All images and text © copyright Gene Moore unless otherwise indicated.
Our monster barrel cloud was wrapping up in the rain behind us and a new rain free CB (cumulonimbus ) was moving north. It converged with the down stream precipitation area from the first storm. We took back roads to an area north of Susank. Before any rain fell from our new cell an impressive mesocyclone formed and begin dipping close to the ground. As the cell merged with an outflow boundary from an cell along the warm front and immediately the rotation increased and the vertical motion became almost tornadic.
It's surprising there was no debris cloud under this circulation.
Generally a circulation this deep into the storm and wound this tight, puts
down a tornado fast, but this time the the mesocyclone broadened slowing the
tornadic process. It was amazing to watch with incredible up and down motions
on the back side as condensation forms and dissipates at the speed of a time
lapse movie. The intense part of the circulation was located on the southeast
side of the wall cloud. It lowered a little then spun up dust from the ground
on occasion, but didn't produce a tornado at this time
Two wide angle shots with my 17 and 24 mm lenses show the changes in the circulation; it was moving south in the second shot. Also, by the second image a well developed funnel formed. This circulation came down twice, but I didn't get stills of that scene. Later, other chasers informed us a dirt debris cloud was in progress on the other side of the hill. We saw condensation funnels shoot to ground and dissipate a couple of times. We were attempting a move south and east when the tornado came down, which is sometimes the way these things work. It lasted for about 5-6 minutes.
A couple of video captures (grabs) are included here. As usual the quality leaves something much to be desired, but you get the idea. We had a good tornado in progress just to our east. I got these on video after locking up the brakes and getting set up again. I did miss the taping the condensation funnel to ground.
In our final scene of this sequence is a wide angle of the
mesocylcone and funnel. The system produced at least two more tornadoes,
including one good size tornado we didn't see. A couple more chase teams were
on the storm at that time. We broke off the storm for a while and ate a late
lunch. Later we rode out a high wind storm at Mc Pherson, KS as building damage
occurred across the street from us. After that less than fun experience we
dropped south and got on a complex that would later produce a tornado near El
Dorado just after dark. We did see that tornado, but could never get good
photography positioning on the storm. The tail cloud and inflow banding
associated with that storm were the best I have seen all year.
Return to 1997 Season