2006-04-15 NE-KS-NE-KS Chase (!)

After June 4th 2005, the rest of the year crapped out big time, and 2006 was just as bad. Ma Nature was having one of her moods, and the way I chase and the equipment I use and don’t use means that sometimes I miss things…

Beatrice had a lot of tornadoes in 2006, I tried to get to one on the 6th but never could get south of it. So, Saturday, nothing to do but go hose hunting!

Ran into Gene Moore at Fairview, KS. Gene is so old-school, he was contributing to Stormtrack when it was still on paper! He kindly let me look at his laptop–I had no idea that there was a line of storms west of us…I was about ready to park and let what was going to happen come to me.

Crossed back into Nebraska, caught a cell and funnel SE of BIE about 20 mins after the tornado that did all the damage there. Kinda hard to shoot stills *and* take vid while in 40MPH inflow…

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Lot of chasers out, my jaw dropped when I saw a Honda with Ohio plates on this state road in the middle of BF County, Nebraska…

Ducked back into Kansas, this photo below was the storm that moved from Jackson Co, KS through Nemaha/Brown/Doniphan counties. I was just E of Robinson, KS about 710PM, listening to a radio station out of Hiawatha that did a great job of nowcasting and interpreting radar–except for this storm. According to their nowcasts, this moved from 10 mi. S of US-36 to 10 mi. N within ten minutes…I went from worrying about being in the bear’s cage to tsk-ing about missing the storm! But

At the time, I had no idea what this was a photo of. I was aware that I was near the circulation, but it was raining like hell and I had my head on a swivel looking for windshifts or worse. I was amazed that I managed to see any cloud structure in the middle of this rain. In the years that have passed, I’m willing to entertain the idea that this is either a weak tornado or one that was dissipating, the radar seemed to bear that out…

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Came across a waterlogged raccoon walking down the shoulder of US-36, never have seen one in broad daylight before or since, LOL. Drove to Saint Joseph, US-36 into town will bring any chase to a screeching halt, going right through small towns instead of bypassing them, so it was Mickey D’s and I-29 back home. Bought gas at BP stations in four states…

This was it for 2006…and 2007–there were chases where my cameras never came out of their cases! I wondered if I had lost my skill, and if I’d lose interest before those skills came back…but that’s for another post…

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Author: Damon Hynes

Used to chase tornadoes, until Ma Nature ran out of them...

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