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4/24/07 Nickerson, Kansas
Loaded Gun Storm Chasing
website of storm chaser Mikey Gribble
Central Kansas Tornadic Supercell
click here for storm reports and more
information from this day
two funnels, there were actually three
at the same time, but one is out of
view to the left
started the day in Kingman, Kansas where we monitored satellite
started the day in Kingman, Kansas where we monitored satellite
images and other data while waiting for initiation.
images and other data while waiting for initiation.

A cumulus field began to develop over the warm sector and the
dryline began to light up with towers. The triple point was located
up near I-70. I quickly noticed that the towers along the dryline
were not as healthy down South where we were and I began to
worry about the cap holding that far South. I knew the only limiting
factor to moving North was going to be the width of the warm
sector and the quality of air. After checking satellite and surface
charts I was very confident that moving North 50 miles was a good
idea. After moving North we parked on a dirt road just West of
Nickerson, Kansas and watched towers going up along the dryline.
The towers were very healthy and it was apparent that it was just a
matter of time before the cap was going to break.

A few smalls cells got going along the dryline. The southern most
cell went up just West of our location. We naturally went with the
tail end storm due to the unimpeded inflow it would have.

The storm we were on was seriously struggling and split into two
different cells. I was beginning to wonder if the storm was going to
be able to get its act together. About this time the storm North of
us went tornado warned. I was tempted to run North to the
tornado warned storm, but I knew the wise thing to do was to stay
put on the tail end storm.

The decision to stay on the southern storm paid off. The storm
North of us did not produce a tornado and our storm quickly
became organized and started dropping funnels.

The tornadoes on this day were all very weak, but what made it a
unique chase was how close we managed to get to all the
tornadoes. We were well within two hundred yards of one tornado
and about 75 yards away from another one. We also had numerous
funnels pass directly overhead, which was probably the coolest thing
about this chase. Watching the clouds swirl right above you is an
incredible site. We also watched the Tornado Intercept Vehicle get
hit by one of the weak tornadoes. In all honesty I could have drove
my car though the tornado without damaging it. It was more like a
dust devil than a tornado.

This was a very fun and exciting chase even though the tornadoes
weren't very good. I got four tornadoes the day before on the
Protection, Kansas supercell, so this chase was just icing on the
cake. I had a couple tough chases earlier in the season where I
made several mistakes and getting the forecast right and bagging
back to back tornadic supercells really turned my season around and
gave me a fresh boost of confidence in my forecasting.
This weak tornado touched down right
in front of us. The Tornado Intercept
Vehicle was parked near the trees in
the background and took a direct hit
from this tornado.
Although you can't see it, there is dust
being picked up at the ground below
this funnel. This particular tornado was
on the ground for about five minutes.
A tornado crosses the road about 75
yards in front of us
Rope funnel that never touched down
Two funnels at once. One is at the top
of the screen and the other one is
center left. Both touched down to
become tornadoes.
Weak tornado kicking up a little dust
at the ground
was taken. They were on a side road
very weak front of that
hedgerow. It was a very weak