May 9, 2016


Initial Target
Storm Intercepts
Concordia, KS
Wichita, KS 12:17 PM 5/9/2016
Springfield, IL 12:55 PM 5/10/2016
Mankato, KS
0 mph
Wall Cloud


Marginal cold core play in northern Kansas. Played secondary target to avoid unfavorable Oklahoma target and had to get back home. Intercepted storm near Mankato, noting rotating wall cloud, but got stuck in mud and had to call for a tow.

Crew and Equipment

Chase partners: Jennifer Brindley Ubl. Equipment: Canon 60D, Canon t2i, Canon EFS 10-22, Canon EF 50mm, Sony FDR-AX100.




My third and final chase day on this run with Jennifer Brindley Ubl. We had to get home the next day, and the primary target was looking like it was going to be over unfavorable terrain in southeast Oklahoma. We instead opted to play the secondary "cold core" target up in north central Kansas.

Rotating Wall Cloud
6 miles N of Jewell, KS
5:50 PM
We were doing great on our storm intercept until I decided to get us closer on gravel and the gravel gave way to mud. We quickly got stuck in it and had to call for a tow. While awaiting the tow, our storm organized and passed by to the east with a pretty white, rotating wall cloud cloud. It would have more than made up for us getting stuck if it had produced a tornado right then, but the wall cloud quickly fell apart.
The tow showed up. Meanwhile the Oklahoma target was going bonkers. Storms formed further west than originally forecast and there were violent tornadoes near I-35 in halfway decent terrain.
Getting yanked out of the mud with an active "Tornado Emergency" one state to the south.
Back on dry land:


This was a pretty debilitating chase fail for me. Getting stuck in the mud is one thing, but doing so while missing one of the most powerful and dramatic tornadoes of the year is another. The Katie/Wynnewood, OK tornado was rated EF4, was incredibly intense and put on a dramatic display for those who chased it. I felt like it overshadowed our incredible Wray intercept just day earlier even. Other dramatic tornadoes including wedges occurred elsewhere in Oklahoma. Meanwhile we had picked the wrong target. The sleeper cold core target verified, we just didn't go far enough. The warm front in Nebraska with even more marginal parameters wound up producing several tornadoes along I-80 including in Lincoln.

Lessons Learned

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