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!"

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!! 




  1. Amazing Mike! Looking forward to more pics!

    Comment by Sam — November 10, 2008 @ 7:42 pm

  2. Congratulations on catching such an exceptional event, Mike! I was chasing the soft Cbs northwest of Boise City and was totally oblivious to this tornado until just an hour ago.

    Comment by mattz — November 10, 2008 @ 7:54 pm

  3. Damn, nice November fatty! Nice forecasting for it too.

    Comment by MikeH — November 10, 2008 @ 8:12 pm

  4. Wow dude, way to go! Still my dream to nab a tornado in November, and you did it with amazing style! Sweet!!!

    Comment by Tony Laubach — November 10, 2008 @ 8:28 pm

  5. Dust devils in IN today… dust devils, congrats on a lovely Nov bagging!

    Comment by TCook — November 10, 2008 @ 8:35 pm

  6. Congrats on such a successful chase! Also looking forward to more photos and I enjoyed reading your forecast.

    Comment by Brandon — November 10, 2008 @ 9:02 pm

  7. thats pretty crazy mike, never thought id see something like that with those conditions…guess it was just too much dynamics near that low, kinda forced one to form huh?

    anyway, just wanted to congratulate you, ive always liked your work and that doesnt dissapoint…

    Comment by terry t — November 10, 2008 @ 9:31 pm

  8. Wow, thanks for all the comments and compliments. This was truly awesome to experience, unlike any tornado environment I’ve intercepted since I started chasing 11 years ago. I was wearing my Jayhawk hoodie just to stay warm out of the car. It never got above 58 or 59 degrees the entire time I chased even when I was as far south as the far north-central OK Panhandle around 1230 or 1pm. During the time I intercepted the supercell, my Jeep’s thermometer was at a steady 55 to 57 degrees… and as the storm moved north, the east winds just got cooler… all the way down to 52 degrees during the tornado to almost the due east or east southeast of the tornado at 330pm. After the tornado died, the storm also died and it’s like the snap of a finger… I went into a shroud of fog and 47 degrees. Awesome. More details in the account later and all the interesting decision making points of this unique chase..

    Comment by Mike U — November 10, 2008 @ 9:37 pm

  9. If only you were as much of a babe magnet as you were a tornado magnet, you’d be the Pimp Daddy of the Great Plains. Congrats man! I was sound asleep at the time (darn mids). GREAT call in the cold core setup. As Davies would say, “nice job young man”.

    Comment by Chiefy — November 10, 2008 @ 9:55 pm

  10. Mike…you are the man! Nice call so early in the morning too. Congrats!

    Comment by RodneyP — November 11, 2008 @ 7:13 am

  11. Mike,

    Congrats on not only an excellent forecast, but catching THE storm that produced a nice tornado. Bravo!

    Also, a hearty congratulations on benig promoted to Lead Forecaster at DDC!!

    Comment by Steve Miller TX — November 11, 2008 @ 9:41 am

  12. Good job Mushine! Hey, I have close up pics from the EM who was about a mile away. It was multiple vortex for a while, at least that’s what it appears from the stills he sent me. But at the same time his pics look nothing like the one you posted. Anxious to the see the rest!


    Comment by Jabba Hooties — November 11, 2008 @ 9:56 am

  13. After reading your forecast yesterday, I kept my eyes up to your location. Nobody really wanted to talk about anything but Texas yesterday. Can’t get much more rewarding than that! Congrats.

    Comment by Dann Cianca — November 11, 2008 @ 9:59 am

  14. Mike – AWESOME!
    Saw you on SN dancing with that storm. Was thrilled to see the text report out of Dodge and even more thrilled to see the shots form the storm.
    How’s it feel to have probably the only record of that tornado?

    Comment by Steve Miller OK — November 11, 2008 @ 10:14 am

  15. Thanks again everyone! Yeah, Jeff, as you will see in forthcoming images (sorry to keep everyone in suspense!!) the shape of the tornado was ever-changing. It was indeed multi-vortex at times with condensation filaments rotating about a common center quite often. There were a number of emergency vehicles along Hwy 27 a couple miles north of Johnson at the time after it had developed, so it doesn’t surprise me there are more photos, probably from the same perspective along Hwy 27… since the tornado moved north parallel to the highway no more than a mile away!  I never observed any structural "flying debris" though.

    Comment by Mike U — November 11, 2008 @ 11:38 am

  16. Mike, you made a great call. Congratulations! I posted on your chase in my own blog and provided a link to yours.

    Cold core setups intrigue me; they’re so counterintuitive. I appreciate the analysis you provided–very helpful, as I’m trying to better understand these setups. I witnessed a sort of hybrid cold core tornado in February last year near KC. It was weird standing in air cold enough to frost my breath and watch a funnel touch down a couple miles to the southwest.

    Comment by Bob Hartig — November 11, 2008 @ 12:06 pm

  17. You know, I heard about a cold-core setup and a tornado with it, and I just thought it would be a little funnel, no big deal. Well, how about that! It’s a nice one! Great job Mike!

    Comment by AJ Dome — November 11, 2008 @ 7:06 pm

  18. Mike great job on this set-up, from work looking at the visible satellite reminded me a lot of 10/26/06 where I was able to get in on the action too after your first tornado report that day. Not to be this time, drove SW of Dodge to near Fowler to what looked like on radar some cells trying to go up but found only lots of fog

    Comment by Ed ONeal — November 11, 2008 @ 7:58 pm

  19. Great forecast and catch Mike ! Congrats on your promotion .

    Comment by Dean Cosgrove — November 12, 2008 @ 10:48 am

  20. Congrats Mike!!!! I was watching the whole event unfold and wishing I had ditch class to be down there, I’m excited to see more photos as always!

    Comment by Michael Carlson — November 12, 2008 @ 11:53 am

  21. Super job on both the forecast and the chase, Mike! Like some others, I wonder how many of these have happened in the past and never documented. I’m looking forward to more pix, too!

    Comment by Chuck Doswell — November 12, 2008 @ 4:40 pm

  22. Awesome tornado Mike! Way to nail the forecast!

    Comment by Adam L. — November 13, 2008 @ 6:37 pm

  23. Great work Meso Mike! If anybody can pull out a tornado with mid-50′s temps. and 47dp its you man.

    Comment by Jim Leonard — November 24, 2008 @ 6:08 pm

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