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South Dakota Storm Chasing Trip a Success!

Jun 02, 2010
As a storm chaser and a human being that has non-stop passion for weather, this trip was over the top! My goal was to hopefully document some good storms out on the plains. Say the least, we saw seven tornadoes.

This year featured May 22-24 being the most promising days. Saturday the 22nd, was a skeptical day because the cap was going to be an issue and upper level forcing may be too weak to ignite convection across the Dakotas. However, there was a chance that storms may form and produce severe weather across central and northeast South Dakota. To make a long story short, we captured four tornadoes on Saturday including a large wedge tornado that hit north of Bowdle, South Dakota which was rated an EF-4 tornado. The tornado was so powerful it knocked over transmission towers containing 345 kilovolt power lines. That was a truly powerful tornado.

Sunday the 23rd, we drove through southern South Dakota, western Nebraska, and made our way into northwest Kansas. We saw some storms but were no match to what had occurred on the 22nd. Yet, the sunset was nice to view. Another joy was experiencing the Nebraska Sandhills while driving on highway 83 between Valentine and North Platte. Literally, civilization failed to exist across this region but was fun to experience.

Monday the 24th, South Dakota was yet again the prime area for severe weather. This time the northwest part of the state was primed to be hit with severe weather. We made some good calls and chased the correct storm that produced a beautiful tornado near Plainview, Howes and Faith, South Dakota. Thankfully it didn't cause too much damage as it was rated an EF-2. Yet again, the terrain wasn't as bad for viewing the storms until you get further west into the South Dakota/Wyoming border. I would have to say it was one of the most photogenic tornadoes I have ever seen.

While severe weather looked promising over the same areas during the memorial day weekend, we decided to call it off at the last minute and backtrack. Overall it was a storm chasing trip of a life time that I'll never forget.


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