Five Tornadoes in South Central Kansas

Forming supercell near Anthony, Kansas. This storm produced two brief tornadoes and a second supercell just to the south spawned at least threee tornadoes.

Forming tornadoes near Anthony, Kansas.

Forming tornado, near Anthony, Kansas.

Forming tornado on North Supercell near Anthony, Kansas.

Tornado on South Supercell near Anthony, Kansas.

Tornado on South Supercell near Anthony, Kansas.

May 25, 1997


This was a BIG day. We set a personal record for five tornadoes in one day, multiple funnel clouds, magnificent storms. We started in Liberal KS with Mike Foster and Brian Curran and decided that north-central OK was the prime spot, with mid 60 to upper 60 dewpoints, and an expected jet streak to produce the best shear we had seen in 12 years of chasing. Every storm that developed produced tornadoes.

Tornadoes from the first storm were very brief and we were often in the cars or trying to set cameras up while tornadoes had already formed and then, suddenly, dissipated.  Nevertheless, we have some good pictures of forming tornadoes and debris/condensation funnels developing.

This storm died after a second storm developed on its right flank. This second storm produced a twin vortex tornado, which is not documented here.  We were racing to get to the south storm as it "tried" (successfully) to flank us, but were able to get some good views of the first set of tornadoes, shown above.  Later on, the large hail (softball, according to radio reports) curtain wrapping around the mesocyclone as we approached from the east, cut us off from the much-ballyhooed 1/2 mile wedge that eventually developed.

Nevertheless, we saw five tornadoes on May 25.  Whew, what a day!