Eric and I had forecasted several days in advance and it appeared that June 9th could hold some real potential. Starting the day in Graham, TX, I called Eric and we discussed the situation. It was obvious the next day was worthy of a chase. I left Graham and Eric left Norman. We met up at Shamrock, TX and continued to North Platte, NE. Thanks to NWS LBF forecaster Chris Bannan for providing a place to stay! The morning of June 9th arrived and we made our original target east of Valentine, NE.
*** Atkinson, NE Tornado. The tornado lasted nine minutes under excellent contrast. ***
Jumping ahead, we observed a nice supercell near Mills, NE. The cell was complete with a backsheared anvil and nice round base. We followed the cell to Butte, NE and blasted south on Hwy11. It was clear the storm was rapidly organizing and showed signs of lowering. We stopped about 10 miles north of Atkinson. Two supercells were now visible, one due west and one southwest from our location. The northern cell showed signs of a RFD and a horizontal funnel. Seeing this, I blasted west towards the storm. Soon after, a funnel rapidly lowered and the Atkinson Tornado was born. The tornado was located NW of Atkinson or due north of Stuart. From our location, the tornado was 2 miles away nicely contrasted as it slowly moved closer. After going through a few shapes during its 9 minute life, the tornado lifted and the RFD occluded the updraft. We forwarded the report to Chris at NWS LBF.
*** F3 Wedge Tornado moves north of Emmet, NE. ***
We quickly turned our attention to the supercell now NW of Emmet, NE. We blasted back on Hwy11 and encountered 2 inch hail from the new storm. Not long after, a dusty tornado developed north of Emmet. The tornado continued to rapidly strengthen as a funnel plunged into the dust plume. A F3 wedge tornado was now present as the RFD and associated wrapping rain/hail curled around the meso/tornado. During this process, a well-defined satellite tornado developed SW of the wedge and lasted for about one minute. Within five minutes, the tornado and meso were fully wrapped. We followed the storm north of O'Neil, where we observed debris falling out of the sky. We dove south to avoid any potential danger associated with O'Neil traffic.
We intercepted the meso once more towards dark while observing 1-2" hail. Not wanting any part of the meso, we dropped south and watched an active lightning show to end the day east of Royal. A classic Nebraska chase!