Monday, May 21, 2012

The Tornado Chronicles: Harper, KS Area Tornadoes of 5-19-12...

There were several reports of tornado touchdowns in southcentral Kansas, to the West and southwest of Wichita during the late afternoon and evening hours of Saturday, May 19th.

Thus far, National Weather Service (NWS) survey data has confirmed 5 separate tracks between Kingman and Harper:

The Southern-most tornado (noted by the blue track) produced EF-3 damage along a part of its path in a mostly rural area just Northwest of the town of Harper:

The EF-3 damage was caused to a farmstead located 4 miles West and 2 miles North of Harper:

The photos below show the tornado around its beginning point near Crystal Springs (photos taken by Nikki Hightree): 

...and near its endpoint just to the Northwest of Harper, as taken by Matt Neal:

Another tornado tracked through a wind farm about 5 miles South of Spivey:

The tornado caused EF-0 to EF-1 intensity damage to some of the turbines on the farm:

Just North of the wind farm tornado track, 2 additional (and very brief) touchdowns took place just to the West of Rago:

The Rago tornado was the very picturesque one captured on film by storm chaser Mike Theiss (as shown at the top of the post and again below):

...and on video by storm chaser George Kourounis:

Although debris can be seen at points on the video, the NWS survey has not yet revealed any structural damage, which suggests it may have been trees, etc.  I'll be sure to update this if any further damage is discovered.

This post is still in its infancy stage.  If you have an interest in this event, please check back for updates as additional information is received and processed over the coming days...

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