14 April 2012
Kansas Tornado Outbreak

Photos 2012 Scott F. Blair

Select a gallery below:
St. John/Hudson, KS Tornadoes
Kanopolis Lake, KS EF4 Tornado
Salina/Solomon, KS Tornado

The long-lived tornado was gradually becoming disrupted and eventually dissipated by the time I reached Lindsborg, KS near I-135. I contemplated ending the chase, but chose otherwise once the updraft came back into view southwest of Salina, KS. The lowered base ominously made a few attempts of a tornado as it passed over the Salina, but luckily waited to just east of the city limits. A new tornado developed two miles south of I-70 and was characterized by occasional dust whirls underneath a tightening condensation lowering. These nearly transparent vortices visually appeared relatively innocent until a large power flash emanated from one of the dusty whirls. Condensation associated with the tornado gradually improved in shape, with a cone tornado nearing I-70.

I decided to pull off on top of a hill for a better view just shy of the Niles Road exit at mile marker 260. As the multi-vortex tornadic circulation approached the interstate, it briefly lost much of its defining characteristics. As I was taking a quick photo, a strong vortex suddenly developed and lofted debris less than 500 ft south of my location. Inflow winds immediately strengthened to at least 90 mph, and I fled a tenth-mile back westward on the shoulder to exit the outer circulation. The tornado organized into several dancing dusty vortices as it crossed I-70 near my former location, just west of the Niles Road exit.

The tornado further organized north of I-70 with impressive multi-vortex action. The vortices were more frequently accompanied by full condensation as it entered Dickinson County.

The tornadic circulation evolved into a stovepipe tornado, and this structure lasted for nearly ten minutes. As sunset approached, a golden hue overspread much of the sky. I was exhausted from the intense chase day and elected not to pursue the storm north of I-70. While driving home, the tornado put on an impressive final show, roping out and stretching across the horizon.

Back to home

All photographs and images on this and associated pages are Copyrighted by Scott F. Blair. Any reproduction either electronic or otherwise without written permission and consent from Scott F. Blair is strictly prohibited by Federal Law. Please direct all inquiries or comments to: Scott F. Blair

Return to Target Area