Sunday, June 20, 2010

Platte County Wyoming Tornado

It seems as if a chase day comes along and I am unable to tangle with Mother Nature at her finest hour, she always seems to show her true beauty...that being said I knew when I was hesitant to go chasing on Father's Day, June 20th, 2010 I best find some way to make it out and I am sure glad I did. I accompanied Michael Carlson and Eric Carlson to Wyoming sensing it would be a good day leaving Denver with dew points in the 60s and LCL were nearly on the ground as we damn near drove through cloud decks on our journey up I-25.
The first storm we got on was a beautiful low precip supercell with a cork-screwing barber pole updraft. We followed suit to the north east as it came off of the mountains; apart from being possibly the most beautiful highly structured LP supercell I have seen in my hand full of journeys, it did not do much except produce a couple of nice wall clouds. Not to worry it was still extremely early in the day and more towers started to back build in the same exact spot as the first storm did.
We quickly repositioned to the same location as we were for the previous storm. The surface winds were howling into this storm with feeder bands pouring into it as well. The National Weather Service called us to ask our observations at our location. At this time it dropped one very nice funnel and we were unable to confirm if it ever touched down. NWS told Michael it had strong rotation and we were in great location which would soon become evident. As this cell came skirting off the mountains it took a south easterly jog before going mainly east. The was a large rotating wall cloud and as soon as the RFD cut in the wall cloud tightened up and produced a beautiful cone tornado, the first I have witnessed!

The first storm of the day, beautiful LP supercell.
It developed quickly into a massive rotating barber pole supercell with stunning structure.
My first tornado shot; this is from the second LP supercell that back built behind.
The first tornado lifted and formed this second tornado that last approximately 15 minutes.
A clear RFD cut on the second tornado with an amazing cone tornado.
Close to the end of the life cycle the cone started to pick up debris!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Scottsbluff Fury

I was accompanied on one of my favorite chases yet by Seth Linden, Cameron Redwine and Christian Johansen. Our target area was Kimball Nebraska where we ran into some HUGE chasing convoy, with all sorts of fancy cars and truck...I'm not sure what that was all about. The first storm went up in Torrington Wyoming just west of the Nebraska boarder; we headed towards Scottsbluff Nebraska to intercept the dominant storm of the day. The storm had moments of rotation while we could see it and a massive core, there was possible lowering at times. The interaction of a short wave aloft really destabilized the atmosphere and helped form another large supercell just to the southwest of the original storm we were on. This storm made for an interesting chase as we skirted the bears cage with trees blowing down and what appeared to be power flashes as well. The storms were outflow dominant and were moving close to 40kts and gusts of 80mph which could have caused the damage. There were definite rotation with this storm and a tornado reported, however we were not witness to this as it was an HP bomb! We were treated to an lightning show of epic proportions on our drive home to Denver...all in all a great chase day with some cool cats!

A vertical shot of the supercell near Scottsbluff Nebraska. Over 3 inch hail reported in the core.

Another shot of the same storm, the appearance of a lowering cone shape, however to hard to tell from our vantage point and no real rotation was evident at this time.

A cool shot near Sidney Nebraska. We were treated to one of the most amazing CC lightning storms I have ever witnessed on the way home!

Another shot of the cloud to cloud lightning...what a show!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

First Attempt at Lightning

A nice boundary formed just northeast of Denver about 6pm; storms starting firing off that boundary shortly after, however did not due much because of a stout layer of warm air aloft. The storms tracked east and dissipated contributing the the separation of charges which made for a nice lightning storm full of CG's from about 8pm until about 10pm. This was my first good photo-op for lightning with my new camera so I had to take advantage. I went to my favorite viewing spot for lightning over the city, Thundercloud Park with Sydney and managed to get a couple of decent shots with my new DSLR; they didn't turn out to bad for my first attempt and not really knowing what I was doing and have a wobbly tripod adding to the blurry foreground.