Sunday, July 24, 2011
Waking up to Lucky Charms in the morning, mmmm mmm. Becca and I blasted oldies satellite radio style as we trecked north I-25 to Douglas area. Our forecasted area around Lusk was our target for structure and possibly a quickie tornado :) Reaching just south of Douglas hwy 20 intersection, we pulled off watching a severe warned cell pushing off the mountains. The base was lowering way in the distance but these were scuds giving us teasers. Looking north though did not look good as it was beginning to show signs of shelfing. This was not helping support the main show. Otherwise we watched the impressive shelf beginning to dominate and drop strong cg's. We began to start driving east as towers from convergence showed its face in the distance towards Lusk area. As the shelf chased us down, Becca noticed it was beginning to break down a little bit and weaken. We were nearing Lusk, Wyoming and Becca looked back and saw an impressive green colored meso nearing this bluff. Quite beautiful. Will post timelapse later. We watched it slam into us bringing a gust front, than I gave the camera to Becca and as she was recording out the window, I was beginning to the windows up...thankfully I stopped when she was yelping and screamin. Poor girl. She was all good though, she just laughed. Continuing east this storm continued on into Lusk. Becca and I grabbed some quick Subway waiting for some new cells to blowup in our target area, but the shelf was reformulating. Funny moment, Becca was like hey wanna eat outside on this picnic table. I was like ok. The minute I said ok, a bolt a mile away made us look at each other and talk in our heads and agree with nodding to get in the car instead, lol.
Becca made a great nowcast decision to continue taking hwy 20 to Chadron, NE. Along the drive which is quite beautiful, we were able to enjoy more attempts at mesos with bluffs to make the view memorable. Just short of Chadron, we drove south to punch the core as it would plow right over us from west to east. We headed into only pea sized hail and lots of rain. My favorite was the greenbluish color sky. We arrived in Scottsbluff. At this point we started talkin like rednecks and had funny accents from bein in the south. Becca kept sayin we needed to get to the river. Very hilarious. So we stopped at the river. Becca knows her Hydrology :) The North Platte River if I'm correct was definitely overflowin, flooding was prominent in the Scottsbluff area. Lastly, we reached Kimball, a cop pulled over to my vehicle as we were watchin the storms developing. They searched the vehicle for drugs and weapons, was a big scene. I was clean of all of it. The reason for the whole thing was the Kimball police department had a huge drug bust right in the area that I was in. My car is pretty ghetto and so I could see their reasoning. But all was clear and good. I was angry cause I got into the situation, but now that I look back on it. I was thankful for their politeness and respect even if it doesn't make sense. All in all Becca and I drove back with a beautiful glowing pink sunset. But I kind of wished we hadn't left cause when we got back home their was a tornado warned storm headed for Kimball, NE. I guess I did know something, but that's what happens when you get distracted. Oh well. Next.....
Friday, July 22, 2011
A warm solo afternoon, I took off to get ready to go out chasing for the next day starting in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Leaving Greeley, I was watching convection trying so desperately to structure and survive as convective towers rose from the foothills. One caught my attention to the west in the way it was able to cycle through mesocyclonic bases. The anvil on this thing was linearly sheared killing any chance of strengthening as it came off the mountains. From observance, it was very Colorado given this time of year. Continuing on up to the great Cheyenne Ridge on hwy 85 severe weather was popping near Larimer southwards near the Colorado/Wyoming border moving slowly eastward towards Cheyenne. As they neared Cheyenne though, very light rain along with lots of lightning set the atmosphere to go out and shoot some lightning. I went by Shep & Becca's place and we all went out to a tall hill to watch some lightning. Weather is weather in any way, shape, or form.
Today was forecasted for McCook area. 4 brains, 4 options, 4 ideas, 4 styles, 4 experienced chasers, I learned is not easy. With that said, everything went wrong in my opinion. I have very faded memory of bust, but this one was a full circle twice. I'm embarrassed that I didn't contribute well enough to the collaborated nowcasts. Sitting in Akron, CO, I honestly had given up and didn't care. Thankfully Shep and Chris Yates were still holding on passionately, we went north and northeast toward the tornado warned supercell moving out from Nebraska. When we intercepted it was full of shear but had fallen apart beginning the rainout stages. There were other cells forming from Yuma, Colorado moving towards Holyoke turning severe tornado warned. Collectively, we budge away from chasing after something that we would never catch in time for structuring and enjoyment. We postioned ourselves in front of this storm about to hit just a little east of Holyoke. It was nice to watch for moments some structure before it started golfball quickly turning pea sized hail. After this we intercepted one more cell at night time getting some quarter sized hail, I went outside and enjoyed a little pounding just to be thankful for these moments. Soon after we watched a colorful cc and ic lightning core. Than we stopped again on the way home to Cheyenne, WY for another severe cell that dropped some cg bolts. We stopped in Sterling at a hotel for dinner all alone, all quiet, all fixed in our worlds of how this day was not exactly the way it could have turned out.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
It was noon. The Rockies were convective from early morning heating and cells were pushing of the Rockies through Denver. I was getting out of the hospital and was ready to leave for a chase once again. A nice rain shaft blanketed Denver as I was packing up the car. Today was going to be awesome because of the conditions and Palmer. I was able to find someone to go with me because I really do enjoy company while chasing. Paddy Fowler was getting off work just in time for some Palmer magic action. A frontal boundary was pushing off the Rockies so at first it was linear so I had time to wait for Paddy to show up. I was ancy, but patience is something I've learned. Paddy and I departed after the linear stuff converged further east creating the first severe thunderstorm just south of Byers. We drove through the core getting some awesome hail on I-70. Pushing forward there was another developing severe thunderstorm developing and moving northwards behind it. We sat around and watched this develop with a long inflow tail wrapping into the long meso. It was a beautiful view to be in between two cells. One to the north and one to the south parked just southwest of Agate, Colorado. Watching the convective towers beginning to form on the east in the direction of Limon, it was time to head in that direction to be there for the 3rd convective severe thunderstorm. We get to Limon parking just south of town and watch a beautiful meso outflow cell with a wall cloud rooted deep into the core. It was simply amazing. We could see yet another cell developing east of Colorado Springs moving NNE, so this would set us up for the 4th best severe thunderstorm with supercell structure for a brief time as we arrived. The mesocyclonic structure on this severe storm made this worth the whole day of excitement that we had just already experienced on the first 3 cells prior. With the knowledge of all the storms prior going outflow, we knew time was limited before this moster cell would go outflow. Soaking all the green sounding skies along with the base meso, it was great. We saw dust getting kicked up out front which signaled this thing was heading eastward. No hope of this thing restructuring as it folded over. Looking on radar we saw yet another couple of cells were making their way out of C Springs turning severe. So we bailed out and headed a little west. At this point we are waiting just outside of the town of Punkin Center. I just had a feeling we needed to wait this girl out, yea storms can be girls too lol. We noticed along convective line from roll clouds were becoming quite impressive as it would come into an area of greater moisture from the backside of the 4th passing cell. A beautiful long shelf parallel hwy 71 north and south moved with intimidation eastward. This was very impressive and gorgeous. We drove north on 71 punching yet another hail core finishing off with very photogenic sun crespecular rays piercing through the leftover cu towers. All in all, 5 well noted cells and with good timing to each of the severe storms, makes this a great chase experience with Paddy. Glad we were able to make up for the bust day :)
The forgotten chase, BUST! I rolled down to Aurora, CO on a Saturday with a 'SEE TEXT' hoping to see convective towers develop off the Palmer. I picked up a long-time friend whom I hadn't been chasing for almost 6 years. May 10th 2005 to be exact in Nebraska, this was a good day. Anyways we met up and took my VAD car to just a little west of Aurora Reservoir and just waited around for something to fire. The conditions were a little too chilly during the day and a strong cap lead to nothing during the day to chase. I was hoping for no evening convective towers as I suspected would happen. We had a good time just observing from our spot, despite seeing cirrus and sunny skies along with a cumulus' trying hard to our east to poof up. Anyways, Paddy and I called it a day and watched on radar that night as a severe thunderstorm moved east of Colorado Springs. I'm glad we didn't chase it, cause both of us didn't want to chase for an hour than come home. A good bust day all in all, cause I'm not in Kansas looking at blue skies. Till next time.....