July 16, 2001 O'Neill Nebraska

I left Blair around 12:30 and headed for a Neligh Nebraska target. The only sign things might fire there was that on the water vapor loop there looked like a strong dry area punching in there. Instabilities were, well extreme. I love that. Directional shear was decent but as with most summer "systems" the mid-upper winds were pretty light. Anyway, long story short, things went earlier and further nw then I had expected. This storm near Stuart Nebraska fired and produced as much as 8 in of rain in a short amount of time. A new storm fired sw as I get in the precip of the northern storm. The one sw would be my storm as I get to Atkinson and backtrack ahead of it to O'Neill.

During this previous video capture "something" smacks my roof or other close spot and makes a loud, sharp, short duration crack/pop. It did not sound like hail that much at all and had it been, it would have had to be large and I'm quite some distance out ahead of this storm. It's interesting because prior to this and continuing past this was one of those intense barrages of cg's. There were a considerable amount of them coming from the anvil. I'm actually mentioning on video as this happens that this is not a situation where you should be outside your vehicle for any reason.

Looking west of O'Neill.

Here is when the day really starts to get interesting. This little pup walks next to my door and looks like he's either lost or is looking for some help from cg hell and the impending "crap". I knew he was about to get slammed and thought since I was going to sit through this "outflow situation" anyway and "experience" it, why not help the poor pup out. I opened my door and he jumped right in. It was shortly after this I realized I have to sit through this now. I was like, ok pup, we are here for the duration now, because I'm not fleeing this and bringing you back. I'm not certain if he belonged to the one house nearby or not. I'm glad I let him in because it gets very nasty. I'd have felt pretty bad watching him get plastered by the wind driven hail.

Well the dog was definitely hot, because through the rest of the video all you hear is panting. He did look happy though. I shot video of him right after he sat on the seat next to me and he had this, I don't know you face on him. Then a very very close cg hit outside with a startling crash. He jumps just a tad, but smiles the rest of the time. First time I watched the video I could not stop laughing, because it was so funny...for me. What unfolds next proves even when you think you are experienced mother nature can throw you a curve ball. This rather large "curve ball" formed almost on top of me.

I've watched the video numerous times now and am starting to realize I may have been a moron. You couldn't see a hell of a lot of any structure then bam this thing forms about a block down the highway, just to my north. There was very strong rotation in it throughout. It also appears as though the storm base is right above it and that it's not outflow.

This was one lucky pup. This was the most intense stuff I've been in to date. I'm lucky the hail didn't get bigger than golf balls because they were moving I'd estimate between 70-80mph for 5 minutes. The video is so much better than looking at these pics. It's nearly impossible to give justice to things in motion with a still image. You can see one golf ball near that sign moving from left to right after it had bounced in front of my truck. They'd hit, bounce up and peel off to the east/right. It was very intense wind wise. Large trees were down to my south and east in O'Neill, along with powerlines and a few wooden fences. Somewhere in the area reported 100 trees either uprooted or blown down.

Picture of grateful dog, as hell is still going on outside.

Figured I was lucky enough to pause it here I might as well post another golf ball.

It lets up so I let the dog back out and continue with it to the se. As I turned around he followed me away from the nearby house. I'm sure he was just a farm dog, because he seemed well fed. Anyway, this pic here was about 3 hours later near sunset and was awesome all by itself.

The winds as this was happening were not extreme but would guess 60+ category. The cool thing was the sky with gold looking, eerie outflow. The screaming the telephone wires were making really add to this scene. Very spooky sounding and looking. People seem to really enjoy this video on the dvd. This was certainly one of my more memorable chases.