The 2013 tornado season certainly started out
slowly, with snow lingering into May! However, in the latter half of
May, the pattern suddenly became very active, and would end up
producing several days with violent and photogenic tornadoes. We
were out chasing for this entire 2-week period, and came back with
great video of 3 large tornadoes, amazing supercell structure, as
well as some very fun and very stressful chases.
Unfortunately, 2013 also marked the first year where storm
chaserd died as a result of a tornado. These chasers were the well-known Tim
Samaras and his son, along with long time friend Carl Young. The tornado that
killed them was a huge, violent and unpredictable one, and gave all storm
chasers cause to reflect on their actions that day.
2013 Chase Stats:
- MILES DRIVEN: 7,900
$ SPENT ON GAS: $1,720
TORNADOES SEEN: 4 (on 2 days)
LARGEST HAIL MEASURED: 2.5" (baseball)
CHASE DAYS: 12
Here are some video highlights from the trip:
May 18, 2013 - Tornado near Rozel, KS
This beautiful tornado was the 2nd in a series that were produced from Rozel to
near Larned, KS on May 18, 2013. This particular tornado was viewed from about 6
miles west of Larned, on Hwy 156. It lasted around 15 minutes and had a
beautiful contorted rope-out stage as the sun set behind it. Having come from
further north, we nearly missed the show, but we arrived just in time to see
May 25, 2013 - Damage from the Moore, OK EF-5
EF4/EF5 damage caused by the tornado that went through Moore Oklahoma on May 20,
2013. This was shot in a small neighborhood just west of I-35, adjacent to the
Moore Medical Center, 5 days after the tornado. The EF5 damage occurred at an
elementary school just SW of this location.
May 26 2013 - Beautiful LP Supercell &
Lightning in Nebraska
We traveled more than 500 miles for a slight chance of pretty
supercells across the Nebraska sand hills. Our efforts were rewarded by a
beautiful LP (Low Precipitation) Supercell spinning across the prairie, near the
town of Arcadia. This storm exhibited a gorgeous striated "barberpole" updraft,
while putting out copious amounts of vivid lightning for several hours.
May 28 2013 - Huge Wedge Tornado near
On a relatively low-end severe weather pattern, a single
supercell took root and produced a giant wedge tornado near Bennington KS. This
tornado was on the ground for around 40 minutes and amazingly remained nearly
stationary the whole time. It was rated EF-4, although it spent most of its time
over open country and damaged very few structures.
May 30 2013 - Deadly Wedge Tornado near El Reno,
This tornado was rated EF-5, with an estimated 2.6 mile wide
path, making it the largest tornado in US history. Unfortunately, it also killed
several well-respected storm chasers due to its sudden turn to the north. We
escaped from the path just in time....