May 29, 2018


Initial Target
Storm Intercepts
Coldwater, KS
Burlington, CO 8:20 AM 5/29/2018
Winston, MO 6:59 AM 5/30/2018
Lookout, OK
0 mph
Wall Cloud, RFD Clear Slot


Supercell/tornado play off an outflow boundary on the western OK/KS border. Intercepted severe warned supercell south of Coldwater, KS near Lookout, OK noting RFD core and rotating lowering. Chased east, staying ahead of storm with large amount of chaser traffic as storm transitioned to HP.

Crew and Equipment

Chase partners: Anton Seimon, Tracie Seimon. Equipment: Sony AX100, Canon 60D, Samsung S7 Edge.




Tuesday, May 29 was day 2 on the Plains with Anton and Tracie Seimon. Outflow boundaries and a shortwave trough looked to give us a tornado play near the KS/OK border.

Morning Storms
4 miles ENE of Burlington, CO
9:15 AM
We left Burlington, CO in the morning to make the trek across Kansas in time for an afternoon show. Some pretty storms were ongoing as we departed.

Storm Initiation
1 miles NNE of Sitka, KS
3:53 PM
We setup just north of the OK border near the town of Sitka, KS. A large, severe warned supercell was erupting to our west southwest and we waited downstream for it to track closer. While chatting with Anton outside the car and under the storm's anvil, we heard the powerlines overhead start to buzz. We both dove for our cars, anticipating a cloud to ground lightning bolt the next moment, but it never struck.
The supercell was turning right and moving quite slowly, so waiting for the storm to come to us was no longer an option, and we had to dive into Oklahoma to get a view of the base. The sparse paved roads and rolling hills in the area meant every spot with a view was premium real estate. Every time we crested a hill with a west view, both sides of the road were jammed with chasers.

4 miles WNW of Lookout, OK
5:15 PM
We finally found a pull off that wasn't overcrowded. A pretty backlit supercell spun away to the west.

Developing Tail Cloud
4 miles WNW of Lookout, OK
5:19 PM

Wall Cloud
4 miles WNW of Lookout, OK
5:21 PM
A block wall cloud took shape, while the RFD core tightened up in a nice green circle. The structure looked a little scuddy, and outflowy but I was hopeful we were about to get a tornado show.

Block Wall with Green Core
4 miles WNW of Lookout, OK
5:23 PM

Outflow Dominant
4 miles WNW of Lookout, OK
5:27 PM
However, outflow surged from the RFD, blasting the scudding lowering and wall cloud. The storm wasn't going to do it. We got on the road southbound making for an east option, hopefully that we'd actually be able to make the turn given the amount of chaser traffic.
The intersection was busy but we made the east turn, joining what Tim Marshall likes to call the "storm chaser conga line". We stayed on the road for quite awhile, as there were few pull offs and we didn't want to fall behind due to traffic while the storm wasn't doing much.

HP Supercell
3 miles N of Freedom, OK
6:01 PM
Near Freedom, OK we finally turned off the highway to get some supercell structure shots. The storm was solidly HP now, so our chances of getting a photogenic tornado were pretty much over. But the storm itself was gorgeous. I setup my DSLR for a time lapse.

Green Core
3 miles N of Freedom, OK
6:05 PM
Our friends from the College of DuPage stopped next to us. Anton and I chatted it up with Chris Gullikson, one of their long time drivers, while watching the storm.

3 miles N of Freedom, OK
6:12 PM

Car Camping
Winston, MO
8:15 AM
We called the chase and our teams split up. Anton and Tracie headed to Colorado to visit friends, while I headed toward Minnesota to rendezvous with Brindley the next day. I found a nice shady spot in northwest Missouri to car camp for the night.


We were hoping for a tornado play, and missed a couple near the Dodge City area, which we had driven past that morning. Our supercell intercept was photogenic, however, and made for a couple of nice time lapse sequences so the chase wasn't a total bust.

Lessons Learned

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