October 1, 2014


Initial Target
Storm Intercepts
Pittsburg, KS
Springfield, IL 8:08 AM 10/1/2014
Springfield, IL 3:28 PM 10/2/2014
Baxter Springs, KS
0 mph
Wall Cloud, RFD Clear Slot, Anvil


Fall supercell chase in southeast Kansas. Intercepted tornado warned supercell west of Baxter Springs noting wall cloud and RFD clear slot.. Storm refused to produce and then gusted out. Shot storm tower and anvil at twilight from Joplin EF5 damage path.

Crew and Equipment

Chase partners: Jennifer Brindley Ubl. Equipment: Canon 60D, Canon t2i, Canon EFS 10-22, Canon EF 50mm, Sony HDR-xr500v..




One last plains run for Brindley and I, and mere days before my wife was due to deliver our daughter. We figured we had the time, and could drive back in a hurry if something happened though, so we went for it! There was a modest shot at tornadoes in southeast Kansas and that was our initial target.
We plowed into a dramatic shelf cloud from some elevated morning storm complex over Missouri on the way out there.
What The Duck manning the dome as our dedicated camera operator.

Wall Cloud and RFD Clear Slot
9 miles S of Columbus, KS
5:12 PM
We intercepted a supercell in southeast Kansas, coming in from the north and then hook slicing the back end of the storm. We came in right behind a wall cloud as the storm went tornado warned. We had an amazingly close and high contrast view at our position, safely behind where the tornado would develop, but alas the storm refused to produce. We stair stepped with it for awhile noting some cycles of the wall cloud and RFD clear slots, but it never spit out a tube.
We let the storm go a few miles west of the Missouri border by early evening as it fell apart, and decided to call it a chase.

Twilight Storm Over Joplin
Joplin, MO
7:58 PM
We had dinner at the Red Onion Cafe in Joplin after the chase, and bumped into Brandon Sullivan and his girlfriend there. Brindley and I are heading back to the highway afterwards and she spots this storm on the horizon, anvil and updraft tower silhouetted by twilight with lightning. "Wow, let's find a spot to shoot that!" But we're in the middle of the city and there's buildings everywhere, we're never going to find a view. Then, right in the center of town, it just miraculously opened up. What luck! We're shooting this gorgeous scene and it finally starts to sink in, why there would be several empty blocks in the center of the city. We're standing on ground zero of the Joplin EF5. Humbling and sobering.


This chase was a borderline bust, but the supercell structure and amazingly photogenic storm over Joplin made it worth the run for us. It was great to get out there one last time before winter time and baby time set in too.

Lessons Learned

Follow On The Web!
Storm Chasers Giving Back!

Webpage, graphics, photos, and videos © Skip Talbot or respective owner 2018.
skip.talbot@gmail.com Skip's Webzone