutoff low way out in California,
[00:38:29.550]but we have a nice, broad southwesterly flow over the area.
[00:38:33.678]35 knots at Topeka, not bad, I'll take it.
[00:38:38.050]And 25 knots at 500.
[00:38:40.160]I'd like to see it a little stronger,
[00:38:41.720]but if you look out west, it is stronger.
[00:38:43.655]It's 35 knots at Dodge City, 50 knots at North Platte.
[00:38:47.300]We've got stronger winds out west, I like it.
[00:38:51.575]And we have an approaching jet, seven a.m.
[00:38:54.380]By seven p.m., if you've got 100-knot winds out there,
[00:38:58.885]how far is it gonna move in 12 hours?
[00:39:01.375]100 knots times 12, a long way, enough to get that wind
[00:39:05.620]over Kansas and Nebraska.
[00:39:09.595]Here's the Topeka sounding.
[00:39:11.350]A cap in the morning, weaker winds there.
[00:39:13.705]Kind of an ugly-looking hodograph in the upper right,
[00:39:16.525]but, again, seven a.m.
[00:39:18.658]My motto is this: if it's May, you get out and chase,
[00:39:22.740]end of story.
[00:39:27.165]None of this, "I'm not chasing today; winds are too weak."
[00:39:30.620]I've bit that bullet too many times.
[00:39:33.375]10:30 SPC has a slight risk with only a 2%
[00:39:37.285]chance of tornadoes.
[00:39:38.755]It's only a 2% chance of tornadoes.
[00:39:41.005]Does that mean it's 98% chance of no tornado?
[00:39:47.185]I can't tell you how many 2% tornadoes I've seen in my day.
[00:39:52.085]If it's 2%, look at the color.
[00:39:55.370]Green means go!
[00:40:06.193]And look at what we have here.
[00:40:09.375]5:52 near Salina.
[00:40:12.688]Is that nice, or what?
[00:40:15.950]Beautiful CB develops right at that triple point,
[00:40:19.660]right on the boundary to our intersection,
[00:40:21.860]overshooting top, back shearing of the anvil.
[00:40:25.295]That's clouds that are going into the wind.
[00:40:29.465]So, that tells you how much punch that updraft has.
[00:40:34.910]We love it, we like it.
[00:40:37.415]That beats a clear, sunny day any day.
[00:40:42.540]So, here we are near Solomon, Kansas.
[00:40:47.620]Look at the red reflectivity, already has a hook.
[00:40:51.685]Sometimes it only takes an hour
[00:40:53.125]between the first cumulus tower and a tornado.
[00:40:57.325]It's amazing how fast this is when you remove
[00:41:00.025]that capping aversion, and the atmosphere (claps) explodes
[00:41:04.075]right in front of you.
[00:41:06.880]Here we have, this is from Topeka Radar,
[00:41:09.845]so we're talking about, again, 70, 80 miles away,
[00:41:12.300]so the beam is up here at about 10,000 feet.
[00:41:14.475]Already circulation up there, though.
[00:41:17.250]Look at the red and the green getting their act together
[00:41:20.145]there at the southwest edge, 7:04.
[00:41:23.385]Woops, 7:08 this is what's happening.
[00:41:28.030]Tornado on the ground to the northwest.
[00:41:31.300]Look at the rain area to the back.
[00:41:33.430]When you see a rain area back of a wall cloud, get ready
[00:41:36.468]because that is a descending reflectivity core,
[00:41:39.571]otherwise known as precipitation coming down,
[00:41:41.776]and it forces that updraft to constrict, or to tighten,
[00:41:46.876]and that's where you get your spin like the iceskater spin
[00:41:50.581]to spin up a tornado.
[00:41:52.381]So, we're looking northwest, there's your wall cloud.
[00:41:54.616]The tornado's in progress.
[00:41:56.006]We thought, "Okay, brief tornado, we go home."
[00:42:01.526]It remained an open hook,
[00:42:03.266]and that means a long-track tornado's gonna happen,
[00:42:06.911]even though it's slow-moving.
[00:42:08.901]So, here at 7:10, the reds and the greens
[00:42:11.476]are getting closer together.
[00:42:14.071]The tornado's getting bigger, and bigger.
[00:42:18.181]7:16 becoming wedge status,
[00:42:20.859]and we're just to the northwest of it now.
[00:42:23.339]Are we gonna deploy pods?
[00:42:25.716]The reason why we're not deploying pods
[00:42:27.246]is the Doppler On Wheels folks decided Wichita
[00:42:32.721]was gonna be a better place, and they decided
[00:42:35.306]to stay in Wichita.
[00:42:37.036]And a storm did develop there.
[00:42:39.331]But I asked permission to depart from the project,
[00:42:43.471]and go on my own as rogue renegade scout vehicle,
[00:42:47.326]and they allowed me to do that.
[00:42:49.006]So, I'm very pleased for that because that turned out
[00:42:51.281]to be the best chase of my career.
[00:42:53.471]Red next to green, good thing.
[00:42:56.494]Look at the size of the wall cloud.
[00:42:59.316]If you see a big blocky wall cloud
[00:43:01.221]with a big tornado on there, you know it's gonna last
[00:43:03.351]a long time.
[00:43:05.091]It's a very powerful tornado.
[00:43:07.626]Fortunately, not much was out there.
[00:43:10.189]It did plow up some of the wheat, though.
[00:43:14.936]There's a hook, and then there's another cell developing
[00:43:17.066]to the west of that.
[00:43:19.076]Sometimes that's a bad thing.
[00:43:20.666]When you have a lot of rain coming into a storm,
[00:43:22.991]it could be curtains; but, in this case, it helped intensify
[00:43:27.706]this tornado even more.
[00:43:29.911]So, here we have folding on, again.
[00:43:31.546]Remember what I said, when you peg the scale,
[00:43:33.646]you're going into the reds where there's green.
[00:43:36.421]So, it's minus 90, minus 100 knots,
[00:43:41.046]and you're getting this folding over.
[00:43:44.483]Look at that wall cloud!
[00:43:48.071]The bulbous nature of that thing.
[00:43:50.666]I was going, "This is crazy!"
[00:43:54.776]I had never seen such a gigantic wall cloud,
[00:44:00.011]and I knew this was gonna be lasting.
[00:44:01.616]Already it's been on the ground now for 15, 20 minutes.
[00:44:06.011]I didn't realize it was gonna be 90 minutes, though.
[00:44:10.016]So, this thing crosses the road,
[00:44:11.079]and you can see the danger here
[00:44:12.231]without having the Doppler On Wheels telling me,
[00:44:14.946]"Tim, the tornado's gonna cross here in five minutes."
[00:44:18.936]There's all this precip wrapping around it.
[00:44:21.366]I do not wanna be in a situation where there's precip
[00:44:24.643]wrapping around a tornado, and I can't see
[00:44:26.066]where the tornado is.
[00:44:27.306]I don't have DOW support.
[00:44:28.746]I'm not gonna go blindly
[00:44:29.761]into a rain-wrap circulation, folks.
[00:44:33.176]That's another reason to stay put.
[00:44:34.513]So, we stayed south of the tornado,
[00:44:35.616]it was across the highway 7:28.
[00:44:38.056]There's your folded velocities,
[00:44:39.256]and we're only two miles away.
[00:44:41.881]And we decided, "Hey, let's go east on I-70."
[00:44:45.586]Why did they put I-70 there?
[00:44:47.191]So, you could parallel tornadoes.
[00:44:56.206]That's why I like I-70; I like I-80 for the same reason.
[00:45:00.964]So, we get over to Abilene, it's not Texas it's Kansas,
[00:45:03.906]and it starts to shrink up.
[00:45:05.781]Look at the little, tiny updraft,
[00:45:07.281]little scraggly beaver tail there, little updraft.
[00:45:09.346]It's like, okay, it's roping out now.
[00:45:11.146]7:37 it's already been on the ground for 30 minutes,
[00:45:13.486]it's over, right?
[00:45:15.391]No, decided to get its act back together, again,
[00:45:18.046]due in part to maybe this precip to the back
[00:45:20.926]decided to reinvigorate this.
[00:45:23.551]So, we were just to the east, southeast of this tornado.
[00:45:26.426]It's moving along, 7:39.
[00:45:28.496]Big tornado crossing the highway, again.
[00:45:30.641]Okay, let's go back down to the interstate, go east again.
[00:45:33.321]And, of course, my chase partner, Brandon, was very happy
[00:45:37.334]to see the tornado.
[00:45:38.611]So, another hook.
[00:45:40.936]Look at the folded velocities.
[00:45:42.721]We're marching east.
[00:45:44.881]It is now 7:53.
[00:45:46.771]So, the tornado first was on the ground at 7:07,
[00:45:49.456]so now we have a big updraft, again,
[00:45:51.676]and now tornado's getting bigger, again.
[00:45:53.446]Didn't rope out.
[00:45:54.391]It's coming across the hills, you could hear it.
[00:45:58.936]Passed us, again.
[00:46:00.526]Drive up to it, then drive around it,
[00:46:02.536]then drive back up to it, then drive around it.
[00:46:04.689]We repeated that thing four times.
[00:46:07.463]Tell me how many times.
[00:46:08.513]Here's another view, 7:57, tornado nearing Jeep Road.
[00:46:12.076]You see the white froth; that's the RFD precip coming in.
[00:46:16.501]Atomize rain, when you atomize rain,
[00:46:19.051]there's little, fine droplets moving at high speed.
[00:46:21.086]When that happens, you know you're too close.
[00:46:26.321]That's what they call the bear's cage.
[00:46:29.421]Here we back on I-70, but I-70 takes this little
[00:46:33.856]turn to the northeast, right into the tornado's path,
[00:46:37.441]and we knew that the, oh, this is not gonna be a good idea.
[00:46:41.046]And we don't wanna actually be in the tornado,
[00:46:43.236]but we paralleled it, I mean, really close to it.
[00:46:45.411]The tornado here, the left edge you can see,
[00:46:48.036]but the right edge you can't see.
[00:46:49.971]We're seeing through the inside of the tornado.
[00:46:52.251]This happens to be a sub-vortex on the west side,
[00:46:55.461]but the whole tornado is that distance to the right.
[00:46:58.686]And then there's this other cell to the west,
[00:47:01.146]already on I-70, and it could actually tornado, as well.
[00:47:06.036]We could have two tornadoes out of this thing
[00:47:07.971]from two different storms.
[00:47:09.336]So, we watched this tornado cross I-70,
[00:47:11.406]and, again, remember what I said?
[00:47:12.671]When a tornado gets close to you,
[00:47:14.471]it doesn't look like a tornado; it's a rotating fog bank
[00:47:18.581]of flying debris, and we were really, really close.
[00:47:23.109]Just a few hundred yards away.
[00:47:24.981]8:12, and this is an hour and five minutes now
[00:47:28.191]the tornado's been on the ground.
[00:47:29.391]Brad was further back, and this was the view he had.
[00:47:32.151]So, we were up right there as it crossed I-70.
[00:47:35.356]It's a miracle nobody drove into this thing and got killed.
[00:47:38.999]So, we let the tornado go by us,
[00:47:40.526]and it was heading for Chapman.
[00:47:41.861]The Weather Service had a tornado emergency out for Chapman,
[00:47:44.456]as well they should.
[00:47:46.706]But talk about the best-of-the-best chases.
[00:47:50.696]When you can go ahead and drive up to a tornado four times.
[00:47:57.681]26 miles, half a mile wide, 17 miles an hour.
[00:48:00.456]No injuries, no deaths.
[00:48:02.926]If we're gonna be chasing tornadoes and deploying pods,
[00:48:05.491]that's the way we like to see it.
[00:48:07.831]Did do some damage to some rural homes,
[00:48:09.766]and it did bend the railroad tracks over.
[00:48:16.186]And those things are anchored in the ground,
[00:48:17.701]so imagine what it could do to a vehicle.
[00:48:19.166]So, it was amazing.
[00:48:21.163]Excellent forecast, again.
[00:48:22.941]I don't always get 'em right,
[00:48:24.636]but this year was a beaut for me.
[00:48:27.666]And it's time for a final Storm Chaser Jeopardy.
[00:48:32.611]Again, I give you the answer, and you give me the question.
[00:48:38.551]They get harder, yet, so wage your tornadoes carefully
[00:48:42.586]for the spring.
[00:48:44.056]How many tornadoes you think you're gonna see this spring?
[00:48:46.066]You're betting me.
[00:48:47.701]Say, 10 tornadoes you're gonna see this spring?
[00:48:52.568]If you're right, Double Jeopardy's gonna happen,
[00:48:56.228]we get 20 tornadoes this spring.
[00:48:58.041]If you're wrong, you lose all your tornadoes.
[00:48:59.946]Think about it.
[00:49:03.906]He played five roles in the Wizard of Oz.
[00:49:08.691]Think about it, give you an extra couple of seconds.
[00:49:13.686]Who was the person that played five roles?
[00:49:20.721]I want the real name.
[00:49:24.401]Who said that?
[00:49:26.671]Holy cow, phenomenal!
[00:49:28.981]Yes, woops, it's Frank Morgan.
[00:49:31.549]He didn't say who is.
[00:49:33.638]Yeah, he didn't say who is, but that's all right.
[00:49:38.121]Who is Frank Morgan?
[00:49:42.148]Are you ready to wager double or nothing?
[00:49:45.546]Because it's time for the Daily Double.
[00:49:51.726]Yes, okay, here you go.
[00:49:54.336]Name those five roles.
[00:50:01.701]Anybody wants to name the five roles
[00:50:03.536]Frank Morgan played in the Wizard of Oz?
[00:50:10.016]The Wizard, good one, Brian.
[00:50:11.456]I knew you'd come in.
[00:50:12.686]Good one, Brian, that's good.
[00:50:19.556]The Lion, no, it's not The Lion.
[00:50:26.336]One of the munchkins, are you kidding me?
[00:50:34.648]Here you go, Professor Marvel.
[00:50:39.181]The Gatekeeper, The Wizard, of course,
[00:50:41.776]The Guard, and the Carriage Driver.
[00:50:44.061]Remember the horse of a different color?
[00:50:49.508]It was a wonderful year.
[00:50:51.391]I had a great time with all these grad students.
[00:50:54.964]I love chasing.
[00:50:57.356]It was remarkable, I hope to do it again this next spring,
[00:51:00.519]although we've been approved right now to do it.
[00:51:03.609]Hopefully Mother Nature will cooperate.
[00:51:05.806]Thank you so much, Ken, everybody, for inviting me back.
[00:51:11.236]It was a pleasure.
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