High Plains Drifter

disclaimer:  "The meteorological views/forecast thinking expressed are those solely of the author of this blog
and do not necessarily represent those of official National Weather Service forecast products,
therefore read and enjoy at your own risk and edification!"

December 7, 2008

UTM Photo of the Month — December 2008

Filed under: Nov 10, 2008,Photography,UTM Updates — Mike U @ 6:09 pm

Incredible, rare tornado in far Southwest Kansas in the month of November!

Thisimage was shot looking northwest from highway 27 just north of Johnson,KS. It was 52 degrees, according to my Jeep’s thermometer, to theimmediate east-southeast of this tornado. More information on thisamazing tornado can be found on my blog.Details of this image: Nikon D200 body, 29mm focal length (43mm virtualfocal length), 1/500s @ f/3.8, ISO 500. Photographed November 10, 2008during a southwest Kansas storm chase.



November 13, 2008

More Photos of 10 November Johnson, KS tornado

Filed under: Nov 10, 2008,Photography,Storm Chasing — Mike U @ 1:31 pm

Here is another photo of the Johnson, KS tornado at its mature stage.  The image was processed using mainly Levels in Adobe Lightroom and further processed using layers in Paint Shop Pro.  I used Neat Image to clean some of the noise up since I shot this at 500 ISO on my Nikon D200.  (My Nikon D3 is what I am currently using only for ultra-wide angle landscape/stormscape images, which is why all the tornado images were shot using the D200 so I could zoom in more).

There are more images!  I have uploaded an album of 22 photos showing the life of the this rare western Kansas November tornado 


November 10, 2008

Chase Acct: November 10, 2008 [brief]

Filed under: Chase Accounts,Nov 10, 2008,Storm Chasing — Mike U @ 7:36 pm

Real brief.  I will write a detailed chase account later on.  I chased and photographed my first November tornado earlier this afternoon at around 3:30pm CST.  This tornado was on the ground for ~ 7 to 10 minutes northwest of Johnson, KS about 3 to 4 miles or so.  I photographed the tornado from Hwy 27 just a couple miles north of town.  Below are two photos.  The first is the supercell storm earlier on about 10 miles SSE of Manter, KS as it was entering Stanton County.  The 2nd photo shows the tornado in its mature, large stage.  It briefly took on a wedge shape appearance, as is shown.  The immediate inflow air into this storm was ~ 53 degrees temperature over ~ 47 degree dewpoint.  Incredible!! 



A November chase close to home?!?

I am really intrigued by the meteorological setup across the far southwest Kansas/western OK Panhandle/extreme northeast NM corridor for later this afternoon.  An intense, yet compact (important!) mid level potential vorticity (PV) anomaly will eject northeast out of New Mexico by midday and become centered across the area mentioned in the first sentence.  This setup has some similarities to the 26 October 2006 setup, although probably not as intense.  Nevertheless, there is the possibility for interesting low-topped, intense convection near the nose of the mid level vort max/PV anomaly where low level convergence/frontogenesis will be extremely favored.  A narrow corridor of 45 to 50°F dewpoint air at the surface may extend northwest as far as Guymon, OK or even points west of there, sneaking into an area with ~ -21°C temps at 500mb.  Since this isn’t all that far from Dodge, I will try to chase this setup and see what I can come up with.  Just the thought of possibly seeing a brief "cold core" setup tornado in November is enough for me to get out the door, however small that probability may be.  I look at the short-term RUC forecast and have visions of 26 October 2006 running in my mind.  This would be a low CAPE event, with forecast CAPE on the order of 300 to 500 J/kg in a narrow corridor, but that is enough convective instability given the degree of focused, intense ascent from this small system at the nose of the mid-level PV anomaly.  Below is a 9-hour RUC forecast:


Powered by WordPress