Radar Imagery of the McPherson County Tornadic Supercell

Click image to enlarge. The image above shows the location of the tornado when it initially touched down near the McPherson-Campbell county line, about 7 miles southwest of Eureka. The green colors represent incoming velocities while the red colors represent outbound velocities. Notice the area southwest of Eureka where the green and red colors are close to one another. Since the radar is located to the east in Aberdeen, the higher shades of green and red located right along the McPherson-Campbell border indicate cyclonic circulation. At approximately 505 pm CDT, a farm was struck 7 miles south-southwest of Eureka where the tornado had quickly grown to F1 status. Click image to enlarge.
The tornado then moved east-southeast to a location about 8 miles south of Eureka. At approximately 514 pm CDT another farm was destroyed. By this time the tornado had grown to F3 intensity. The image above shows where the circulation was located on radar at the time. This is also where the tornado was determined to be nearly 300 yards wide.

Click image to enlarge. F-3 intensity continued as the tornado moved east-southeast toward the Hillsview area. At 525 pm CDT, the tornado struck another farm 2 miles southeast of Hillsview and was still estimated to be nearly 300 yards wide at the time. This image above shows where the circulation was located radar approximately 1 to 2 minutes before it struck the farm. Click image to enlarge.
As the tornado came closer to the Edmunds county line it began to weaken, but not before causing considerable damage to another farm about 6 miles southeast of Hillsview. Here, F2 damage was observed. This is the radar image approximately 1 to 2 minutes before the farm was struck.

 


Here is a series of radar reflectivity images.  Many large tornadic supercells have a classic “hook” echo at the southern edge of the storm.  This particular storm’s “hook” was more subtle because thunderstorms from the southwest moved into the area.  The location of the tornado is pointed out in the images below.

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