April 21, 2005 - Southeast Kansas, Parsons
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I met up in Norman to caravan with Chad Lawson, Shane Adams, and Jo Radel. We
left right around noon with an initial target of Chanute, Kansas.
Along the way Chad's car had a tire go out. We stopped in Stroud and he purchased a
After arriving in Chanute there was convection going up to our west and south.
We got online and determined the south storm was already taking on supercell
characteristics. The storm was 25 miles south of us, due west of Parsons. We
headed that way, taking a jog to the east to get in front of it north of
From the east side we could see lowerings on the back side of the storm. We took
gravel roads west to get a closer look. We stopped on the west side of Parsons
Lake and observed rapid rotation just to our west.
A large funnel came down nearly on top of me. Shane was on the radio yelling at
me to get out of there as I watched the funnel pass over and then start pulling
trees north of me.
The tornado eventually got a classic look to it and remained on the ground for
several minutes as we drove east to get a better vantage point.
It eventually roped out leaving a rapidly spinning tube to our north, meanwhile
a new lowering was rotating just to our east.
This one had lots of rapid motion and occasional funnel clouds.
One of the funnels finally connected to the ground. Initially the condensation
was not continuous with part visible on the ground and part aloft. when the
condensation finally did connect the action on the ground was very violent.
Another tornado touches down just over the hill in front of us.
This one brought trees down blocking the only access across the river. I tried
to pull a tree out of the way but it was too heavy. Fortunately some locals had
chainsaws and removed the part blocking our progress. Chad lost another tire to
the downed branches.
We eventually called the chase in Pittsburg as darkness fell.