October 24, 2021  
It figures that the weekend I make plans to go out of town to Indiana, a decent severe weather opportunity unfolds.  I cut the out-of-town weekend short so I could get back for the Sunday event. 

I arrived back home around 10:00am after a very early start from Indiana.  Around 11:00am, my son Ryan and I met up.  We sat and discussed for a few minutes to finalize our target before leaving as there was multiple targets to choose from.  Should we play the cold front coming into western Missouri, play the triple point up in Northwest Missouri, or play the warm front that was projected to be draped across Northern Missouri into Illinois?  Tough decisions today.  We settled on the target out to the west as tornadic storms were expected to fire in western Missouri and work their way east.  We chose Columbia, Missouri as our hold spot.

We pulled in next to Tom Stolze on the way out to the target and discussed the upcoming possibilities, then Ryan and I grabbed some lunch at the KFC drive-through in Columbia.  As we enjoyed our lunch, a line of storms was forming just to our west.  It continued to intensify as it came overhead.  We followed it back east to give the line a bit more time to mature.  Plenty of lightning, but no sign of velocity.  As the rain became the main feature, we let it go.  Meanwhile, tornado warned storms broke out over northwestern Missouri.  Storms also fired on the cold front to the west, but those storms were slow to develop.  A couple storms to the northwest on the triple point continued to maintain tornado warnings as they moved east-northeast, especially the southern most cell that seemed to be riding the warm front.

We finally settled on moving northward to play any developing storms on the warm front to the north while also staying in range of any developing storms on the northern portion of the cold front to the west.  Further south on the cold front, storms were intensifying, but there was a notable gap in the line of storms between that southern most tornado warned storm to the north and those storms along the front to the south.  Seemed we were in the middle of the storm-less bubble.  Our target city of Moberly, Missouri changed to Macon, Missouri as no new development seem imminent.  The continuing tornado warned storm remained the only viable option, so our attention now turned to intercepting that storm.

We moved west on Highway 36 and reached Highway 129 with the storm still to the northwest.  We traveled north to New Boston, Missouri and now the storm was coming within range.  The storm now had a confirmed tornado near Purdin, Missouri.

A quick decision was to be made as we had to decide to either continue on 129 which jogged west for a bit before going north again or continue north on Route 'J'.  We were concerned taking the western road 129 would not get us to the storm in time.  We chose to take "J", then needed to continue on Route "JJ" going north.  We cringed as the roads turned to rock, and then in a heavy rain, rock and mud.  These were the most treacherous, slick, hilly roads I've traveled on in a long time.  There were no houses on this road.  This was a farm road with only barns and out buildings. 

As we reached the storm crossing in front of us, we were up on top of a ridge with a view of the valley where the wall cloud was crossing.  Unfortunately for us, we were in a forested area at the edge of the Montgomery Woods Conservation Area with little to no view in the rain.  The limited view that we had a very low wall cloud with rain wrapping around the circulation.

As we continued to work our way through the back roads on a trek back out to a paved road after the storm passed, we came across the damage path to the storm that just went by us.  I was an obvious tornado damage path as several large trees were snapped at the base and every tree in the narrow path had limbs snapped and twisted and thrown various directions. 

At one point, Ryan had to get out of the car to move a dead tree that had fallen across the road.

We found our way back to the paved road, Highway 11.  The road moved northeast.  We eventually caught the storm again, but it would not wrap up again to produce another tornado.

After dark, we stopped as we saw another interesting lowering.  As we watched, a funnel began snaking down.  A check on radar showed a small velocity couplet.  The funnel lasted a minute or so and then disappeared.

Our Trip

UPDATE:  The National Weather Service out of Pleasant Hill did a survey on the Purdin Missouri tornado.  It was rated EF2.  There findings stated the tornado end location was roughly 1.5 miles southwest of our location at 5:18pm and did not include the damage path we came across . 

When I got home Sunday night, I had even attempted to send them an email showing the damage path we came across so they could check the spot in their survey, but my effort to send them an email from their email address I found on their webpage came back as undeliverable.
11.5 Hours  -   464 Miles

Click on the link below to see video of some of these storms.

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