April 23, 2010     




Wall Cloud
Tornado

This was one of those days that I struggled with the decision to head out west to chase in Nebraska / Kansas with my friend Brian Stertz, or conserve the resources for another opportunity. Around 7:30am, I made the decision to pass on the day's opportunity. I headed off for a full day of work. After work, I took a quick look at radar and seeing nothing local or out west, I went off to do some yard work in the neighborhood, Needless to say, I was not expecting any severe storms to pop today. I headed home about 6:00pm only because I recieved a voice message from Brian asking for a bit of data from the area he was chasing in Nebraska. Upon walking in the front door, I was told there was a tornado warning just to our west.   "WHAT!" was my response.  Things turned into frantic mode as I checked for some quick data, called Brian with a brief update, gathered our stuff and flew out of the door. This warning was about 30 miles to our west. The reports were coming in with a confirmed tornado on the ground.  

The storm was moving northeast so we plotted our course with the help of Glenn Flavin providing us with the real time data. We shot up Highway 79 and worked our way back to Troy on County Road 47 from the east. Looking back, we should have gone all the way to I-61 and busted north, but the storm was moving slower than I calculated. We reached Troy with the tornado still to the west. We continued to hear the reports of the tornado on the ground. We hit I-64 north and as we approached Silex, Missouri, the wall cloud was approaching and we had a great view of the low hanging, persistant funnel decending almost to the ground. Right before the wall cloud crossed the highway, the funnel condensed all the way and was on the ground kicking up a lot of debris. The sun had set and darkness had taken over except for the last remanents of light from the sunset, so our video and pictures were hampered by the lack of light. We followed the storm all the way to the Mississippi River and then let the storm on its way.




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