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Tornado Warning!  Maryville KS  June 17 
I was feeling ill on the weekend of June 13 & 14, so I could only chase on ONE day this week.  It was a rough, one way, 1900km, 2 day drive from Ontario.  After the storm intensified and spawned a tornado, I got my shot and headed back home.  I was able to forecast and intercept this Tornado Warned Supercell in NC Kansas on June 17.  I chased into NC Kansas and was treated to this severe storm near Maryville Kansas.  The banding above the rotating wall cloud are striations from the organizied inflow into the thunderstorm base.  Image by Ron June 17 2009, Maryville Kansas


Tornado Warning!  Maryville KS  June 17 
I could only commit to a quick 1 day chase because I wasn't feeling very well.  Chasing isn't much fun when you have to endure a 2 day drive just to get to the target area.  A 1 day chase for me is really five 10 to 14 hour days of driving because I live in Ontario Canada.  It is even more difficult when you don't have any help.  After all, I don't even have a cell phone.  In the morning of this chase, I just wanted to stay in bed, but I got ready and drove to my target town.  After I got video of the tornadic supercell near Maryville and tornado number 75 , I headed back to Ontario for a few days of rest.  By Ron June 17 2009 Maryville Kansas.


Tornado Warning!  Maryville KS June 17
Storm is rapidly rotating and heading southeast towards Oketo KS (above over Church).  You can almost see the low level storm rotation in the image, it was awesome!  After I took this image, I drove south on HWY 77, then I turned east on hwy 223 towards Oketo.  When the rear flank opened up, I stopped and waited.  About 5 minutes later, I was treated to tornado number 75!  When chasing, it is best to stay on main HWY's or paved secondary hwy roads whenever possible.  Make sure your vehicle has proper tires, good wipers, deer alerts and if possible, good quality aftermarket fog or driving lights to help you avoid dangers along your way.  Especially handy on forest lined secondary roads, I have avoided many close encounters with deer, small animals and road debris late at night.


Tornado Warning!  Oketo Kansas  June 17
I drove south on Main HWY 77 turning east on hwy 233.  Near Oketo Kansas, I noticed the rear flank opening up so I stopped and waited...  a few minutes later, tornado number 75!  Driving on dirt roads, and with high rainfall rates, some other chasers got stuck in the mud and had to get  help from Farmers with a tractor to pull them out of the ditch.  Not fun at all.  Even though I was driving under the same conditions, I was able to continue on muddy roads to get in front of this tornado.  It was only moving at 8mph.  Note twisted funnel on the left side of tornado, very nice.  When rolling video on this storm, I saw the dual axle TIV Unit from Discovery Channel drive up, but they were a few minutes late. It was very satisfying to be all alone and looking right in the face of this beast heading directly towards my location.  Then it roped out right in front of me!  To get this tornado on video, I drove almost 5,000km round trip. 


Tornado Warning!  Quinn South Dakota  July 13 
During all of June/July 2009, I wasn't feeling very well so I only chased on just 2 days.  All of the storms and images on this page are from those 2 chasing days on June 17 and July 13.  It was a good 2 days.  This thunderstorm image was taken showing updraft core on Buffalo Gap National Grassland in South Dakota on July 13.  As the storm had a rotating core, the NWS had tornado warnings on it.  The storm produced golf ball hail along with 55 mph outflow... for now...


Tornado Warning!  Kadoka South Dakota  July 13
Storm shown with RFD, beaver tail and hail core.  All of the storms and images on this page are from just 2 chasing days on June 17 and July 13.  This storm produced golf ball hail along with 60 mph outflow.  In fact, I was able to track this South Dakota storm directly into the notch area right beside the hook echo! 
NOTE: This type of activity is not recommended for the general public without prior experience and real-time zoomable HighRes Radar or Tracking Software.


Tornado Warning!  Norris SD Rotating Wall Cloud  July 13
On this SD chase I was able to closely track and intercept this Supercells Bear Cage Hook Echo notch.  Please DO NOT TRY THIS.  As I drove south out of the rain and hail along Hwy 63, I saw this extremely low rotating Wall Cloud near Norris SD.  Formation of low Wall Clouds like this are assisted by very low LCL atmospheric levels.  Tracking rotating (possibly tornadic) Wall Clouds like this is not recommended without real-time zoomable tracking software and years of professional chasing experience.  You can see how close I was able to get to it: only because the road and storm were headed on the EXACT same track and direction.  This storm had a rotation marker on it of 115MPH (195KPH).  I was able to see a rain wrapped tornado about 15 minutes after this image was taken. 
By Ron on Hwy 63, 2 miles north of Norris SD, July 13 2009


Tornado Warning!  Parmelee South Dakota  July 13
This storm's hook echo notch was impressive to say the least.  I was able to stay ahead of the wrapping rain core just enough to get the funnel image on left.  Then, the rain got me boxed in.  About 15 minutes later a low contrast rain wrapped tornado formed in front of me.  The tornado is beside the telephone pole and is approx. 1/2 mile away, east of Parmelee.  Image was taken with ultra wide 10mm lens.  This lens is ultra wide but it makes the main object look very far away.

*** A word of advice: If you go chasing in the alley: ***
1: Go with someone very experienced and knowledgeable,
2: stay on main roads, dirt roads will be muddy & slippery,
3: if venturing out in a field, don't crush local flowers,
4: leave nature as you found it, and don't pollute,
5: wear sturdy footware, such as hiking boots,
6: know the local terrian, wild life or insects,
7: wear heavy or jean type denim pants,
8: watch out for snakes and spiders.
9: please use common sense.


Tornado Warning!  Valentine Nebraska  July 13
This storm produced multiple tornado warnings because it almost had hurricane force inflow AND outflow around 65mph...with peak winds around 70mph.
In just a few hours I chased in 2 states, South Dakota and Nebraska .  I saw multiple wall clouds, funnel clouds and 2 wrain wrapped tornadoes.  North of Valentine I had to drive through the core in order to take structure photos.  The core had 4 inch, (yes my car got dented), 65mph winds, flooding rains and tree branches and limbs for road debris.  But, the Valentine HP storm had some incredible storm structure.  It was an AWESOME chase day!


Tornado Warning!  Valentine Nebraska  July 13
Same image as on left, but looking slightly farther to the east to show the incredible inflow on the beaver tail. 
The structure on this beast was just awesome!  Taken with Canon 20D and 10/22mmF3.5 lens @10mm.


Tornado Warning!  HP Monster Mesocyclone July 13
Image taken near Valentine Nebraska showing structure and beaver tail inflow on July 14 2009.  This High Precipitation Monster Supercell thunderstorm spawned 3 simultaneous tornado signatures on the WSR-88D radar display from Wx-Underground Nexrad.  To track these storms, I also use UCAR Nexrad and Velocity scans along with visible & infrared satellite, Baron WxWorx high ResRadar & Windshear with overlapping GPS tracking displays.  Image slightly modified for contrast to show better detail.  I hope you like it.


Tornado Warning!  Valentine Nebraska  July 13
Monster HP Supercell south of Valentine Nebraska.  With 4 inch hail and 70mph winds, HP storms like this are some of the most dangerous storms on the planet! 
In this ultra wide 10mm image you can see into the rotating core and to the north, the incredible beaver tail.  By now it was getting dark with the rotation and hail core  near the main highway.  Time to head south to find a room for the night. 
In the morning, I headed home for Ontario.  It was a relaxing 2 day, 2000km one-way drive home.  To get the images on July 13, I drove 5,000km.  To get all of the images on this page, I drove over 10,000km's.  But, it was an incredible ending to my 2009 storm chasing adventures. 
Once again, I would like to thank Jack Kertzie, Ben Fuller and my Wife Sandra for all their help, assistance and support on the May 10 day tour.
If you have any questions, please email me at: va3tvs@kw.igs.net

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