Sunday, June 29, 2008

Special Storm Follow-Up and Update Verifies One Tornado, Several Funnel Clouds, & Roll Clouds on Friday

Picture #1

Picture #2

Bernie Chamness captured these funnel clouds (pictures #1 and #2) on State Road 26 near Jackson Highway. On Friday night I went down to Warren County to speak to people about what they saw in the sky. Most saw what seemed to roll clouds and a mix of roll clouds and shelf clouds. These clouds usually bring damaging straight-line winds and we did see plenty of large branches down in Attica and in the Williamsport area and along State Road 55 near the Big Pine Golf Course. After reviewing radar data over the weekend I think those folks at the Big Pine Golf Course did in fact see unusual roll clouds, but no funnels or tornadoes.

But farther north there was a stronger area of rotation near Winthrop, right near and along State Road 26. There was an actual debris cloud reported by storm spotters in this area that likely indicates funnel clouds did touch down as a brief tornado. This is where reports of trees and powerlines were down.These clouds above (#1 and #2) can now be verified as funnel clouds because they were taken along state road 26 where the most intense rotation was taking place and not far from where the Winthrop tornado was spotted. This can be tricky to sort out without any motion to these pictures. I wish we could make them move. But luckily I can go back to all of our weather data and pick everything apart. It takes a day or two to sort in all out but it is certainly worth it! Speaking of tricky, let us go to exhibit B or pictures #3 and #4.

Picture #3

Picture #4

Here is a double take on what it looked like in West Point. Dan Kuczero sent in these two pictures ( #3 and #4) and said there was some slight rotation and these clouds were definitely not full blown tornadoes even though the pictures seem to indicate one was forming. These pictures are good examples of what was going on yesterday in most parts of the area. Here is a common description sent in to help us out.

I was looking west from here in Lafayette over the Wabash and saw three lowered wall clouds all approaching at once...My question is, what's it called when you see a cloud moving UP? The middle of these lowered clouds (I don't want to call them scuds because they were much bigger), it had a cloud that was below it and it looked like it was sucking the lower cloud upward back into the main wall cloud. Is there a name for that? Thanks. Mark, Lafayette

They were not the typical funnel clouds our area normally sees with severe weather. These surreal scenes were commonplace across many parts of the area last night. Mark in Lafayette does a good job in describing something that looked more like a Hollywood movie with special effects than reality.

It all goes back to what type of rotation was taking place. These pictures (#3 and #4) show what appear to be roll clouds. They can take on many shapes and sizes. Yesterday we had a gust front move through with cool, dense air and this collided with steamy, lighter air that was feeding into these thunderstorms as they moved east. This created a churning effect. These roll clouds were rotating but more in a horizontal fashion than a vertical, counter-clockwise direction that we would normally see with funnel clouds. They are unusual clouds and even though they do not produce tornadoes, they have been known to cause as much damage as a small tornado.

Picture #5

Kami Edel shows nature's power with this photo off of Klondike Road in picture #5. This low-hanging cloud was part of the same cell with the strongest rotation that briefly touched down as a tornado in Warren County. So in hindsight I am thinking this also was a funnel cloud that luckily did not touch the ground here in Tippecanoe County.

Pictures #6 and #7

Here are a couple more pictures of nature's spectacle that took place above of Lindberg Village. Shelene D'Alfonso did spot some rotation in these clouds and this was also in the area of the storm that showed a distinct rotation. (pictures #6 and #7) These two pictures are not classic funnel cloud pictures, but after speaking to storm chasers about these pictures, and looking at all the radar data we are very lucky these ragged clouds did not reach the ground as a tornado. The storm was just not organized enough to put down another tornado. We did have a brief 60 mph wind gust on the southside of Lafayette near Old Romney Road, but that was the last storm report of the entire evening and was another indication of a weakening squall line of storms as it moved into Tippecanoe County. We were very lucky that is for sure. We were very close to a tornado on Klondike Road and in the Lindberg Village area.

Picture #8

The sky looked like it was falling over Old Romney Road. (Picture #8) There was a report of a 60 mph wind gust on the southside but I could not find any damage when surveying the area.
But, it sure looked scary out there and more like a scene from the Wizard of Oz.

Picture #9

Here is a picture of what it looked like a classic funnel cloud near Attica just after 7 p.m. (picture #9) This amazing picture was sent in by Emily Routzhan. It was taken by her cousin out the rear view mirror off of straight road 55. This may have been the funnel cloud reached the ground as a tornado near Winthrop, but it is very tough to see what exactly is going on from this perspective. It still is a great shot though confirming we had dangerous storms in the area.

Excerpts from Saturday blog, June 28,2008

The rest of our Saturday will feature better weather to move our way, especially after 2 p.m. We will likely see one last line of thunderstorms form today, but it looks like areas farther south and east of Lafayette will have the better chance of seeing strong storms. But this could still change so our weather team will make sure to keep you posted with any necessary crawls or updates. Sunday we will only have highs in the 70s with a few more pop up showers but no severe weather is expected. Get ready for rainbow weather since we will have splash and dash showers mixed with plenty of dry hours this weekend. We certainly had beautiful rainbows around the area. Here were some of those great pictures. I am glad we talked about rainbow weather here on the blog earlier in the week. That is one prediction that certainly came true.

Picture #10

Thank you Brian and Marcia Tolley. This double rainbow was taken near Mulberry. (#10) I enjoyed the fireworks celebration there a few weeks ago. Nature put on quite a show of its own.

Picture #11

Rebeka was working on her 4-H project when nature provided her with the ultimate prize picture. (#11) Thank you Rebeka and Melissa Bishop. Have a great day and we will look for more rainbows this weekend. Have a great day. Here is to better weather ahead!

Thanks again to the best bloggers in the world! You did a great job sending in pictures and verification of exactly what happened what not have been possible without you. Keep sending in those pictures to to help keep us all safe and ahead of the storm.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mike, thank you for the up date on the storms/tornados. I emailed you pics, of what I believe is a "classic" roll cloud, I wish I could post on the blog, What I saw and photographed was a long tube shaped
cloud with a rolling motion. I was watching the sky before any warnings were issued. Suddenly the wind picked up and this amazing long cloud moved in from the SW heading NE. In the pics you can see the rolling....
I hope you can confirm if this was indeed a roll cloud, but I know you are very busy with research of the funnel clouds.
Hope you get some rest!
R&T in Laf..