10/11/97 KS Chase by Dean Cosgrove


From: "Dean L. Cosgrove" 
 
Some thoughts reference my Windswept Oct. 11 Chase. I too had targeted 
the AKO area as being the place to be due to the se flow w/sw dry punch 
hopefully kicking thru by late afternoon. I sat up on a very Windswept 
(Another company plug!) road aprox. 15 miles wsw of AKO. I sat for 
several hours "eating dust" and finding it hard to believe it was Oct. 11.
Several times I just had to try to stand out in the awesome southerly 
flow. I was the only human in sight and at times seemed to almost 
become  at one with the flow as the whistling winds swept a peaceful 
feeling over me. By late afternoon I noticed an area of dust to my sw 
that appeared to be starting to move towards cloud base. This was at the 
leading edge of the sw wind shift that I had been waiting for. I headed 
south on Washington CTY Road R. I soon started filming as the dust area 
quickly rose up to cloud base. I was now crossing road 28 as I continued 
south on road R. The area now had the appearence of a large tornado (the 
video shows this) as I came up to road 26 the road narrowed to what we 
used to call back in NE a "cow trail". I was now less than 1 mile from 
this impressive dust plume. I continued south aprox 1/2 mile and stopped 
as the "area of interest" was about to cross right in front of me. The 
only thing missing from this dust plume which looked like a large tornado 
was organized rotation. I did hear that some farmers may have called NWS 
reporting this as a tornado. As my  "Dustnado" crossed the road the wind 
quickly turned to the sw. I stayed with this area to aprox 15 miles south 
of Otis.. By now it was getting near sunset and prospects for Supercell 
were looking bleak. I then heard a report from AM Radio 920 KLMR of a 
reported tornado on the ground in the Eads/Haswell area. I looked on the 
map and plotted a possible intercept. The storm was moving ne at 45 mph 
and appeared headed for near the Burlington area. At this speed it would 
not take it lang to get there. I also considered the fact that soon it 
would be dark. I figured this might be my last chase for 1997 so why not 
go for it! The warnings continued to advance ne with the cell. I pulled 
into Siebert in position to watch the cell race past. Chasing is not 
something that works on a cell now moving at 50 mph! There was just 
enough moonlight to make out some features on the cell. Things were 
looking good---until the report came over GLD NOAA Radio that the storm 
had quickly weakened just as I had gotten into position. My services 
(well documented in 1997) as a storm killer are available to farmers!!??
Anyway still an impressive day overall given the time of year. I got to 
bed at 1:00 AM and was up at 5:00 AM ready for a final assesment before 
heading into ks for the day 2 chase. SPC put out the early AM Tornado 
Watch just as I was about to head east to ks. By the time I arrived in 
Wakeeny, KS at around 1:00 PM the "Red Box" was down and so were my hopes 
for severe. I did continue on se to Cedar Bluffs Res. to have a scenic 
place to hope for later development. There wasn't any.
It was a nice drive home as I reflected on the powerful storm system I 
had become a part of these past 2 days.
Time to count down to Chase Season 1998---but wait is 1997 over YET??
Dean L. Cosgrove


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