April 21, 2001 : Hoisington, KS Cell

          All images on page are (C) Copyright 2001 by Neal Rasmussen. All Rights Reserved, CNN!   ,`-{

    Video captures from April 21, 2001 at 8:33 PM CDT, below.
   Movies of 600k to 8 megs at bottom!

    These wicked "CA" and "CC" stokes (Cloud to Air and Cloud to Cloud)
     lightning strokes where occurring every few seconds in the anvil directly
   ahead  of the huge updraft seen to the left of the grain elevator of
   Frederick, KS on Hiway 4. Hoisington is 35 miles straight ahead, due
   west on this road.

     These images are all between 8:33 and 8:35 PM CDT, ignore the time
   stamp on picture, but it is some 45 minutes before the Hoisington, KS tornado. 

     Note the last image. The series of vertical branches seen on video of this stroke,
     makes this appear to be a "triggered lightning" stroke. Thought I saw a couple,
   but as triggered strokes always come off the ground, which I could not see,
   I am unsure whether triggered or not.

   Note in all images the band of low cumulus on the left hand side. This band of
   CU stretched for at least 40 miles to the ESE or SE of the cell and was 
     visually seen curving west, and wrapping into cell somewhat farther north of
   the huge 'turret' updraft seen than I expected. 

     I saw NO CG's, Cloud to Ground, stokes driving into Great Bend, when tornado
     was occurring at Hoisington, nor when heading back up hiway 156 NE, south of
     circulation, only "In-Core" illumination. Not to say there weren't any, just didn't
     see ANY when expect a couple...

Map via: 
A real cool interactive map making app. 

Movies !
Here's an small MPG which will probably strip the sparks out in its compression. Which is strange since we have to download a new codec for WMV every hour and it still bytes.
was an
hour out, I did not press for exact locations.

Kept going west on Ks-4 and once about 20 mi west of I-35, I could see a low band of cu feeding up to my distant west 'somewhere'. Off I go. When I was about 50 mi east of the Great Bend cells, I could see a huge updraft that appeared to be a squatting castle turret. It looked that solid. Then the sparks started. Near continuous CA.  Some CC and some IC, but most
just lept out to thin air. The dark south-easterly flank of cu was a 'can't miss' indicator of where this updraft was. At least that's what I thought.

I then hit Ks-156 and the se'erly inflow band did not appear to be wrapping into the area where I thought the updraft was, but instead, seemed to be going about 10 mi north of where I thought it should be. This turns out to be exactly the case, as 10 mi north of Great Bend is Hoisington. For safety sake, and being mad at a detour, I went south, then west into Great Bend. I knew that there was a beasty about.  Close. Just not where! I had good visibility and saw a core to my north when in Great Bend, and some scud lowerings, which looked very much like hail scud lowerings, as it appeared very linear.

I then realized it must have been west of Great Bend and moved up north. About the same time of this realization is when Hoisington got hit by the F4. I trailed the meso along Ks-156 up to Ellsworth, where I broke off. A couple times along the way I saw a large wall, but was impossible to tell rotation at night with that fast a cell movement.