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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