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Oops, I forgot, three actually, one 2004, while traveling in Neb. one 1967, St. Louis, and 1957, the Ruskin tornado.
June 8, 1966. It was my 11th birthday. Haven't had a party like that since.
Emporia 73? Same day almost to the minute.
I saw two and was also directly underneath the one here in Lawrence in 1980 that killed a man in K-Mart, but I didn't actually see that one. But I sure did see the debris flying through the sky.
The 1980 K-Mart tornado went over the top of my house. It hadn't dropped out of the clouds yet but the roar was loud and unmistakeable. We could feel the air pulse and the ground shake. Finished my beer and went to the basement. For another beer.
The one in Lawrence in May 2003.
1980 :Eastern SN county rain-wrapped tornado launched a 200lb picnic table 80 feet. baseball-sized hail broke out every window in the house.
1986: SN county tornado just east of lake shawnee
1993 : Geary county saw tornado on ground headed NE towards Jefferson energy center
1994 : Douglas county pulling into I-70 eastern toll-booth, a large metal feeder-tub flew across our path-our van was tipped up in the air-minutes later we saw the tornado to our northeast-backlit by lightning. It was officially recorded in Jefferson County, but clearly started in Douglas county
2003: Douglas county tornado invaded the aberdeen apartments, I video-taped it as I cooked pork tenderloins on my deck.
2006: Douglas county 3 miles south of stull tornado crossed to the north of me-It was night-but tornado was visible with all the lightning.
2007: July 4th Eastern SN county/western Douglas county I photographed a three vortex funnel system travelling SW-towards Lawrence. This was an unsual system-because 95% of the time, they travel NE. The three funnels combined into one-and I lost track of it. When I returned home, my neighbor said it went 'right over my house'
2007 Northwestern Douglas County I witnessed a whole bunch of scud clouds rising up near farmer's turnpike. A white funnel cloud appeared along with various other ragged lowerings, headed NE at about 55 miles an hour, I was unable to pursue-but Tornado did mature and crossed south of tonganoxie.
2008 : Douglas county 4 miles east of stull-11PM partial rain wrapped tornado
2010 : Rural Illinios. by far the worst. 1AM I was caught in between 3 different storms-which all collided together in a fun-filled white knuckle party. Drove through toll booth-nobody was there...huh? that's odd-I realized too late that I was the only vehicle on the road. The lightning had to be at a rate of over 3 strikes per second-because I didn't even need my headlights...I looked over to the northeast and sighted a twister in a field, maybe 2 or 3 miles away, and it was dissipating quickly..I kept driving, then lost sight of it..seconds later, I glanced over my left shoulder and saw a Tornado on the ground less than a mile from me. It looked like it was chasing me-I drove as fast as the car would go-I wasn't about to stop and pull over and get mauled. That seemed like it lasted an hour, but was really only 8 minutes.
2011: Western Douglas county looking back west, the twin vortex that was just North of lake shawnee, crossing I-70, then onto Perry Lake. I got perfect position just south of Oskaloosa, heavy rotation and all of that captured on video, but the funnel cloud never reached the ground.
Never have and never want to.
After Christmas 2006,we drove to Daytona Beach and stayed in a hotel. The weather for the 3 days was cold, windy and rainy. One day mid afternoon we heard what I thought was a
low flying(very low) jet plane, I ran out in the hall, looking west at Daytona and saw this nasty
black storm above the tree line. Above the trees I saw large chunks of debris flying in the air,
I found out later that what I saw was a tornado in action. It swooshed through a mobile home park and nuked it. The M.H. park looked like a bunch of flattened card houses. No one
died, thanks. After that I started watching StormChasers on TV and got some education.
Less about ten years I spent in the Pacific NW I've lived the bulk of my life in tornado alley between eastern Kansas and western Missouri. I'd have to be pretty dense and unaware not to have seen a tornado.
I saw one or two growing up out in the country, but from a pretty far distance.
I was at boy scout camp in Bonner Springs when the 1980 tornado that hit south Lawrence came through. It was dark, and didn't see an actual tornado then, but the wind was really strong and remember being in a ditch in the rain and mud waiting for it to pass. And the long line at the 2 pay phones for the whole camp to call home to make sure all was OK at home.
Saw 5 funnels at one time in O.P. and more than I have wanted.
Too numerous to count. A friend and I were part-time storm chasers thirty years ago when nobody else was really doing it. Nowdays, an isolated tornadic supercell will have lines of traffic around it.
I used to live in Colorado, and twice on my way (or way back) to Lawrence, I had to stop in Abilene for tornadoes. Same gas station, too. It was weird.
There is more to come. Tuesday might be the mother of all days for storm chasers. From Topeka National Weather Service forecast discussion for today (in part):
BIG STORY IS...OF COURSE...TUESDAY AND TUESDAY NIGHT. CLASSIC
PLAINS SEVERE WEATHER OUTBREAK PATTERN SETTING UP WITH DEEP LOW
PRESSURE...STRONG WIND FIELDS AT ALL LEVELS OF THE
ATMOSPHERE...IMPRESSIVE LOOKING HODGRAPHS AND GOOD INSTABILITY.
THUS...WOULD EXPECT WIDESPREAD SEVERE WEATHER TO DEVELOP MID TO
LATE AFTERNOON OVER PORTIONS OF CENTRAL/WESTERN KS AND DEVELOP
EWD/NEWD OVERNIGHT. POTENTIAL FOR STRONG TORNADOES EXISTS. FOCI
FOR INITIAL CONVECTIVE ACTIVITY SHOULD BE DRYLINE AND WARM
FRONT...BUT WARM SECTOR DEVELOPMENT QUITE POSSIBLE AS WELL. 18Z 12
KM NAM DEVELOPS RATHER MESSY MESOSCALE FEATURES NEAR SURFACE
LOW...BUT LOOKING AT THE LOWER RESOLUTION VERSION...SIMILAR TO GFS
AND ECMWF AND ALL POINT TO A BIG EVENT. VERY BUSY DAY AND NIGHT
I followed my roommate to the top of the football stadium at Bethany Colleger in 1974 and viewed several tornadoes dancing near Salina, north of where we were. It was late in the afternoon and we had an incredible vantage point. I was amazed by the sight.
1980, saw the damage at K Mart in Lawrence. Wasn't my first tornado but I had my wife and two kids with me in the car. Very scary.
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