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Old 06-04-2013, 06:29 AM
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DarkSky DarkSky is offline
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Location: St. Catharines, ON [Niagara]
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Default Re: Jun.1, 2013 - Kenilworth Brief Tornado and Funnels

Chase log by Dave Patrick @

I have to say it was an interesting evening up here Saturday night. I was
not expecting such a winky storm to put down a weak tornado. And by weak I
mean it just touched down twice that I saw visually (saw some tree/dust
debris around the base). The video shows how this low topped supercell
formed and produced but he contrast was hard to capture the contact I saw to
the ground. Did I imagine it, no. I sat there waiting for some evidence it
touched down looking intently at the ground right under the funnel and when
I did, only then did I call it. My video was in the truck on the dash so I
did not zoom in to verify because I was too busy tweeting and reporting to
EC what I saw. I guess I could have not called them and concentrated on my
video as concrete proof but you all know I would not do that. I am the 1st
to give up photos and video for reporting to EC. especially in these
instances. The warning was a valid and hopeful, timely one. I only got 2
still photos of the tornado as I was doing other things but I can tell you
chasing solo can be trying at times. I am hoping to head back up this
morning with my daughter to see if I can find any sign of damage but I am
not hopeful as the area was woods and river and fields. The one other
picture I saw of it showed it to the tops of the trees as well.

Storm Background and Chase:

A few of us thought today might hold some promise. I was hopeful a few days
ago but, in all honestly, thought today was a wash. There was enough shear
with the winds but absolutely no cape. Throw in that storms developed a few
hours earlier and created a line over the Niagara region tracking east, I
had about figured any energy there was gone. Andrew Colvin was chasing near
Lake Huron and told me he could see the updrafts spinning as they were
coming onshore so I watched them for a bit on GR3 but they looked pretty
weak. AS they tracked eastward, I knew this was the last chase for a long
time ( long range is dismal) so I bribed my wife and took off to between
Arthur and Palmerston and got up there at 7:30 pm. I got some gas and a
snack and sat under the updraft core of the 1st cell and 2nd cell as they
tracked eastward. The bases were very low (wonder what the LCLs were) but no
real scud inflow at all. At it was closing in 7:45 in turned around and
headed south back to home when I had a feeling and turned east along a side
road and looked back at the storm. Best decision I made.

There coming out of the clouds was a rock hard updraft firing up (tail-end
Charlie). As it went up you could see the weak spin in the updraft. With the
backlighting of the sun, this was a beautiful shot to end the day. I was out
taking a picture and laughingly out loud said to the storm "Where is my
south inflow?" It must of heard me because the winds started to pick up
slowly and then more and more. About 5 mins after this, scud inflow was
forming and I was off. This could get interesting. Traversing some roads I
came up to a forming rotating wallcloud with maybe a few funnels but
contrast was poor and it was still organizing IMO. Exeter was showing some
rotation in the range of 40-50 GTG at lowest scan

Off I followed as it got more and more defined when I knew I had to make the
call to EC. As I was talking to them about the wallcloud, it was getting
more and more rotation.

An aside to this: At this time I shifted to weather underground radar. As
Tom can attest, we have been chasing some pretty storms this year that GR3
is not picking up but Exeter and King are. As this website is the only one
that allows us access to velocity data (when are we ever going to get
it!!!!!!!!!) we can truly see how a storm looks here.

I refreshed weatherunderground and saw it looked like a 105kt GTG couplet
now evident. I looked up again out of the truck and hand went to the phone.
A broad rotation funnel was forming as it was rotating around the wall
cloud. I called EC to get tell them (not sure timing of this versus tornado
warning issued) but a min later it tightened right up and became a beautiful
pencil tornado that came up and down and weaved all over and dissipated. I
called EC again and then a new funnel formed to my immediate north that
lasted 30 or so seconds and dissipated. I did follow it for a bit but it
slowly started to lose it organization and I hit Luther Marsh and roads and
darkness made it impossible to chase.

I headed back to the area to pinpoint exactly where I was and tried to spot
damage but it was too deep in the bush and darkness was setting in.

Video can be seen here with complete lifecycle of the storm

I have to say that I never heard thunder, saw any lightning or hail and bet
that echo tops on this storm hit 25k. But I did learn a few things. 1) Never
just use GR3 radar when chasing anymore, combine it with EC radar to get a
better understanding of what is going on. 2) Just because all the
ingredients for severe storms are not there, does not mean the day is a wash
3) I am still wondering if the storms earlier in the day rocketed an outflow
boundary to the north and it just happen to stall at this area.

Any questions, fire them off.

Thanks for reading.

Dave P
- DarkSky (St. Catharines, ON (Niagara) )
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