Long Lived, Stationary EF-4 Tornado

Bennington, Kansas - May 28, 2013
Wow, what a day! The target area for today was huge, with the Storm Prediction Center coving a large porting on the central U.S. in a 5% tornado risk. In fact, that 5% covered more than 450,000 square miles and our mission was to narrow that down to a single spot producing a tornado.
And we were able to do exactly that!
North of Salina, Kansas, near the town of Bennington, an isolated supercell storm went up, right in our target area. We were quick to get on it and were treated to a nearly stationary storm that went on to produce a huge tornado, that we observed from quite close from its first funnel to when it became a giant wedge, to eventually becoming rain-wrapped.
This tornado was a real monster. Luckily, it looks like it missed the town, and that's a good thing because it was likely very violent and would have done considerable damage.
The tornado was on the ground for a long time, so we were able to reposition ourselves close enough to be able to hear the roar of the tornado as it was grinding away in the countryside. It was dark, menacing and I briefly entertained the idea of getting even closer, but with the rain wrapping around it, I figured that was not the best idea since we already had a fantastic view of this thing.
Once the storm went completely HP (high precipitation) we just let it go and drove down to Salina for a well deserved steak dinner.
It just so happened that I was scheduled to do a live Twitter interview with Canadian Geographic Magazine at the exact same as the tornado was on the ground. It was a bit frantic and crazy, but worked out perfectly. We couldn't have timed it any better if we had tried.


2013_05_28 YouTube