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!