All images and text © copyright
Gene Moore unless otherwise indicated.
The target area for this chase was a warm front extending east from a low pressure system over Wichita, Kansas. A large classic supercell developed on US highway 54 and moved slowly northeast. An extensive line of flanking cumulus towers (called a flanking line) was feeding into the storm from the southwest. This line contained individual towers that were producing light rain, but no lightning along the southern extent. The line was about 7-10 miles in length and three areas along the line were developing tornadic circulations, or wall clouds. Considering the distance involved these were probably different mesocyclones. Our first tornado came from the far southwest edge of the line.
A thin trail of condensation extended to the ground as the
tornado formed. No thunder or lightning occurred during the tornado and very
The condensation funnel is on the ground during this shot.
Rapid up motion extend from the base of the funnel to the cloud base in the far
right side of the image. A thin veil of rain extended along the flanking line
to the tornado.
The mature tornado persisted on the ground but movement was
slow enough to allow photography from one position. At this time we could see
the other wall cloud circulations becoming better organized. These features
were buried in the dark sky to the north making photography
The tornado remained on the ground during this image, but was beginning to weaken and would lift soon. We broke off this tornado early to began the search for a dirt road north through the Flint Hills. Another tornado, possibly larger was gathering strength further north.
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