May 28, 2019   

After having 3 trips out in the plains over the last week and a half, it was a stretch to consider heading back out that way again for a 4th time.  In the morning I saw a post from our friend Tom Stolze stating he wanted to head west, but wanted to hook up with someone to do so.   That was the deciding factor for me.  The trip was 'on' as Tom was now joining my son Ryan and I.

We headed out about 11:00am toward Kansas City without a clear cut target.  That was to be determined on the way.  We also were in communication with our chase partner in Overland Park, Brian Stertz who had a full day of work lined up, but was hoping to finish before the storms got going.  He finished about the time we were driving through Kansas City, so a quick side track and Brian was also now in the car.

We decided our target was to head south on I-35 as the storm initiation seemed to favor that area.  We began noticing development and kept an eye on a couple of cells beginning to look favorable southwest of Lawrence, Kansas.  We exited I-35 at the Edgerton, Kansas exit and worked our way west on Highway 59 as the storms continued to grow and move toward us from the southwest.  One of the storms became the dominant cell and before long, the cell went tornado warned.  We had found a high spot along side of the highway for a view of the storm as it passed just to the west.

From the very beginning, this cell had a lot of rain wrapping around it and made it impossible to see what was inside of the rain curtains on the business end of the storm.  As the storm slid by us, we worked our way north on Highway 59.  With the storm getting ready to cross the highway, we grabbed some gravel roads and worked our way east and north to position ourselves on the storm once again.  We eventually reached Highway 10 on the south side of Eudora, Kansas just ahead of the storm.  By this time, we were hearing the reports of a strong tornado hidden within the storm.  Although we were very close to the storm at this point, there was no view inside of those wrapping rain curtains. 

We drove east on Highway 10 and then took Highway 7 north toward Bonner Springs, Kansas ahead of the circulation.  We heard reports of a violent tornado a mile wide that had gone into Linwood, Kansas.  We stopped in the path of the storm near the intersection of Highway 7 and I-70 and again near the Kansas Speedway to watch as the storm approached.  As with the entire path prior, the tornado was completely hidden by the rain.

As the storm caught up to us, we worked our way east again on I-70.  We stayed ahead of the storm as we worked our way north on I-35 now in Missouri.  The circulation had weakened.  We continued north with the storm in our sight, but as the storm showed no sign of reorganizing, we gave up on it and headed back to Brian's drop off point.    Little did we know that the storm had one last gasp in it as it reached Kearney, Missouri and put down another brief tornado.

For the most part, we had fairly decent position on the tornadic circulation throughout the chase.  We had views at the business end of the storm from the south, southeast, east, and northeast of the circulation at various points in the chase and none of the angles allowed us a view into the storm to see the tornado. 

14.5 Hours  -  780 Miles

Click on the link below to see video of some of these storms.

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