Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tornado vs barn... Before and after, and more video

I'm posting more pictures and video grabs of the "exploding barn" video as one viewer called it.

These pictures are from the Cherokee tornado on April 14, 2012 in northwest Oklahoma. You may have seen the video clips at the bottom of this page on various national media outlets. The last video shows the barn destruction.

Several of my friends called me "crazy" (and other things...)  for shooting the video, but we were quite safe actually. We were able to discern both tornadoes and knew what they were doing. We were safely tucked between them!

You will notice that when you zoom in to look inside the tornado that the funnel is barely visible. Typical of most tornadoes, especially weak tornadoes, most of the debris blows northward as the strongest wind in a tornado (assuming a simple, single vortex and SW to NE storm movement) occurs on the south and east side of the tornado. The relatively small and weak tornado pictured here is likely of EF-1 intensity.

Enjoy the pics and video below.  George

(ABOVE: Shawn Brett put together this before and after pic of the barn.
BELOW: Our chase position and the tornado's path.)

Below are the "tornado vs barn" pics in chronological order:

(ABOVE: dual tornadoes. The tornado on the left is the the same tornado picture above which hits the barn. You can tell the tornado is moving to our left-- that's how we knew it would easily miss our location.  BELOW: a one-minute clip of tornado vs barn)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Tornado images: April 14, 2012 chase

(ABOVE: Obligatory tough-guy look. I guess I'm trying to look fearless or something.)

Chasers: Carson Brett, Shawn Brett, Carol Bush, George & Shyla Flickinger

Below are images from our Northwest Oklahoma storm chase on April 14, 2012. Two video clips and one still image were picked up by the NBC Evening News, so Mom was impressed!

Most of these pictures were taken by Shawn Brett, and the series tells the story:

(ABOVE: Our prelim chase target is Woodward, OK. We drive 200 miles west, and a Tornado Warned storm develops. No tornado yet, but plenty of hail.

BELOW: We chase the storm toward Alva. Decided to leave this storm as a stronger, more dominant cell intensifies near Moreland. Instead of chasing it, we drive ahead of the storm and wait for it to come to us.)

(ABOVE: After producing a large tornado near Moreland we wait along Highway 64. Looking southward, we watch another tornado develop and strengthen into a "small" cone shape.

BELOW: Supercells can spawn more than one tornado. New tornadoes can sprout on the southeast side of an existing tornado in a classic structured storm. These twin tornadoes are about 2-3 miles apart.)

(ABOVE: The rope-out tornado phase. The tube stretches, and its shape becomes more dominated by the prevailing south wind and the storm's own local wind. The wind is stronger above the ground, so the tube stretches before being pulled back into the storm. This tornado's life cycle= 20 minutes.

BELOW: We determine that we are "fine" as we are safe from the second tornado. From our view it's tracking from right to left (just east) of our location. For a few minutes we are between the two tornadoes! No panic at all, we are in a good position and have road options if needed.)

(ABOVE: This is smallish tornado, probably of EF1 intensity.  It gracefully tracks across the field and heads toward a barn.

BELOW: You are looking inside the tornado from less than a half-mile away. The visible condensation cloud around the tornado isn't very visible at close range. The south wind is the strongest in a classic tornado. The barn rips apart and debris screams northward before wrapping up into the circulation.)

(ABOVE: The tornado continues moving NE as we drive through the tornado debris field. We then turn northward and watch it cross the road in front of us.

BELOW: The RFD is the rear flank downdraft wind of a tornadic storm. It's a very, very strong west wind which could reach near 100mph. The RFD occurs south of a tornado. Notice the power lines bending over in the wind. We position Storm Chaser 2 to "face the wind" to reduce our profile.)

(ABOVE: my wife and chase partner, Shyla takes video of the tornado as we ride out the RFD.)

ABOVE: We decide to end our chase on a dirt road at sunset-- I don't chase after dark. 

From this vantage point we looked northward as two more tornadoes developed (not pictured... too dark). Typical of long track supercells, the storm continued dropping tornadoes as it moved into Kansas. This storm produced a tornado in Wichita two hours later.)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Fools! Taft Price wears 6 ties

(ABOVE: the 6 ties worn by Taft Price during a single newscast.)

2NEWS Meteorologist Taft Price pulled off one of the best April Fools' Pranks that I've ever seen on local news. And "pulled off" is appropriate as he yanked off a bunch of ties!

On the Sunday, April 1st, 8am broadcast of "2NEWS Weekend Mornings", Taft wore six different ties. He hurriedly changed ties after each on-camera appearance.

He didn't mention the half-dozen ties to our viewers... only those watching closely got the joke!

For tie #6, Taft wore my "trademark" sunshine tie. Viewers were catching on!

Taft smiled and revealed the April Fools' joke at the end of the newscast as he piled the ties on the news desk. (above picture)

Congrats Taft! Well done sir.

(BELOW: Taft looked good wearing my sunshine tie. )