April 25 - May 5, 2013
Donald Dolan and Tom Dolan
April 25, 2013 - Oklahoma City, OK to Ardmore, OK
traveled from Oklahoma City to stage in Southern Oklahoma in preparation
for Fridays Thunderstorms along and above the Red River.
Used the evening to prepare the vehicle
with the antennas and cables for the equipment needed for this weekends activity
which likely will take us into the southern states.
Magnetic mounts used for Satellite Phone, Two broadband data and HAM
Radio Antennas. A Magnetic Mounted anemometer for wind speed
reading during wind events.
April 26, 2013 - Ardmore, OK to Lawton, OK
Storms are expected for
later this afternoon for the Red River area. Watching the model
runs we decided we would first go north then started heading west in
Thunderstorms began development along the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandle.
We approached the storms from the South.
This thunderstorm with the radar image above was up to 40 Thousand feet
tall. Heavy rain and hail creating localized flooding.
is approaching Elk City.
are located at the bottom left behind the hail core which is the circle
plotted by he GPS.
We stayed back west of the storm and allowed the storm to pass.
Heavy rain fell filling the streets.
The next three images below is the thunderstorm as it traveled past Elk
Reflectivity with green the lightest rains, yellow moderate rain and red
heavy rains. The pink region is typically the hail core of the
Velocity depicts the wind general direction with green towards the
Doppler radar site and red moving away. The gap area between the
red and green is the likely location of any rotation on this storm.
Below is the view of the rotation.
Rotation is shown with the blue being cyclonic rotation and the green is
Lightning illumines the underside of the thunderstorms we are following.
plan for Saturday is to head towards the Del Rio, TX area for the late
April 27, 2013 -Lawton, OK to Kerrville, TX
We staged in Sonora Texas. Thunderstorms could be seen
developing on radar in Mexico and shortly later our first storm to chase
appeared South East of our location
intercepted our first Thunderstorm at Rocksprings, TX
Approaching Storm Southeast of Rocksprings, Texas
We moved north to allow the storm to go by. We then passed between two storms
shown below and traveled south towards
Barksdale, TX to observe the next storm.
Submitted a storm report online as we monitored the storm Northwest of
Event Time: 04/27/2013 07:55 PM
Reported By: Tom Dolan
Profile: NWS Storm Spotter
Location: 1 Mile NW Barksdale
County: Edwards, TEXAS
Details: Quarter - 1.00"
Comments: Observing Thunderstorm approaching Barksdale, TX.
Hail started as Nickel size and then Quarter size started to fall when we drove east.
We drove off further south and waited until the storms passed our
location and then traveled to Kerrville, TX to complete the day.
April 28, 2013 - Kerrville, TX to Ardmore, OK
visit to the Alamo is planned and then to monitor the afternoon weather
for route planning for the day.
skies in our area so off to dinner at the Salt Lick BBQ in Driftwood,
Not seeing any local thunderstorm development we decided to start our
traveling to Eastern Kansas and Nebraska for Monday.
April 29, 2013 - Ardmore, OK to St. Joseph, MO
Current has storms forecast for our area.
St. Joseph, Missouri was the starting point for the Pony
Express from 1860 to 1861. The mail was carried to
St. Joseph Tornado Sirens
Home of the outlaw Jesse James
Thunderstorm activity occurred late in the evening up in
Iowa. No activity in our area.
April 30, 2013 - St. Joseph, MO to Emporia, KS
Current forecast has
storms for our area this evening.
Tornado Siren at Clearmont, Missouri
crossed over into Iowa.
While holding our position a rapidly developing Thunderstorm was
occurring 12 miles to our west. The tops were already at 32,000
feet as shown in the yellow on the image below.
We moved our position near Blanchard, Iowa and
found a nice overlook to watch the storms build.
Six Turkey Vultures took an interest in our activity or maybe just took
advantage of the same hill. After a bit they moved on but provide
plenty of entertainment.
After video recording the storms building we drove Northeast to track
the storms. Storm reports had it producing one inch hail along its
Only Severe Warned Thunderstorm in plains was located here in Iowa.
Pictured above with the radar image to the left.
We called off the chase and toured our way back to the Interstate.
We drove to Emporia, Kansas for the night to position for
storms in Northeast Texas.
May 1, 2013 - Emporia, KS to Henrietta, TX
Wichita Falls, Texas to stage for storm development.
storms started to initiate in Western Oklahoma along the front. We
moved over to the first storm as it was building near Loveland,
Oklahoma. A larger storm was forming further north.
Forecasts had storms anticipated in Texas and Oklahoma.
We decided to stay with the Oklahoma storms and head up to intercept
the Severe Thunderstorm warned storm to our north.
Intercepted storms in Southwest Oklahoma. Storm passing Snyder,
Scud Cloud formation below the wall cloud. Lowered almost to
A second scud cloud form later seen on the far right of the photo.
Tracked the storm as it moved east. Rain and hail core still
active as shown below.
Wall Cloud East of Snyder, Oklahoma
We then went south to follow the storms heading towards Texas.
The Red River between Oklahoma and Texas needed to be routed around.
The four panels below are Left upper is Base Reflectivity, Right upper
is Base Velocity, Left bottom is Echo Tops (Dark Red is 50K feet) ,
Right bottom is Vertical Integrated Liquid.
View of storms in Texas we are driving towards.
In the Base Reflectivity view below the storms have a developing
large hail cores seen as the purple color shown. With the
hail cores going up to 30,000 feet the size of the hail has a better
opportunity to grow larger. We are still located on the Oklahoma
side of the Red River.
We pulled off the chase half way to Archer City as the storms closest
to us were dissipating. We returned back to Wichita Falls, Texas.
The remaining clouds made a great Texas Sunset.
May 2, 2013 - Henrietta, TX to Woodward, OK
Clear weather day and backtracking previous storm event.
We stopped off for lunch in Snyder, Oklahoma.
Stayed in Woodward, Oklahoma
May 3, 2013 - Woodward, OK to Springfield, MO
morning sunrise in Woodward, OK.
On April 14, 2012 a Tornado formed Northeast of Arnett, OK and traveled
towards and striking Woodward, OK right after midnight on April 15th. This late night
tornado occurred during the outbreak of April 14-15, 2012.
Theater roof collapse photo. (Taken April 29, 2012)
The next three images are processed images blending Base Reflectivity
and Normalized Rotation. The yellow and red colors are the heavy
rains with the dark highlighted darker blue the cyclonic rotation.
Below is a screenshot with the Tornado highlighted by lightning flash
from a video posted by Woodward News.
Image Permission granted from Woodward News.
Meno, Oklahoma Tornado Siren
The forecasts for our area were clear skies for the next several days.
Decided to traveling to St. Louis
Missouri area and a bit East for today's storms.
With snow fall increasing in Missouri we decided to return to
Springfield to take in the new Iron Man Movie.
May 4, 2013 - Springfield, MO to Oklahoma City, OK
will tour the damage area in Joplin on our way back to Oklahoma City.
Joplin was hit by a severe tornado rated at EF-5 on May 22, 2011.
The tornado touched down at 5:34 PM.
Above is a mural of Faith, Hope, and Love.
A tree painted as a reminder.
Many areas of Joplin are barren with stark reminders of the tornado
past. Lots are cleared with damaged tree and only grass.
Similar ghostly scenes are still present in Greensburg, Kansas long
after the May 4, 2007 EF-5 Tornado.
Greensburg occurred six years ago today.
A program following tornados to help bring life back would be a tree
planting project. Each lot that lost a home or business needs a
tree planted to start the re-growth process. In California the
wildfires have a natural recovering process with the vegetation
returning within a few years of the fire. The tornado paths are
more destructive and need assistance to recover.
The site of the Joplin Hospital has been cleared as shown above and a
new facility is under construction below.
Rebuilt Pizza Hut.
The image to the right is the base reflectivity of the Joplin EF-5
Tornado at 5:44 PM. The height scale is just over 50K feet with
the storm moving from right to left in this view. In advance of
the Tornado is heavy rain. The pink is a debris plume that is
being pulled up 18K feet. (Also known as debris balls)
In this image at the same time as above is the Normalized Rotation.
Overall circulation was over a mile wide with a very intense rotation
core. This tornado also had intense anti-cyclonic rotations on the
north and south side running along side. Post Tornado satellite
images showed a lot of roof damage far from the main damage path.
Possible the strong anti-cyclonic rotation adjacent to the Tornadic
cyclonic rotation could have played a role.
We took in a great dinner at Longhorn before heading to Oklahoma
City. This is an area recovered from the area devastated from the
May 5, 2013 - Oklahoma City, OK - Return End of Trip
Monday May 20, 2013
Moore, Oklahoma was hit by an EF-5 Tornado
Moore, Oklahoma EF-5 Tornado Doppler Radar Analyses -
Tornado Video Link The video
is a blend of Normalized Rotation and Base Reflectivity.
Tuesday May 21, 2013
Dolan's interview with Ian Schwartz Weather Reporter for CBS Sacramento
"Storm Chaser Gives Insight on Moore Tornado"
With a computer program, Tom Dolan takes a 3-D look inside the storm
that stretches nearly 10 miles in the air. He plans to visit the site of
the tornado and compare the images to the damage he sees on the ground,
since radar only tells part of the story.
Here are the two news stories:
CBS Sacramento -
Storm Chaser gives insight on Moore Tornado
CBS Sacramento -
Storm Chaser hopes to help improve tornado warnings
May 22 - May
27, 2013 Severe
Wednesday May 22, 2013 - Kansas City, MO to Wichita, KS
Thursday May 23, 2013 - Wichita, KS to Vernon, TX
Friday May 24, 2013 - Vernon, TX to Ogallala, NE
May 25, 2013 - Ogallala, NE to Rapid City, SD
May 26, 2013 - Rapid City, SD to Grand Island, NE
Monday May 27, 2013 - Grand Island, NE to Sacramento, CA
Tuesday May 28, 2013 - Sacramento, CA to Wichita, KS
May 29, 2013 - Wichita, KS
May 30, 2013 - Wichita, KS
May 31, 2013 - Wichita, KS to Sacramento, CA
Early flight back to Sacramento. Forecasts for Oklahoma was
again targeting another severe weather day. Storms commenced in
the evening and rapidly became severe. Views on Radarscope
indicated rain wrapped storms traveling towards Oklahoma. News
reports came out later in the evening that the Weather Channel Tornado
Hunt crew as hit by the El Reno Tornado and rolled. Injuries were
sustained. On Sunday tragic news was disclosed that Tim Samaras,
Paul Samaras and Carl Young were killed from this storm. On
Tuesday following it was reported that another amateur storm chaser
Richard Henderson also lost his life in the tornado. The tornado
crossed Hwy 81 and Interstate 40 with rain proceeding.
El Reno EF-5 Tornado as it crosses Hwy 81.
The debris core of the El Reno tornado measures 2.85 Nautical Miles
wide or 3.28 miles wide and 20,000 feet or 3.8 miles high using
measurements taken using the Correlation Coefficient product obtained
from the Dual Polarization enabled Doppler Radar. The eye of this
tornado measures to 3.28 miles making it the largest tornado on record.
Below is the view of the Correlation Coefficient showing a debris free
eye of the El Reno EF-5 Tornado. The blue fringe is the screenshot
is debris signature. Interstate 40 is the line that crosses at the
top of the core and Hwy 81 is just to the left of the tornado.
This view below is the vertical displacement of the debris can be
seen in the image below. This image is a product of the Dual
Polarization upgrade of the Doppler Radars. The Correlation
Coefficient view as shown here displays positive values for scanned
objects. The red, yellow and green are moisture and hail with
values closest to 1 being of equal size. Odd shaped objects such
as tornado debris can be seen as the blue fringe inside the tornado
core. The are absent of values is the vortex hole or tornado core
it extends up to 20,000 feet.
If we assume the atmospheric pressure at 20,000 feet is 365 mmHG and
ground elevation pressure of 760 mmHG then there is a 395 mmHG pressure
difference in this tornado core. The El Reno Tornado pulled
up debris to 20,000 feet and along its edges creating the debris absent
image you see above. The pressure drop at the base of this tornado
could likely have been as much as a 395 mmHG in the tornado core.
The effect of being on the ground would be similar to opening a window
in an aircraft flying at 20,000 feet. By far the severity of this
tornado to pull the debris to the sides of the core and to the heights
achieved makes this a record breaking tornado event.
Copyright 2009-2017 by Tom Dolan. All rights reserved. Federal copyright law
prohibits unauthorized reproduction.