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storm gallery: June 7, 2008

June 7, 2008: The computer models suggested a big line might form in Kansas - though tornadoes were possible within a drivable distance, even though it looked like the best stuff might be farther northeast. The promising forecast, combined with anticipation of more missed flights on my way home to Florida (my connection turned out to be hosed), prompted me to delay my return home for a day. So I caught up again with Dave Lewison and Scott McPartland for what turned out to be an evolving and ultimately exciting chase in 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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On June 7, west of Beatrice, Nebraska, Dave Lewison checks out the distant anvils from a line of storms forming to the west. A line was undesirable, but we hoped one cell would break out and dominate. West of Beatrice, Nebraska, wheat blows hard in the southerly wind. As we approached the line, a small, weak storm cell had features that indicated rotation.
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The storms also had lovely mammatus clouds. Here's an enhanced shot of the mammatus clouds in the anvil. Near the town of Jewell, Kansas, a rotating storm cell looms behind a tornado-damaged house.
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The cell developed an interesting lowering. This lowering northwest of Jewell looked very much like a tornado. I am inclined to call it a funnel. It was pretty thready, and heavy on scud, but it was in the right place and appeared to be rotating weakly. The funnel-like feature lingered for a few minutes before retreating.
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Here's a closeup of the feature. Though suggestive, it does not appear to be a tornado. Here's another look. The small cell definitely showed signs of rotation; just look at its curved shape. Next we turned to what had been the dominant cell in the line and now had become large and in charge. This is a quick shot I took on Route 24 near Cawker City, Kansas, while driving of the storm's anvil and its "furrows" of mammatus clouds.
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We had to get close to the cell - north of Osborne, where Route 24 meets 281 - to see its incredible structure and power. A smooth, rotating base had a clear wall cloud/area of rotation, at right. The storm was rotating gloriously. Here's another look at the storm's fantastic mothership structure. Meanwhile, a funnel had formed under that large wall cloud in the rain at right.
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Another shot of the rotating storm. When this huge lowering appeared, I thought a large tornado was in the offing. Then rain began to wrap around it. A new mesocyclone began to form on the east side of the storm.
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Look at the gorgeous curvature of the rotating storm's base. A lowering descends from the new meso. There is clearly a funnel in the lowering.
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Here's another view of the storm and funnel. The wall cloud had multiple vortices. Here's a closeup of the tiny tornado that finally touched down.
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The multi-funnel wall cloud managed to connect with the ground with at least this one, slim tornado. For a moment, it appeared the wall cloud might produce another tornado with this swirl. It didn't. The two mesos persisted but did not apparently put down another tornado.
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The weakening meso remained beautiful as it passed over this house. And one more look ... Another view...
A new storm, with a classic hook echo on radar indicating rotation, developed behind the big one.

2008 reports and photos

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