2008-11-05 Cedar Dale and Sedan, KS Doppler-indicated Tornado

What did Tim Marshall say– If it’s November, chase?

Despite a lot of discussion on Stormtrack.org , I’ve chased enough in the fall to confirm, in my eyes, that there is a second season. Now, the quality of the storms is a question open to debate…

Thanks to Pelosi and Reid, work was very slow and with five days notice I could take two days off. With gas less than two bucks and Marriott points, I was good to go. Two days before, I had planned my itinerary and as it turned out, had no need to deviate. Omaha-Wichita Wednesday, chase the storms, Joplin for overnight then back home Thursday.

November 5th was a real interesting day on talk-radio, Ingraham and Limbaugh until I got to Wichita. Was prepared to bail from the Turnpike at El Dorado, but the dryline and cold front slowed and I got to Wellington before I turned off. Walmart and Mickey D’s, got gas in South Haven. Tons of chasers out, lots of Nebraska plates, I thought I was at Oakview Mall!

Along US-166 East, around Arkansas City. Being fall, this meant that this was going to be a quick chase at least. Radio static told me that this was electrified, despite the low tops and the lack of an anvil at the time.


Starting to see some structure…


This was SVR-warned, there is somewhat of a wall cloud, but not too much rotation to speak of. It went Doppler-indicated TOR a few minutes later. Chasers (Dick McGowan, Danny Neal, Adam Lucio, Matt Fischer, et. al., Dann Cianca, Ryan Shepard, Johnathan Skinner, Dustin Wilcox) at every intersection, people literally dragging me over to their cars to check out their radar! I love you guys!


Base was way too high. Needed a couple degrees more of dewpoint. I saw maybe thirty seconds of middling hail, but back to the west it covered the road.

However, a wall cloud is a wall cloud, and this was November! Lightning all over the place. Most electrified storm I’d seen this year.

I learned a new double-secret, high-tech Meet-tra-logical term this season: This is the Whale’s Mouth (TM). I saw too many of these this year, every storm I was on was High-Precipitation. The rain falls out of the storm and overwhelms the updraft, and there go your cloud pictures.


This was a second Doppler-indicated TOR, it never had a chance.



US-166 to US-75, gas in Bartlesville (so now I can say I’ve chased in Oklahoma), then US-60 to I-44 then Joplin. The individual storms went away and were swallowed up in a squall line that chased me east, but that even crapped out by the time the front reached Joplin. Chick-Fil-A for dinner and Marriott TownePlace Suites, about the only Marriott I’ve been to without Pay-Per-View pr0n, for crying out loud šŸ™‚

Bought wifey walnuts and pecans, Steak ‘n Shake for lunch in Kansas City, then back home. Forty degrees and snow showers. Yee. Haw. A pipe that connects to my exhaust manifold cracked north of Saint Joseph, and on December 5th, my daughter totalled my chase car!


Author: Damon Hynes

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

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