Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Tornado Chronicles: Kanopolis Lake and Salina, KS Area Tornadoes of 4-14-12...

A single supercell thunderstorm produced at least 3 tornadoes across central Kansas during the afternoon and evening hours of Saturday, April 14, 2012.  

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Wichita is still working on their damage survey, however preliminary estimates indicate that the first (and longest track) tornado reached EF-4 intensity near Kanopolis Lake.  The preliminary damage path map is shown below:

The sequence of tornado photos below are in geographic progression from Southwest to Northeast along the track of the peak EF-4 intensity tornado.  Location and credit noted below each photo:

Near Marquette - Jeremy Cate

5mi. West of Marquette - Will Campbell

5mi. West of Marquette - Will Campbell

Near Kanopolis Lake - Robert Hurkes

NW McPherson Co. - KWCH

Rice/Ellsworth Co. Line Just S. of Rt. 4 - Evan Ammeson

I-70 East of Salina - Evan Ammeson

There are numerous YouTube videos of the tornado, a few of which are shown below:

...this one was taken from the same vantage point, but with an HD camera.  Note the violent motion right at ground level during the last 30 seconds or so of the video:

The following video was shot as the tornado was near Kanopolis Lake, where the EF-4 damage was observed:

...and another perspective as the tornado approached the Kanopolis Lake area:

The following photos from the NWS storm survey team show the EF-4 damage near Kanopolis Lake:

Fortunately the tornado lifted as it approached the Salina Airport and Southern portions of the city of Salina.  The same supercell thunderstorm produced a second and third tornado just Northeast of town:

The following photo shows tornado #2 near New Cambria:

Near New Cambria - Dustin Goble

...and is also shown on the following YouTube video:

Tornado #3 continued on up into Ottawa County before lifting near the Manchester area, as shown on this track map (which is an extension of the tornado #3 track on the map above):

This tornado produced sporadic EF-0 and EF-1 damage as it tracked through a mainly rural area.

This post is being updated as new photos, video and other information are received.  If you have an interest in this event, please bookmark the post and check back for updates...

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