Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Delightful Surprise

A huge piece of stripped bark in off of 55th and Carr. This very large branch behind me was ripped from a tree that was 25 yards away on the other side of the road.

Quarter size hail with some larger in Lakewood with up to 4 inches deep in areas.

Dense Dense hail fog in Lakewood and Arvada.
Wow what a surprise. It was such a pleasant evening watching a movie at Infinity Park outside before Mother Nature decided she wanted to play. Driving home on Highway six a seeing a massive SCUD bomb lit up by lighting, it was evident the night was about to become very interesting.
I positioned myself in the Belmar area...well ok I was staying there so it was not by choice, but it did turn out to be quite the location. Watching the action to the north it was obvious that this was some storm, especially after two sequential power flashes. After phone call upon phone call from friends and family in Arvada and quick looks at the radar it was our turn. Slowly the wind began to pick up and then the hail then straight line winds and larger hail and rain curtains.
After all had settled down the first sense that was awakened by going outside was the fresh smell of pine and torn bark. It smelt like Christmas and every car had a fresh coat of green foliage on it. Hail swaths the six inches deep in Belmar and hail stones the size of quarters with some larger.
Now it was time to see the carnage and see the damage that this storm left. It was slow going because of the massive eerie hail fog that the storm left behind. We didn't have to go far there were three substantial trees down in the neighbor hood with one that fell on a Jeep. Power outages sporadically throughout the Belmar area. Trees had the obvious pushed overlook with all the branches on one side that strong straight line winds would cause or a brief weak tornado. Traveling further to the north where the worst damage was reported, we traveled 30 blocks in a black hole from power outages from 10th and Wadsworth to 52nd and Wadsworth west. Where we found an enormous branch lying on one side of the road that traveled at least 25 yards from the tree it was snapped off of.
Watching this storm on radar I was shocked that there was not a tornado warning issued far earlier. There was an extremely large couplet that I noticed for at least three frames on radar near the Arvada area and a TVS (tornado vortex signature) for an extremely long time before a tornado warning was issued. Either way it was a fun storm and a big surprise for this time at night. Thanks for the treat Mother Nature!

Much thanks to my copilot and surveying partner of the evening Sydney!!