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Chase May 6 2003

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Route:Midwest City (OK) - Arkansas City (KS) - Elk City (KS) - Moran (KS) - Collins (MO) - Springfield (MO)
Chasepartner(s):Saskia Mulder


CHASE LOG:
Just two days after the tornado outbreak in MO and KS on May 4th, another potential dangerous setup occured in that area. We left the OKC metro in the early morning and headed north on I35. We left the interstate just before the first toll and drove east to Independance, Kansas. After a breakfast at the local Sonic we decided to look for a wild life area in the surrounding area. We found one near Elk City and there we played the waiting game. Towers were growing rapidly, but the shear seemed too strong for storm development at that time.
Later that afternoon storms did form and we drove to the northeast for interception. In just a few minutes time those storms grew at an amazing speed, but they were fast moving as well. Local radio informed us about a possible tornado just south of Moran, Kansas. When we arrived there we found no tornado, but we did see an amazing beaver tail. The wall cloud looked disorganized and weakening. We tried to keep up with the speeding storm, but we got stopped by one of those long US cargo trains.
We drove thru Fort Scott and into Missouri. The storm was moving much too fast to keep up with, so we stopped for some photos. Above us we saw an anvil filled with mammatus clouds. In Collins we headed south as we heard about more storms near the KS/MO border. On route 13 we encountered a storm with tremendous rotation. It looked like a rotating wall cloud just went over us! A few minutes later NWS issued a tornado warning for that storm and about 10 minutes later a tornado was confirmed on the ground. Damn we missed that one! We drove further south to Springfield and here we found an active thunderstorm. Many close CG's and lots and lots of rain. We tried to find a spot for lightning photography, but just when it got dark enough the lightning activity ceased. So we called it a day and checked in at Motel 6 Springfield.


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© 2003 Bernard Hulshof