Day 12: A Skinny Tornado

June 04, 2011  •  Leave a Comment

After spending a couple of days in the Nebraska Sandhills we headed south toward Interstate 80 to do some actual storm chasing. Our first stop of the day was the gas station in North Platte. Most people don't realize how much time is spent sitting in and around gas stations when storm chasing. It's a LOT. After hanging around for awhile storms started to go up southeast of North Platte.

I was more nervous during this chase than previous chases because for the very first time on an official chase, I was not driving. Dave was driving, and while I know that he has done this a zillion times and knows what he is doing, it was still scary for me. It was a loss of control that I've always had while chasing. It was interesting to give up that control.  To entirely put my life in the hands of someone else (albeit someone I trust implicitly) in a situation that for years terrified me. Yet another lesson learned on a chase trip.

So we chased this storm through the town of Lexington, Nebraska and came through some tiny little hail. As the hail got bigger we decided that we didn't want a repeat of O'Neill and the softball hail so we left that area and headed out of the core. From that area we had a pretty good view of the storm approaching.
 


We moved further east to allow the storm to come to us and sat on a dirt road for awhile. The storm didn't look great and none of us were particularly hopeful.

But then, all of a sudden, through the rain, appeared a skinny little funnel.
 

 
That skinny little funnel eventually (we think) became a weak tornado. 
 
 
It only lasted a minute or two, but it's still a tornado. 
 
I just really like this structure shot. No particular reason why.
 
 
At this point the storm completely evaporated and we headed back to North Platte for the night. While we were at dinner another cell formed due east of us along Route 80. We opted to let it go and have dinner. 
 


 

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