Anytime, any place there is a storm to chase, that is where you'll find the Hunters of Thunder.

A quick update from the past 4 days. 19-22 May

 Hey Folks,
Thanks for following us thus far, time for an update. We will be posting a full chase brief for each of the days just haven't had time in amongst all the chasing! With the 23rd (today) and the 24th predicted to be a significant outbreak episode we will not have time at least for a couple more days. However the upside of all this chasing is a bunch of insane pictures and video, including tornadoes, structured supercell timelapse and just about everything else. So here is a quick brief and a couple of teaser photos that Crikey prepared on our way to the next storm.

May 22
Yesterday we intercepted the Joplin tornado (a very large and damaging tornado which destroyed the city and killed at least 90 people) with some video and pics from SW of the beast before it became to difficult to see - thankfully we weren't in its path but we knew where the couplet was before the tornado formed.  Cape and helicity in this area was insane.  We dropped south off this storm because we knew it was hitting Joplin and did not want to get in the way of the relief effort, the storm was almost in HP mode and the tornado had become rain-wrapped.  This decision turned out to be GOLD as we dropped onto the next storm south which went tornado warned as we arrived and despite the hills and trees of NE Oklahoma we intercepted (with pics and video) at least 3 and perhaps 4 tornadoes including one that went through elephant trunk, multi-vortice and wedge phases.  As we chased this wedge we encountered another tornado up close and then came across large tree damage across our road as well as a mobile home that had been hit (no one was home).  Due to the helicity and extreme instability storms went tornado warned like crazy - the NOAA radio was in overdrive.  It was simply an extraordinary chase day and it is safe to say we nailed it and remained safe doing so.

May 21

This was pretty much a two storm day in Kansas, the northern target for the day. We positioned north of Topeka KS, and chose the northern cell which showed a powerful signature on radar as we approached and was warned for Tennis Ball hail (and not just warned, Observed by some people who got a little to close). We closed in on the cell and managed to punch between it and a second west of the Missouri River, perfectly in time to see it produce its first tornado under a nicely structured base. A quick jaunt south to cross the Missouri and we were back on it for the second tornado north of St Joseph as the storm appeared to structure further. We continued to follow the cell east until dark, and observed another couple of weak tornadoes before the storm weakened. This wasn't the only drama though, as just because the sun goes down the storms don't stop. Tornado warned storms were coming rapidly from the west, and we were forced to drop south with the prospect of tennis ball hail from many of the storms. We came through Kansas city on the edge of another cell, and were confronted with tornado sirens blaring in the city. We will include one of these on video, just so you understand how haunting these things are at night...pretty scary. We decided the safest course was not to be in Kansas city with tornadoes bearing down and quickly skirted south, getting a view of the first incoming (which fortunately disappated coming into Kansas city. We were observing radar at the time, and three training monster supercells with tornadoes on the ground or potential to produce them was surreal, one of these cells produced an EF3 tornado which did significant damage to Reading, KS.

May 20

An incredibly photogenic chase day, once again headed for Pratt (slept in Salina), and were rewarded with a gorgeous structured supercell up close and personal near Greensburg. Pretty hard to say anything else about it, except it was the first of 4 supercell storms we got for the day, with the final of the 4 being outrageously photogenic and a base seperated from the RFD such that you could drive between them. The storms had little risk of becoming tornadic with a weak low-level shear profile, but still provided the most photogenic day of the trip, and one of the best we've seen in the states.

May 19

The chase day 5 started off in Enid, Oklahoma with solid conditions predicted for west central Kansas despite early morning convection. Our target was Pratt, with an adjustment depending on the movement of the triple point and warm front which were the optimal play for tornadic storms. A tornado watch soon followed as cells began to rapidly convect, and finally after watching convection bubble for some hours the storms formed as the triple point lifted north along with the warm front near Great Bend , Kansas where we had repositioned. The chase was on and the storms were moving relatively fast. The storm we were on quickly went tornado warned, and shortly thereafter transitioned towards a HP mode. Managed to get a couple of tornadoes fairly close to us from this storm near Dorrance, but they weren't particularly photogenic. Still a successful chase day and our first tornadoes of the trip.

Crikey and Feathers 

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