I’m going to admit to a mistake. We had terrific, terrific video on the site this week of the tornadoes forming over Reno County on Tuesday â€” and we let it fly under the radar (so to speak) on the site.
So I’m going to take this opportunity to trumpet the video. If you’re at all interested in severe weather â€” and what kind of Kansan are you if you’re not? â€” you’ll enjoy it. Click here, and it will pop up in a new window.
That video was shot by Kansas.com photographer Travis Heying, who was out with Kansas.com reporter Amanda O’Toole looking for the big storms that the Eagle and local meteorologists had promised for Tuesday. I asked Travis to write a bit about what was going on that evening:
Spring time in Kansas usually means violent weather, and several forecasters were saying that Tuesday was shaping up to be a real doozy. Reporter Amanda O’Toole and I decided to position ourselves to intercept any thunderstorms that might threaten the Wichita area. With a dryline coming in from western Kansas, we parked ourselves in Kingman.
This was Amanda’s first storm chase.
Two hours of sitting in a gas station parking lot watching rader imagery on a laptop told us that maybe things weren’t going to play out like some forecasters thought. We were getting ready call it a day before deciding to have a closer look at a thunderstorm building in southwestern Reno County.
We saw a lot of funnels and few small tornadoes. We also saw a lot of gawkers out trying to get a closer look. When you’re out looking for storm photos, thrill-seekers driving down dirt roads while staring up at the sky pose a much greater threat than the weather.
I chased storms for seven years before I saw my first tornado. Amanda saw one on her first try. I think I’ll bring her along next time.
This is just one more of our new experiments in video journalism. On Sunday, I urge you to look out for Travis’ work using video in our multimedia preview of Wild West World.
â€” Nick Jungman