"Severe Storms of 2004"

The old "Wayman Ranch" barn, a true Albany,  Missouri  landmark,  sat majestically south of town on a ridge overlooking the Grand River Valley to the west .  This 3-story barn is seen here back on May 4, 2003 with a complex of thunderstorms to its southeast.  This complex of storms was  part of the same weather system that produced  the  tornadoes that tore apart areas of North Kansas City, Gladstone, Liberty, and Richmond to the south on that day.  Ironically,  one year and 20 days after this photo was taken the Wayman Ranch Barn would no longer exist  having also been destroyed by a  tornado.  This view is from the northwest.
 

The 2004 severe weather season will be remembered by the citizens of Albany, Missouri as one of the stormiest and most destructive ever endured by this small town of 2000 people.  From May to June,  Albany and surrounding areas were impacted by no less than four severe storms including an F2 tornado within the city limits and a severe hail storm that affected the entire town.   The look of Albany and surrounding areas was changed forever due to these storms.  Some of our most familiar landmarks  such as the old "Wayman Ranch" barn shown above or many of our most beautiful trees  were either destroyed or altered in some way.  Due to our Storm Readiness  and a little luck nobody was killed in our town but some were not as fortunate elsewhere in the region during this time.  Presented here are a few images of the storms that occurred during the 2004 severe weather season.  Most of the images depict the storms as they were happening with some of them  taken under very adverse conditions.   You won't find very many images of storm damage on this web site.  Hundreds if not thousands of images were taken of the town in the aftermath of the storm documenting the destruction.  I have chosen to display only a few here.  I did not spend much time taking photos of the damage.   After all, this web site  is called Missouri "Skies", so I am concentrating on how the skies looked during this time.  I have also included a few web links that will take you to more information on these storms.






May 24, 2004:  Tornado in Albany, Missouri I don't have any actual tornado  photos to go along with this day.   I saw the tornado as it was about 3 blocks away and decided to run for cover instead of trying to get a shot.   It was so dark out that I'm sure that photos would probably not have come out good anyway.   There was no slow, lumbering, elephantine trunk of a tornado associated with this storm.  The storm leaned toward the HP or High Precipitation Supercell type and so the tornado was difficult to see and the skies ahead of the storm were very dark.  Due to the darkness my camera exposures were in the 1/4 or a second range and almost impossible to hand hold.    Below are the best shots from these very adverse conditions.






Storm Chaser Report II  More Pictures of the Tornadoes from another chaser.
Watch a radar loop of this day  You can easily see the tornadic supercell pass over the area. This may take a while to load.  Radar loop courtesy of National Severe Storms Laboratory.




June 11, 2004:  A Very Picturesque Thunderstorm
 
  This is the first of a three night run of thunderstorms in the area.  I photographed the storm from Bush's Service station high on a ridge overlooking the Grand River Valley to the west (East Fork).  The arrival of the storm  in our area was perfectly timed with the setting sun producing some interesting plays of light, shadow and clouds.  I wish that I could have gotten to a location that didn't have power lines and telephone poles but I had no other vantage point.  I did manage to move around enough to keep the lines and poles out of the field of view in a couple of shots.  This storm was a very slow-mover providing ample time to use a variety of camera gear including fisheye  and telephoto lens adaptors.


Watch a radar loop of this day  This may take a while to load.  Radar loop courtesy of National Severe Storms Laboratory.



June 12, 2004:  Hail Storm

No pictures of the sky  from this storm that probably did as much damage to the town of Albany as the tornado did about a month earlier.  I don't think that these hail stones were the largest that fell that evening.  Just a representitive sample that I kept in the freezer.  I did manage to shoot some video of the storm as it approached as well as the intense hail storm that resulted.


Watch a radar loop of this day  This may take a while to load.  Radar loop courtesy of National Severe Storms Laboratory.

YouTube Video of the Entire Hail Storm




June 13, 2004:  Supercell Thunderstorm over Albany, Missouri This storm had the potential to do as much damage as the previous storms that had hit the area in the previous 20 days.  It was a supercell thunderstorm that displayed all the characteristics of being a monster.  A well developed anvil, mammatus clouds, and longevity were all factors pointing to potential disaster.  By this time people in the area were exhausted.   Luckily the storm passed with only a vivid lightning display and about an inch of rain.



 



Watch a radar loop of this day  This may take a while to load.  Radar loop courtesy of National Severe Storms Laboratory.
 
 
 

Rainbow at Elam Bend

Missouri Skies Weather Photos

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Dan Bush
Albany, Missouri

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E-mail: dan at missouri skies dot org

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