Southwest Kansas Chase 5/9/15


The day started off with a drive north through some of the Wichita Mountains onward to southwestern Kansas from Lawton, Oklahoma. Along the way, we encountered some elevated convection, as well as a deck of Asperatus Clouds. These proved to be quite photogenic.

As we moved northward, we were witness to some beautiful scenes, including this one just off the road somewhere in southwest Kansas of a CU field developing across the rolling plains.

While waiting for initiation, Michael Gavan and I met up with Blaize Edwards, Jared Stevenson, and Amanda Ann at Presto in Sublette, KS. We talked, joked, laughed, and traded stories for a while. We saw some other chasers rolling through, and also talked to a few of the locals who were quite interested in what we were up to. After that, we were on the road to developing storms to our south. A couple of cells tried to fire closer to us, but quickly died off, but not without producing some beautiful scenes.

Our chase led us south and east toward some better looking storms that were beginning to take on supercellular characteristics. This would be the batch of storms which eventually would form into one big supercell that we chased northeastward up through Minneola and Bucklin.

We watched our storm gather strength and organize over some absolutely gorgeous terrain! This supercell definitely came close to putting down a tornado a handful of times, but couldn’t quite pull it off. This supercell did exhibit some nice structure, and put on a good lightning show for us. One shot I captured lightning in completely by chance. We did see what appeared to be a brief funnel on the north split updraft.

As we chased it northeastward, the rotation continued. Wall clouds developed died and recycled many times over. Finally a decent nearly ground scraping wall cloud took shape. I didn’t see if a tornado touched down or not. It was a grungy mess.

After that, the storm became more disorganized, and began gusting out after sunset. All in all a great chase day, even though we didn’t see any photogenic tornadoes. This storm was beautiful, and we all had some great times together! Always fun meeting up with fellow chasers out on the road.

Chuck Russell

I shoot photos and videos of various different types of events related to weather, nature, motorsports, breaking news, and more and share what I capture with the world at

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