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

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storm gallery: June 6, 2008

June 6, 2008: The prime area for tornadoes was a lot farther north than our party wanted to drive. Today I chased with Dave Lewison and Scott McPartland. We targeted a slight chance of supercells in southeast Kansas.

Click on the thumbnails to see a larger image, or view these photos as a gallery. From the gallery pages, click the "up" arrow to return to this index.

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What to do while waiting for storms June 6: Dave Lewison, Charles Edwards of Cloud 9 Tours, and Scott McPartland throw rocks at puddles. Dave Lewison ducks outside the Prairie Kitchen in Cedar Vale, Kansas, as Charles Edwards flings gunk at him. I was starting to think this was the only tornado I'd see on this trip.
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In Skiatook, Oklahoma, where gas prices went up 22 cents in the minute before we arrived, the Cloud 9 Tours group watches clouds self-destruct. Scott McPartland digs his Big League Chew. This was typical of the storms forming in the slight risk area near Claremore, Oklahoma - a heavily sheared microcell.
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Storms showed little promise near Claremore, for the moment. The Petro's prehistoric beast watches mushy storms go by. Dave, celebrating his birthday, pats the beast.
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Yes, despite the sad storms, Dave was having a happy birthday. What people will remember most about this photo is the gas prices. Finally, a little hope - interesting storms zip by Claremore, Oklahoma, attempting a stacked-plate shape.
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This small storm looked like stacked plates that were falling over, thanks to the shear. This storm showed healthy convection ... and a rainbow. Here's a closer look at the storm, with its severely tilted updraft disappearing in shadow at the top of the frame.
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And now, a brief wildflower break ... Scott, Dave and I decided to pursue the more promising storm north, where it made a great foreground for the sunset. The storm showed signs of rotation and began to gain organization.
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The LP (low precipitation) storm really started to spin. The spinning storm in the northeast corner of Oklahoma developed what appeared to be a funnel. The base got more interesting. We've had some discussion about whether there were "kissing funnels," an updraft-downdraft effect, or two bases colliding.
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When the setting sun lit the back of the storm, the color was fantastic. Another view of the sunlit updraft. And one more fantastic angle!
The by-now-tornado-warned storm developed a more serious-looking wall cloud. As darkness fell, a tornado was reported. We didn't see it, and it's worth noting that tornado reports after dark aren't always reliable. Darkness forced us to abandon the chase in Pittsburg, Kansas.

2008 reports and photos

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