14 April 2012 Nebraska Tornado

This lapse shows what was essentially the only northern play on an eventful day in the central and southern Great Plains.  Most of the tornado outbreak was clustered in central Kansas and northwest Oklahoma.

The short segments in the lapse show the view near Atlanta, NE, where we watched the supercell string out, produce an elongated clear slot complete with persistent slant funnel. Eventually, the low-level meso cycled, producing another slanted funnel that eventually tilted vertically producing a photogenic tornado. This tornado had more in common visually with a landspout, but was unequivocally due to low-level mesocyclone processes in a relatively weak supercell. This "Harlan County" tornado only lasted 3-4 minutes, but was a visual treat considering how cold the inflow was into the storm. After tornadolysis, the supercell continued northeast into an increasingly less buoyant atmosphere thanks to the rain-cooled air from the eastward progressing MCS now in Iowa. If the environment had even just a touch more instability, I suspect we would have had a handful of potentially strong tornadoes in this vorticity rich environment. A few animated gifs for lecture embeds follow. Additional stills and radar imagery are available on my storm chase blog.

Animated gifs:
2012.04.14_Atlanta_Tornado_3_small.gif [smaller gif of tornado]