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Very Close Tornado!

Rago, Kansas - May 19, 2012

TORNADO OUTBREAK!!
 
Wow is all I can say about today...
 
We had one of my most intense tornado experiences in all my years of storm chasing. We were not expecting much from today. It was the last day of tour 1 and there was only a 2% tornado probability, so we would have been happy with just about anything.
 
Well, we ended up seeing 6 tornadoes. 5 of them were of the landspout variety (including several at the same time), but the big show came in Rago, Kansas where we had a photogenic, violent tornado cross the road right in front of us, well less that 100 yards away.
 
The white tornado kicked up a dark, reddish-brown cloud of dirt as it crossed the road, ripping up trees and tossing debris around. It was intense. We had to back up because it was curving north, towards us.
 
One remarkable thing was the sound it made. I've heard tornadoes before, but this one was the loudest I've ever heard. Partially because it was so close, and partly because it was flinging around a lot of debris.
 
It did some damage to a few structures in the area, including damaging a giant wind turbine.
 
What an epic day, especially since it was the last day for the tour one people.
 
Watch the awesome video here:
Rago Tornado on YouTube

2012_05_19F

2012_05_19E
This funnel did briefly touch down.
One of the many landspout tornadoes we saw.

2012_05_19C

2012_05_19A
The Rago tornado really starting to get intense.
Crossing the road in front of us.

2012_05_19B

2012_05_19D
Chirning up a large cloud of debris.
A wind turbine took a direct hit. The tornado was rated EF-3

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