We started the day in Kearney, Nebraska with plans to chase in northern Kansas. Storms began forming around Smith Center, Kansas so we headed south toward them. We immediately noticed the vast number of storm chasers on that storm. People were driving like maniacs and there were way too many people who thought they needed to announce their intentions by plastering their cars with decals, images, and even flashing lights.
Shortly after we arrived, the storm produced a dusty spinup tornado. A little while after that, a weak tornado formed in the distance over the local grain elevators.
We continued chasing this storm and stopped to take a look at the storm to see what we could see. While we were standing there, the rotating rain curtains became much more intense, and the wind into the storm picked up. Keith and Dave made the decision to drive away, and while we were driving, Keith was able to get video of a very large, violent tornado. Since I was driving, I was only able to catch a glimpse of it.
Once the best part of the storm was over, Roger suggested that we head back north and west and shoot the storm from the back in the light of the setting sun. We knew we'd be going through a little bit of the core of the storm, but no big deal. So I'm driving normally, when BOOM, a rogue baseball sized hailstone hits the windshield right in front of Keith, cracking the windshield. Shit.
After this, we were all pretty bummed, so we headed back down into Salina for dinner and sleep.