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Meteorologist George Flickinger's Storm Chasing Pictures and Southern Plains Forecasts
Flickinger Weather
Flickinger Weather
Meteorologist George Flickinger's Storm Chasing Pictures and Southern Plains Forecasts
Flickinger Weather
This is a 12 picture sequence featuring a close encounter with a large, Kansas tornado as videotaped and photographed by Dave Williams and myself...Enjoy!
Looks like the weather could get interesting today...After producing a small tornado, this storm has reorganized with a larger and nearer to the ground mesocyclone.
I step out of the truck to pick up these big hailstones preceding the tornado. We are just north of the meso. Hail "pings" off a nearby water tower. Notice the ugly seat fabric in my truck.
Now looking back to our southwest toward the storm, occasional large hail falls. The 3 inchers bounce several feet high after they hit the ground!
A whirl of dirt appears near the surface directly below the lowering cloud circulation: a tornado is born!
A "bowl" shaped lowering is evident between the top yellow arrows. The visible funnel condensates toward the ground. The bottom arrow notes the large hail.
Dave and I bounce down a dirt road for closer inspection. No rain or hail is falling here, but we may have other issues soon.
The tornado moves from right to left as it gets bigger. The photos get brighter as sunlight  peaks through from the West.
This may be the best picture I ever take....The colors don't look real do they? We're now standing between the sun and tornado, resulting in a beautiful front lit photograph.
The tornado passed within 100 yards of us, and a debris field consisting of red dirt and fresh wheat fall from the sky.
The tornado quickly disipates, though a red sky remains as the dirt gradually settles earthward...See those white dots and pink stuff near that yellow sign?-- it's insulation from a destroyed home.
I took this blurry photo while driving of the next tornado which formed 20 minutes later. The largest tornado of the series was rated an F4.
Dave Williams and I provided documentation to the Wichita NWS because we believe this picturesque tornado should be rated an F3 as the roof of a house was ripped off, carried upward and lifted into the tornado. The tornado also "looked" stronger than having "157mph" wind as it whizzed by us. According to the Fuijita scale, a roof being carried away and walls torn off of a brick home warrant an F3 rating. However, after speaking with the Wichita Warning Coordinator, he gave an F2 rating because the damage was "locally amplified" as it hit the home at a near perfect angle, maximizing damage. I haven't seen any "perfect angle" stipulations in the Fuijita scale, and this rating shows the subjectiveness of damage surveys. Either way, I'm not the F-scale expert, and the Wichita NWS is an excellent office. Rural tornadoes are often underrated If there's little damage to measure.