Sunday May 16, 2004 - Nebraska - Tornado


We went north out of Salina to York, NE. Here our chaser convergence began. The DOWs were located there at a hotel. They were equipped with 2 DOW vehicles, the tornado intercept vehicle and a blazer they had outfitted with radar and other sensing equipment. Many other chasers arrived including a couple from Ontario, Jim Cross from Missouri, Jeff Piotrowski from Tulsa, Storm Chasing Adventure Tours with Bill Schintler and many others.

After quite some time sitting we decided to drift a bit west. We exited at Aurora and sat some more. Here is where we found a cell starting to blow up NE of McCook. The chase was on. Andy talked to Bob Conzemius who said that the DOWs were heading to Broken Bow, and that was the last we heard of them. We continued to the west and intercepted the tornadic cell near Elm Creek, NE. Moving north on 183, we navigated North and East and viewed a funnel which was off in the distance. It looked quite impressive from the distance and we confirmed with other chasers later that it was on the ground just north of Rockville, NE.

We met up with a huge caravan of chasers probably pushing 20-30 vehicles in all, including several tour companies. At one intersection of a gravel road I met up with Bill Hark and Amos Magliocco. Amos said he saw the one on the ground. There were others, but he wasn't able to confirm them on the ground, nor could we. However, some 13 tornado reports went into the SPC from various chasers. After the chase we were heading home and met up with Tim Samaras on a gravel road. He showed us his latest top secret Turtle which I am not at liberty to describe. We went into Columbus, NE and bedded down at the Super 8 and ate at Village Inn.