Wednesday, March 23, 2011

3-22-11 Wind Chase

Chase 2 March 22nd 2011

(click on school bus picture & if you look closely you can see the 787 plane)

March well known for WIND! High Wind Advisory for Downsloping areas (Northern Colorado) all up and down I-25. We were aiming to target the Cheyenne Ridge to get some gusty wind action! Shep and I stopped pretty much near the border on the Wyoming side. We parked out this nice grassy hill. When trying to get out of the car, we were in for a ride of strong constant winds. It was so FUN! We watched trucks on the interstate swerving like mad and finally stopping at the exit, when they should've stopped before leaving Cheyenne to Denver. Most of the trucks were weighted down thank goodness. The neatest part which is shown in the video was when we were standing in the 65+ Gusting winds and a train came out below from the tunnel. We couldn't hear ourselves which was why we laughed after we saw we didn't understand each other outside. Trains & planes were daring themselves in an incredible High Pressure Gradient. We left the target and drove back to Cheyenne where we watched I guess from what Becky Elliot said (by the way it is her birthday today, so a shout out to her) a 787 Dreamliner. They were practicing how to land in chaotic HIGH WINDS :) I guess if you were parallel to the wind it wasn't bad, but crosswind, oh man!

65+ Gust
30-40 mph constant winds
All this from sfc obs reports, no I don't have money to own a Kestrel sorry.

Total Miles: 57.5

Monday, March 14, 2011

Chase 1 March 13th 2011

Today I left Evans, and headed southwest towards the foothills to watch some growing convection with only dynamic forcing as the winds blew in from the NE as High Pressure stabilizes the upper atmosphere. Orographic lifting helped some nice convection along the front range. With upper level ridge and zonal flow, the rest was all too weak to keep the convective building cu's support they needed to break a little cap. It was enough to keep me entertained as I drove very close in my backyard and enjoyed some teasing cu field along with the main show on the foothills. Everything that went up eventually dissipated which put quite a show since it condensed as the parcels of moisture reached very low to the surface.
Temperatures only got to the mid 50's in areas of Greeley south into Denver, and the dewpoints peaking in the 30's. If any warmer, I would've been surprised to have seen any convection at all. The only guess to the reason for so much moisture available, would be from the day before March 12th. Reports of some rainfall, low level clouds helped play a role in the available potential energy in store. In fact, very little CAPE showed up on the models, but it was a factor.
I look forward to a better trough, shortwave to help some of these convective towering cu's to punch through and do what they do best. Till than....p.s. tonight although cool, you can smell spring in Evans, Colorado!

Virga Rain

Total Chase Miles: 42.7