Saturday, February 26, 2011

Overlooked photos, the Collyer Beast

Tonight's post will be quick, mainly because it's from a day that I have hammered into the ground with this series. That said - it's still from a supercell that has yet to be featured. As I've said... what a freaking chasing it was.

This shot was taken on the second supercell of the day along Interstate 70 outside of Collyer, Kansas. This storm turned out to be the biggest "beast" of the day even though the tornadoes that it produced were lackluster. About ten minutes before this image was taken we had a diffuse landspout-esque tornado. I don't think it formed by typical landspout processes, but it had that tiny skinny funnel / long narrow dust plume appearance. The mesocyclone then got cranking as it passed over Interstate 70 and then right in front of us. It was some of the most violent motion I have ever seen (video can be found on the second half of this clip) but it could never get a substantial tornado to touch down. It had several funnel clouds with brief touchdowns underneath but it never planted the beast that I thought was inevitable.

This shot was taken as the violently rotating wall cloud passes directly to our west down the dirt road. High winds were sandblasting me from the back as that little funnel dipped out from the sky. I expected that funnel to slam down and become a substantial tornado but it just couldn't get it done. This photo was about as intense as it gets though in an tornadic-anticipation situation as they get - violent motion with sand blasting inflow:

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