Target Area: Blackwell, Oklahoma to Wichita, Kansas
Chase Area: Kingman/Winfield, Kansas
Observations: one tornado, two wall clouds, one or two supercells, squall line, 2+ inch hail, and lightning
Distance: 405 miles
Time: 8 hours, 20 minutes
Chase Team: Jeff Makowski and myself
SPC Convective Outlook: Slight Risk (Click to see SPC products, data, and storm reports)
Chase Setup: A shortwave trough was located over South Dakota and Nebraska. While the primary surface cyclone and frontal boundaries were farther north near the shortwave trough, an outflow boundary was positioned across southern Kansas. MLCAPE was over 2000 J kg-1 across far south central Kansas with 0 to 6 km bulk shear values exceeding 40 knots. Effective SRH was maximized in the vicinity of the outflow boundary.
Chase #27: Score! (after)
Chase Log: We didn't leave Norman until 3:18 pm, and watched a supercell blow up on the Kansas border on our drive up I-35. Once we got up there, we followed the storm from about Kingman, Kansas to Mulvane.
We stopped to watch the HP supercell just east of Mulvane, where we saw a brief tornado at 6:52 pm. The condensation funnel went most of the way down to the ground, and I'm pretty sure I saw some dust briefly kicked up underneath the funnel.
We continued to follow the monster storm to just northeast of Winfield, where we suddenly got hit by the rear-flank downdraft. The cloud-to-ground lightning strikes were so frequent and so incredibly close that I started to get pretty nervous. We were driving south, away from the storm, but got hit by blinding rain and had to pull off the road into a driveway.
We decided to wait it out, as we could barely see the road and it was starting to hail. The biggest stone I saw fall was over golfball size...I'd estimate about or just over 2 inches in diameter. At this time we were hearing reports on the radio of softball-sized hail nearby and rope tornado sightings about five miles northeast of Winfield and twelve miles northwest of Dexter...really close to where we were! (Too rainy and dark for us to see anything.)
Eventually the storm passed to our east, and we went on our way home. This was my first September and fall season tornado, which was quite exciting...I'm just thankful that the trip did not result in any hail damage as the storm was spitting out some large hail stones!