Wednesday 25 May 2016

S Cen Kansas


A lower / marginal risk of severe thunderstorms today, so in no rush to be anywhere in particular we thought we'd visit Wakita (OK), the location of where Twister was filmed! We had in the back of our minds a chase target of Enid (OK) for the chance of an isolated storm later in the day.

After spending much of the afternoon in Blackwell (OK), we nudged north towards Wichita (KS) just in case any developments occurred to our north. By the time of arrival in Wichita, there was already one thunderstorm off to our east, and another way to the north of Salina (KS). The latter soon became severe warned, but was a good 1hr 30mins drive away - we estimated we wouldn't be on this storm until near 19:30 and didn't want to drive all that way for it to die and a southern storm to then turn interesting.

The Wakita water tower, as seen in the film Twister

So instead we drove around S KS after several different faffy LP thunderstorms that had very thin updrafts and didn't really produce much at all, even lightning or rain was rather limited! Meanwhile the storm north of Salina was producing a tornado that was on the ground for well over an hour - in hindsight we could've chased this cell eventually if we'd've left Wichita earlier, and one look at the satellite picture revealed that this cell would carry on producing tornadoes given the fact it was riding along 2-3 boundaries.

Satellite image of the tornadic supercell in north Kansas, and trailing boundaries. Smaller, non-severe thunderstorms are visible in south central KS

Oh and around 9-10pm a lone severe thunderstorm popped up just north of Enid and dropped a brief tornado! Just to add insult to injury...

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