April 19, 2000: Cherryvale Kansas Tornado

posted in: 2000, Chase Highlights | 0

day1_1630I started the day at my home in Bartlesville, OK and closely monitored visible satellite imagery. Cloud cover today looked to be a problem early on and was keeping surface temperatures low.  By mid-afternoon the clouds began to erode away and with 3500+ j/kg of CAPE in-place, it was a matter of time before the heating was to break the cap.  A surface low was in-place in northern Kansas which pushed a cold front into SE Kansas and NE Oklahoma, the cold front was the focal point for late afternoon development.

I drove to Independence on Highway 75 and then turned left on 160 to 7-mile corner and sat near Cherryvale for about an hour watching the cumulus beginning to tower.  Without any thing more than a cell phone to use to retrieve any information, I hit the jackpot and was quickly on a forming supercell that produced a large tornado, doing damage to severe structures but thankfully didn’t produce any serious injuries.  The terrain was of course my biggest failure today as the tornado formed in an area of thick trees with some hills near the Cherryvale lake, which provided me with extremely limited road options coupled with a fast moving storm that moved away from me to the northeast.