April 14th 2012 | Western Kansas Tornado Outbreak
Managed to get on a couple of cyclic tornado producing supercells in central Kansas just south of Interstate 70 on Saturday afternoon/evening. The first storm came into view near Timken, Kansas and initially looked unimpressive, and even as the structure ramped up the radar representation was still very weak. Almost became a little mini-supercell actually. This storm collapsed and eventually we dropped south to intercept the next supercell to the south near Great Bend. It took us some time to get a view of the rain free base as we came in from behind the storm. We got word from Jarrod Cook that there was a wedge tornado in progress, and soon enough the monster came peeking out from the rain. You could easily tell this was a violent caliber tornado, but it did a very good job of not hitting any structures. We passed an area where the ground had been scoured which is shown in the video below. Trees also had that violent tornado look, with only the core of the tree remaining. Preliminary survey had that wedge near Langley at an EF4. Apparently it did decimate one farm stead unfortunately, and scoured pavement somewhere very near where I saw the scoured vegetation. This supercell did us all a huge favor and leap frogged Salina, KS, taking a breather after the wedge before producing intermittent tornadoes northeast of Salina.