Apr 14, 2012: Salina, KS

Jim R. and myself left Minneapolis at 7 AM with a target of Grand Island, NE. By the time we got to the area, the visibility was awful and it resembled more of a November cold rainy day. By this time of day, the only option for us was to continue south to where good storms has already initiated. They were moving towards us and we had come too far to just call it a day.

Around 6 PM one of the Kansas supercells had still held it together and was again producing tornadoes. We came over a ridge south of Salina and saw a large tornado crossing the road a few miles up.

Here is the edited video from the day:


First glimpse of the tornado heading west out of Lindsborg, KS

A minute or two later we found a good viewpoint to get out and watch the tornado for a good 8-10 minutes.

The inflow tail is visible as it starts to get more to the north of us

The sun pokes through on the left with the tornado on the right. Shot with an ultrawide.

Looking north as the tornado has crossed I-70 after skipping over Salina

For the next 20-30 minutes, we continued to follow the tornado that just wouldn't quit while dealing with the traffic that had emerged from following it. It thankfully took one break during it's track as it passed over Salina. The long drive home began shortly thereafter, which ended up being a 1,300 mile, 24 hour trip of almost all driving time.

Approximate location

Radar reflectivity

Radar velocity showing area of strong rotation

Antcam animation for Spotter Network from this day

Return to the chases of 2012
- Tony Perkins