Normally I don’t go around quoting myself, but I couldn’t help but think of a line from my novel Tornado Pinball when I saw the rotating updraft spinning above our heads during a storm chase May 24: “The rotation above the road drew him in, a swirling gateway to infinity, all the circles of nature, a tunnel to the past.”
I chased today with Greg Stephens, Dayna Vettese and Brad Rousseau. We started the day in Liberal, Kansas, and targeted northeast Colorado and the dryline as a trigger for storms. It took a while for them to get going, but we saw some extraordinary motion and lightning.
This storm, which we chased from northeast Colorado into Nebraska, was filled with high-based rotation, shear funnels and lightning and eventually was severe- and tornado-warned. But the “cinnamon bun” swirl above our heads was its most beautiful and entrancing moment. The video includes time-lapses of it.
Roll over a photo to see its caption, and click on any of the pictures to start a slide show of larger images.