Chasecation 2016, Day 6: Kansas puts on the show of a lifetime

One of many tornadoes on May 24, 2016. (Ian Livingston)

One of many tornadoes on May 24, 2016. (Ian Livingston)

I’m not one to throw around colorful adjectives easily. But yesterday wowed and amazed me.

If you know me or my chase buddies you know we all love Kansas. It’s partly that we tend to chasecation during peak tornado season for the state. It’s partly that it’s so flat. It’s partly the awesome road grid.

In the end, it’s just Kansas. It almost never lets us down. May 24, 2016 is a day that will live in chaser lore forever. Luckily, we were a part of it.

Extreme instability mixed with an ejecting short wave, a dry line bulge, and an old outflow boundary to put on a show that many chasers will never experience.

A great chase day would include about 1/10th of what we witnessed on Tuesday. But it just kept coming. We’ll have to see the final count from Dodge City NWS, but at least 10 if not 15 tornadoes occurred from the storm. There were multiple instances of two on the ground at once, and we got closer than I’ve ever been.

I’m going to keep this rather short for now because I strongly believe this will end up the tornado of the week, so I’ll leave the analysis for then. If for some reason it doesn’t, I’ll figure out a way to come back to it later. In the meantime, you can check out a larger post I put together for the Capital Weather Gang.

Today’s not a big day, so we’ll meander looking for that needle in a haystack. There is still extreme instability hanging around. That can always do crazy things…

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Defense and foreign policy researcher at a D.C. think tank. Information lead for the Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang.