June 11, 2022


Initial Target
Storm Intercepts
Nebraska City, NE
Lincoln, NE 10:15 AM 6/11/2022
Hays, KS 10:02 PM 6/11/2022
Wymore, NE; Manhattan, KS
60 mph
Rotating Wall Cloud, RFD Gust Front


Northwest flow setup in southeast NE/northeast KS. Targeted Nebraska City for afternoon supercells. Intercepted tornado warned HP supercell near Wymore, NE noting tight low level rotation. Chased by storm into Manhattan, KS and caught behind RFD gust front. Escaped west through side of the hook, ending chase.

Crew and Equipment

Chase partners: Jennifer Brindley Ubl. Equipment: Photography courtesy Jennifer Brindley Ubl on a Nikon Z 7II.




Brindley and I were back on our own after a couple chases with the group. We spent the previous day driving across Nebraska and stayed at the historic Cornhusker Hotel in downtown Lincoln. Today looked like a decent shot at a supercell and maybe a tornado with northwest flow aloft clipping the warm sector along the Missouri River.

Snack Time
3 miles S of Nebraska City, NE
12:27 PM
Our target was Nebraska City. We hung out on a gravel road outside of town by the airport, snacking, prepping cameras, and waiting for initiation.

Awaiting Initiation
3 miles S of Nebraska City, NE
12:37 PM

Elevated Showers
3 miles S of Nebraska City, NE
1:41 PM

Prepping Cameras
3 miles S of Nebraska City, NE
2:10 PM

Supercell Sighted
8 miles ESE of Wymore, NE
5:08 PM
A small cluster of storms fired near Beatrice, well to our southwest, and they quickly grew into supercells. We scrambled for the intercept, anxious to get there quickly before the inevitable transition to a high precipitation storm mode. We arrived to see one of the lead cells sporting a striated tower and bowing gust front, but it looked like it was already HP as well.

Gnarly Gust Front
5 miles SSE of Wymore, NE
5:13 PM
We stopped and let the cluster of storms approach with a gnarlier looking gust front.

Lead Edge Lowering
4 miles SSE of Wymore, NE
5:13 PM
A lowering on the lead edge of the cluster looking northeast:

Wide Angle Tornado Warned Supercell
4 miles SSE of Wymore, NE
5:15 PM
Ultra-wide angle shot of approaching tornado warned supercell:

Precipitation Core
4 miles SSE of Wymore, NE
5:16 PM
Great colors inside the core:

Inflow Notch Lowering
4 miles SSE of Wymore, NE
5:19 PM
Looking north now, a rotating lowering developed in the inflow notch kink.

Tight Low Level Rotation
4 miles SSE of Wymore, NE
5:19 PM
It wrapped up and continued to lower with focused low level rotation. This would have been the moment to get a tornado on this chase.

Rotating Wall Cloud
4 miles SSE of Wymore, NE
5:20 PM
It wasn’t to be, however. The focused, tight rotation dissipated while the broader wall cloud continued to turn.

Scuddy Inflow Notch
2 miles E of Olsburg, KS
6:46 PM
The cluster conglomerated into a massive tornado warned supercell with spiraling arms like some sort of land based hurricane, now on a course for Manhattan, KS: The Manhattan Landcane.

The storm turned right as it organized, moving south-southeast into Kansas. We started stair stepping southward to stay in front of it, but it was literally chasing us now. We had a couple more peeks into the notch, but the roads get sparse in this corner of Kansas so we wound up having to zig zag east and west in front of the RFD gust front. The roads eventually all funnel into Manhattan. The one thing I didn’t want to happen was to get caught in the bustling college down with the huge tornado warned HP storm bearing down. But we wound up zigging when we should have zagged, and waiting when we should have gone, so that’s exactly what wound up happening anyway.
Our route took us west for miles, and the apex of the RFD gust front caught us. I crested a hill and saw we were about to go over the Tuttle Creek Causeway, a narrow, low bridge over a wide expanse of water. “This is going to be good” I thought out loud. Streaky bands of rain danced around us along with blasts of shifting winds. The car rocked, but we made it across without issue, the main circulation still miles to our northeast.

We emerged from the gust front, but our road funneled us southeast into Manhattan. And there the gust front caught us again. Blasts of heavy rain and outflow, the sky green, we negotiated the traffic and traffic lights. Over the storm we could hear the sirens wailing, and as the storm intensified, the traffic stopped following the signals, cars running red lights from both directions. We cleared each intersection visually as we went, and progressed southward through town as fast as reasonable.

We could almost make it. Emerging from Manhattan, I could see clear air ahead with a straight shot south. We blasted down the road to gain ground, but almost immediately hit the next problem: Construction, road closed 15 miles ahead. We continued for a short ways as I pondered the situation. The storm looked like it was still turning right, now moving almost due south, putting us directly in the path. The road up ahead would degrade and potentially just end. The situation was all kinds of wrong. I pulled an abrupt U-turn, a risky move as we were still buried in RFD core and visibility was low. Our escape route was west down I-70 out of the side of the hook. We’d have to backtrack a couple miles north though, and so we did, charging directly toward the core of the supercell. Buffeted by wind and rain as we closed on the center of rotation, it was easily the hairiest situation in which Brindley and I had found ourselves in the past couple years. The ramp to I-70 appeared ahead and we merged onto the highway, moving quickly away from the mesocyclone and toward gradually clearing skies to the west.

Dramatic Scud
3 miles SSW of Junction City, KS
7:57 PM
Once clear of the storm we stopped in Junction City to refuel and collect ourselves. Huge chunks of scud moved dramatically low to the ground southward on the periphery of the storm.

End of Chase Day Rainbow
6 miles S of Junction City, KS
8:15 PM
The huge "landcane" seemed to just abruptly dissolve after that, perhaps hitting capped air in the hot warm sector of Kansas. We took a few more peeks at stormscapes but we were pretty much done with the day at this point, called the chase, and headed west to Hays for dinner and a room.


This was a dramatic, nerve racking chase for us that featured structure, severe weather close encounters, and too much excitement. No tornado shot, but we thought we did well, capturing a wall cloud with tight low level rotation on an otherwise hard to chase day.

Lessons Learned

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