|This first major event of the busiest week in tornado history left us
disappointed and frustrated. First, a list of what went wrong:
1. We positioned ourselves on the eastern side of the metro area, thinking it made
sense to avoid fighting traffic while chasing the storms
2. We constantly found ourselves looking into raincores or behind storms, gazing
through haze and hills to see what were apparently tornadoes in every direction
3. The most exciting part of the chase, when we encountered the outer edge of the
initial tornadic circulation near Liberty at about 5:15, we documented poorly. When
will I learn to let the camera run no matter what?
Considering that we arrived in the area in plenty of time, and in fact stopped near
Lawrence well before initiation, within ten miles of where the Bonner Springs supercell
fired, we finished the day with poor imagery and tired eyes from having driven all the way
to the KC area after something of a grueling chase the day before in NW Texas.
what I wrote for the blog:
"We had three or four distinct events. First, Jeff and I may have seen a tornado near
Platte City in the Northwest Quadrant of Kansas City, Missouri.
Later, we saw the outer edge of circulation as a tornado formed in downtown Liberty,
Missouri, where large debris floated through the air in a strangely dim light with
rotating rain curtains and screaming inflow behind us. We bailed out of the approaching
tornado and raced it up State Road 69 toward Excelsior Springs where we saw the somewhat
rain-wrapped wedge grind from the south toward a Wal-Mart near the edge of town. When the
precip was too heavy to stay, we continued up the highway and witnessed a very small,
non-violent (and therefore not meeting the classical definition of a tornado) circulation
which crossed the road near Wood Heights.
Unfortunately, these storms and tornadoes peeked in and out so quickly and in such hilly
terrain that our video isn't even close to what chasers saw in Kansas City proper or,
apparently Southeastern Kansas. But the experience of being in the outer circulation of a
developing large tornado was surreal enough to more than make up for the lack of glorious
footage. I may have images of the Wal-Mart wedge that are *decent,* but after three
straight days of driving constantly, I'm in no condition to upload them. In the morning,
I'll post them.
A huge thanks to Jeff Gammons for great nowcasting, staying on the phone with us
constantly as we skirted the edge of the tornadic storm moving through North Central KC
metro. Also, Rob Hall made himself available, too. Thanks to both. Congratulations to all
my friends who had success the last two days: Shane, Scott Currens, Chris Sokol, and many
Kansas City, MO NWS Report
Jeff Lawson's Report