Amazing chase today, after a brief drive to Tribune the waiting game began. Temperatures above 30 and blue skies, it was hard to believe something was going to happen in the skies.
A first storm appeared, more or less right on top of the motel were we departed from. We headed south to Syracuse as it seemed we were too far north. After a just a brief wait it became clear the storms basically were headed towards our initial target, so we headed back to Tribune which was now hosting a chaser convergence and after just a few minutes a whole bunch of DOWs pulled in as well.
Storms were all around us and finally one on the good side of the dry line got better organization. We started following that one and took a dirt road near Leoti to get ahead of the rain. After pulling ahead of it we got out of the cars to take pictures. When we noticed the storm was not moving we closed in on it again, there was an impressive wallcloud now to which we got really close.
A few lowerings appeared and rotation was evident. A tornado formed and made contact at least 2 times before disappearing in the rain and crossing the road. We then moved on following the storm until it stalled and we parked just under the edge of it.
Rain curtains were moving all around us and a few times a funnel appeared. Then I noticed a swirling dust cloud on the ground. Due to the heavy rain and nearby lightning we had to stay in the car so taking pictures was quite hard.
Then a funnel reached down from the clouds and it turned into the nicest tornado I’ve seen so far on this tour.
A DOW truck passed us and tried to make a turn on the road, this failed and the truck got stuck in the mud, completely blocking the road. Things turned quite chaotic due to the traffic now being completely stuck.
The storm moved a bit north, the DOW was pulled out of the ditch and we started to head out of the storm. There was some really nice structure, mammatus and lightning going on so we stopped a few times to take pictures. Unfortunately one of the locations was privater property. A sheriff came up to us, fortunately he was really nice. We only got a warning and he told us not to enter private property or stop on the side of the road, then all would be good.
It’s 10 pm now and we still have to drive an hour to get to Garden City and have some dinner. Then all memory cards must be transferred and cleaned and all batteries must be charged because tomorrow there will be more chasing.