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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 06/ 6/2009

Success: CWG Captures Tornado on Chase

By Jason Samenow

* Here Comes the Sun: Full Forecast | NatCast *

freedman-tornado.jpg
Tornado in Goshen County, Wyoming yesterday afternoon. By CWG's Andrew Freedman.

For the first 25 days of the VORTEX2 tornado field project -- the largest effort ever made to understand tornadoes, the chase teams had failed to encounter one tornado. Enter CWG's Andrew Freedman, who joined the team of more than 80 scientists and 40 chase vehicles, and a tornado was spotted within 24 hours. Pretty good timing.

The Weather Channel, which has been extensively covering the Vortex 2 project, broadcast the tornado touchdown live. You can watch the incredible footage in this YouTube video.

Andrew will be riding along with the VORTEX2 team for the next several days and providing Twitter updates. Follow him on our Twitter feed: http://twitter.com/capitalweather.

By Jason Samenow  | June 6, 2009; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Capital Weather Gang, VORTEX2  
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Next: NatCast: Sunny and Pleasant

Comments

Awesome stuff Andrew.. must have been pretty cool to see. I can't help but be a little jealous. ;-).

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | June 6, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

You can't always tell the wind speeds, of course, just by the funnel shape, but, in general, that looks like about an F4.

A major hazard, when getting close to a tornado that big, even more so than the funnel itself, can be large hail. Hail in supercells like that, particularly on the High Plains, can reach baseball, tennis-ball, or, in some cases, even softball/grapefruit-size.

Posted by: MMCarhelp | June 6, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations Andrew!!

I love the part at the end of the youtube video where he's just chatting about how the tornado could come down again right where they're standing, and then he realizes what he just said and freaks out a bit.

Really gorgeous footage.

Posted by: LaurainNWDC | June 6, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

It's no surprise that a cell finally appeared once Andrew was there. Those of us who regularly read his work know that he's adept at stirring up storms. Nice work, Andrew!!

Posted by: --sg | June 6, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I saw much of the footage live yesterday on the Weather Channel.

The tornado itself was over open country, probably west of Lagrange, WY, or in the Hawk Springs area between Yoder and Lagrange; all these towns have populations aoa 100. On radar, the parent supercell traveled in an easterly direction; the northern fringe passed just south of Yoder, and the entire supercell passed over Lagrange, which probably reported heavy rain and/or hail. Only the southern third of Goshen County was affected; the "major" poulation centers of Fort Laramie, Lingle and the county seat of Torrington were well north of the storm and unaffected. After passing through Goshen County, the storm traveled eastward into Nebraska, where the VORTEX2 team was predicting possible further tornado development.

The tornado was slow-moving and passed through a complete tornadic life cycle in 25 minutes, thus making it an ideal target for VORTEX2 observation. TWC is saying today that data collected yesterday by the team will undergo analysis for years. Such research will be useful in refining future tornado forecasting and warning strategies.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | June 6, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Heavy tornado damage near Moscow:
Rare Russian Rotation

Posted by: CapitalClimate | June 6, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I posted some new photos of today's deployment (which did not catch a tornado, but did find a gorgeous non-tornadic supercell) on our Capital weather gang facebook group page. I will have a story about Friday's deployment for Monday, and stay tuned to our Twitter feed for constant updates as long as cell phone coverage allows it. Sunday may be a very active day.

Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | June 7, 2009 2:06 AM | Report abuse

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