Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Dodge City, Kansas Was Most Photogenic And Dangerous Place To Be On Tuesday

Two tornadoes on the ground simultaneously
near Dodge City, Kansas Tuesday.  
Dodge City, Kansas was ground zero for a massive supercell thunderstorm, tornadoes, at least one of which was enormous, and some incredible clouds.

It you're a weather geek that's into photography, Dodge City, Kansas was the best place in the world to be yesterday.

Unfortunately, it came with a price. NBC News reports two people critically injured in the Dodge City tornadoes, and some buildings destroyed.

On the bright side, Dodge City missed a major disaster. The big tornado just barely missed the city's downtown, which is a great thing.
Massive tornado on the ground near Dodge City,
Kansas Tuesday. From @TornadoGreg on Twitter.  

As an aside, the reminds me exactly of an old episode of "Gunsmoke" which was set in Dodge City. That episode had a tornado hitting some farms, but missing downtown Dodge City.

The tornadoes around Dodge City took many forms, including one that looked like a massive stovepipe.

There were tornadoes with multiple vorticies within them, and at one point, there were two, possibly even three tornadoes on the ground around Dodge City simultaneously.

After the tornadoes, the city was treated to the sight of mammatus clouds at sunset associated with the departing supercell thunderstorm.

Mammatus clouds over Dodge City after the tornadi
supercell storm passed Tuesday. Phot from @extremewinds
on Twitter.  
These clouds form from ice crystals way at the top of the thunderstorm. This area is known as the anvil, because it extends somewhat horizontally on top of the storm and is shaped something like an anvil.

The ice crystals sink and evaporate, forming the pouch-shaped clouds.

The Dodge City storms formed near what is known as a dry line, which is a sharp north to south line in which it's quite humid to the east and very dry to the west.

This time of year, supercell storms and tornadoes often form along dry lines, so this storm wasn't so unusual.

The dry line wavers back and forth across the Plains. In fact, the dry line briefly moved east of Dodge City after the storms, then quickly moved back to the west again, so it's humid there again

The wavering dry line that's still out there and will be much of this week sets the stage for possibly more severe storms and tornadoes today and especially tomorrow in the central Plains, including the area around Dodge City.

Here's video of the tornadoes from Dan Robinson:

Here's another video of the tornado from Val and Amy Castor:

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