June 3rd, 2014 was the fourth chase day on our four day tour of the northern plains was a case of saving the best for last, at least in terms of quality of setups. A moderate risk was out for the afternoon, with a warm front hovering across Central Nebraska and feeding moisture to the north with dewpoints reaching the 70's in some cases. Storms were expected to be explosive, firing quickly and just turning tornadic just as fast. We reached Grand Island early in the afternoon and worked our way up to Loup, Nebraska waiting for storms to form. Finally by 3pm storms started to go up just north of Ord, although it was a messy storm on radar. We decided to wait for other storms to form. And waited. And waited some more. After a while it became apparent that it would be the only storm there would be to chase, and it also became apparent we would have a hard time staying in front of it because it was screaming to the southeast at 50 mph. It became a large linear rotating storm with no structure, and very low clouds that you could almost jump up to touch. It was a nasty storm, and if you were going to see a tornado (which had a pretty good chance of producing) you would have to be very close and that could prove perilous. Once met the storm just south of Ord, we immediately dropped to the south to stay ahead, then moving east along with it only to get sideswiped by intense winds and blinding rain. The fear that a rain wrapped tornado lurked in the rain was very real, and a couple of times we thought we might get caught up in an atmospheric blender. For a good 15 minutes heading east we got blasted, and it was one of the more intense moments in the last couple of years for me. Finally we reached a southward highway and reached a point we felt more safe, and watched the storm keeping our distance somewhat. I got a few photos from this chase, but the speed of the storms prevented most of opportunities I would normally have. Here is what I captured:
Click an ad to support this site!