Chris Kridler's Sky Diary: storm chasing, photography and rainy-day tales

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storm gallery: May 6-8, 2001

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The Plains storm chase began May 6, 2001, on my second day of driving from the East Coast. The storms fired early, so I missed the tornadoes, which happened soon after initiation. But I had high hopes for this storm east of Ardmore, Oklahoma, as I approached it. Image from video. Scary and close! This looked like a wall cloud hanging from the underbelly of the beast, but despite violent motion, it lacked any organized rotation. Image from video.

Warnings continued as other cumulus clouds got ambitious in the glowing light. Image from slide. Also May 6, as I checked out the storm in Kingston, Oklahoma, the tornado siren went off. There were lots of roiling clouds and also persistently rising scud tags being sucked up into the storm in one area, but it seemed too disorganized to spawn a tornado. Image from video.

My day ended May 6 in northern Texas, where I shot a few lightning photos. Image from slide. On May 8, chase partner Dave Lewison and I were happily distracted from what we thought would be a dry travel day. Storms went up in north Kansas. This one north of Beloit developed a wall cloud. Image from video.

Dave checks out the storm. Image from slide. The storm on May 8 formed a beautiful "mothership" appearance indicative of rotation, though it was slow. Image from slide.

Though the leading edge of the storm showed signs of motion and rotation, we did not see any of the spotter-reported tornadoes. I would be interested in seeing video confirmation of those. Image from slide. Here's a swirl trying to form on the eastern edge of the storm. Image from slide.

As the storm advanced, there was a lot of movement on its leading edge. But this did not become a tornado. Image from video. We got caught in some pea- to quarter-size hail. Some of the bigger stuff was soft and went SPLAT! See that big splat on the windshield? Image from video.

We were treated to a nice sunset. Image from slide. Another severe storm northwest of Concordia had a crisp base. Image from video.

The storm was spitting out pretty lightning. Image from video. Yes, dust rose under the base, for whatever reason. As it was nearly dark, it was hard to tell the cause. The storm soon fizzled. Image from video.

Links to 2001 chase reports:

  • February 14-March 31: Fog, a few storms and blue-sky distractions in drought-stricken Florida
  • May 6-8: Roiling severe storms in Oklahoma and a mothership in Kansas
  • May 9-11: Pretty storms in Iowa, Minnesota and Missouri
  • May 16-19: Lightning and downpours during a Kansas chase and an outflow boundary from heck in Texas
  • May 20: A too-close encounter with a tornadic supercell in Oklahoma
  • May 23-27: Dust devils, Texas storms and a dust-bowl-style gust front in Kansas
  • May 28: Beautiful storms in Colorado and a tornado at dusk
  • May 29: A monster, rotating, layer-cake supercell in the Texas panhandle
  • May 30: A gorgeous storm from New Mexico that produced hail from hell
  • May 31-June 1: A look at Texas tornado damage and pretty rotating storms in Kansas
  • June 3-24: Severe storms and fantastic lightning in Florida
  • July 3-August 4: Shelf clouds sweep over the water in east-central Florida
  • August 10-11: The Florida Keys offer a skinny waterspout and shimmering sunsets
  • August 17-23: Florida again proves itself king of the shelf clouds, lightning and sunsets
  • August 31-September 24: A layered gust front, lightning and the remnants of Tropical Storm Gabrielle

go to the main gallery page | go to storm chasers
go to reports from 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997