I'm a weather geek. I've always been fascinated by Mother Nature's power, especially by the fury of tornadoes. I've always wanted to chase a twister, and this weekend I got my chance.
I'm friends with two other weather nuts, veteran storm chasers Kory Hartman and Tim Purington, who invited me along on their next high-adrenaline adventure. By Friday afternoon, they could see from forecasts that this could be a big storm weekend in Tornado Alley – so we left before dawn Saturday for Kansas.
Forecasts proved true. Deadly tornadoes on Sunday swept across Arkansas and Iowa, taking the lives of 18 people.
The storms we were chasing in Kansas and Missouri were not deadly – but they were eye-opening. Check out our footage above shot in southeastern Kansas on Sunday evening, which we uploaded to YouTube.
Kory and Tim work for Severe Studios, a storm chasing company owned by Kory. Severe Studios has a chaser community that stretches across the country. These folks mount a camera to their vehicle's dashboard and live-stream severe weather.
While Kory and Tim were navigating and forecasting, I got behind the wheel and drove the car wherever they told me to go. The route we took started in Lincoln, Nebraska, and took us south through parts of Missouri, and back west to the Kansas-Missouri border.
That's where this tornado happened. Kory and Tim forecasted with perfection a tornado that dropped from a wall cloud into an open field in Linn County, Kansas.
We witnessed the tornado from start to finish – from a rapidly rotating wall cloud to a funnel cloud to a full-fledged twister. The tornado stayed on the ground for 28 minutes, ripping up farmland in the process.
Look at the progression the tornado took along its long-track journey.
Fortunately, according to KMBC, no injuries were reported with our tornado.
CNN and The Weather Channel took the Severe Studios feed rolling live from the scene.
Here's an aerial view of the twister, per CNN.
Joe Nelson is BringMeTheNews' Radio Network Manager and Sports Director.