Mature Stockton Tornado
(Part 3 of 5) After this tornado formed, it continued to swell until it was this large, with classic supercell structures around it throughout its lifespan. Though we knew the atmosphere was favorable, this tornado exceeded even our expectations. In this stage, it was obviously quite intense and well-organized; but it did no damage to hint at its actual strength. Best of all, it churned harmlessly across open prairie, somehow barely avoiding a mine field of potentially deadly targets: Webster Reservoir, Rooks State Park, the town of Stockton itself, and every paved road in the area -- all while putting on a spectacular visual display of the atmosphere's fury. The visual resemblance of this scene to famous imagery of Union City OK tornado (24 May 1973) is amazing.
5 SSW Stockton KS (15 May 99), looking NW