Finger on the Weather

Stan Finger has covered Kansas weather for 25 years. Now he's blogging about it.

Storm chaser records amazing video of tornado in Cowley County

09/02/2014 2:27 PM

09/02/2014 2:37 PM

Valley Center storm chaser Brandon Ivey captured dramatic video of the long-lived tornado that churned through southeast Kansas on Monday night.

A number of homes were reportedly damaged in the unincorporated village of Hewins in Chautauqua County just north of the Oklahoma border, according to the National Weather Service.

The stovepipe tornado touched down at about 8 p.m. and was on the ground for at least 20 minutes, officials say.

People may wonder why the tornado is white early in the video. Weather officials say that happens when the tornado is passing over wheatfields or grassland and is not picking up much dirt or debris.

In my experience of storm chasing — or simply being near tornadoes as they touched down — twisters that have little or no debris in them commonly sound like a waterfall or rushing water. It’s the debris being hoisted aloft that commonly gives a tornado its low rumbling sound.

Large, strong tornadoes will sound like a jet engine roaring overhead or nearby.

I’ve seen tornadoes in Oklahoma take on a reddish hue as they picked up the red clay common in the Sooner State and a dark brown shade in Kansas as they lofted Sunflower State topsoil.

Reach Stan Finger at 316-268-6437 or sfinger@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @StanFinger.

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