March 28, 2007 - Edson / Bird City, KS Tornadoes

Documented by: Scott F. Blair

I departed work one hour early once my short term forecast package was complete and blasted west out of Topeka around 3:30 pm CDT on I-70. My wife accompanied me on the chase as we finally arrived in northwest Kansas around 7pm with ongoing supercells present. Meeting up with Derek Deroche at Edson, KS, we focused on a tornado-warned storm 10 miles south of our location. Excellent low/mid-level storm structure was present with a striated updraft and a couple low-level inflow tails. Approximately 7:49 pm, a thin rope tornado unexpectedly condensed to the ground under a fairly large rain-free base 5 SSW Edson, KS. The brief tornado persisted for less than one minute before vanishing.

We elected to move north out of Edson on a semi-muddy road to stay ahead of the supercell. After a short jog north, we noticed an extremely bright red skinny funnel cloud blending with red rain curtains. By 8:08 pm, a tornado developed within one mile south of our location, placing the vortex 2 N Edson. The tornado was characterized as a healthy rope that glowed bright red/pink for several minutes as the sun passed below the horizon. The condensation briefly lifted at times before quickly returning back down to the ground. The tornado began to occlude as the existing color faded into a deep twilight and eventually dissipated after an excellent five minute show.

As darkness commenced, we slowly shifted north behind the northward-moving supercell. Around 8:30 pm, a large tornado rapidly developed 8 N Edson (12 S Bird City, KS). The tornado was backlit from near-continuous lightning and was a consistent wedge tornado approximately 1/4 of a mile wide at its maximum. We lost view of the feature shortly before it passed very near the Bird City vicinity. The tornado luckliy missed the small town by one mile but still affected a few homes resulting in an EF2 rating. We observed several more tornado-warned supercells during the mid-evening hours with good structure and a round of 2 hail in eastern Sherman County before finally making the long drive back to TOP.

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