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Netweather Stormchase 2013 Tour 5

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Stormchase 2013 - Day 10

One word sums up todays chase. Amazing!
We left Scotts bluff and temps/dew points were just about right to make the whole place feel juicy and ideal for development of severe storms later that day.

As we headed west towards the Rockies we could see huge convection on top of the mountains. Things were looking good and soon these storms became severe warned.
Driving down toward the mountains to intercept, we passed the town of Wheatland and after about 5 miles could see the hook echo on radar and rotation markers. We waited and were joined by Matt Phelps from Extreme Chase Tours. Just down the road a funnel formed and for a few seconds the first tornado of the day was on the ground.
I don't think I've ever seen so many funnels in one day. A few minutes later one dropped nearby and golfball hail was falling everywhere with a few locals running for cover.
We drove further south east and followed a new storm developing on the tail end of the system. This was starting to drop funnels.
Soon the whole mesocyclone lowered and was rotating like a huge mothership just above the ground. As it left the high ground and moved out over the warm juicy plains this could only lead to intensification of an already monstrous system.
Driving further east we matched its speed driving alongside it, and could see rotation disturbance on the ground indicating a second tornado as shown in this [[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_03kwchkvj4"]YouTube Video[/url]] and the photos below.
Further down the road another candidate touchdown, possibly outflow this time. Everything was happening so quickly. Amazing lightning from this system too as shown in this [[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xve0F-7P0fM"]YouTube Video[/url]].
Our final catch of the day happened after we crossed into Nebraska. Just beyond the town of Dix we saw radar indicated rotation. We pulled off the road and whilst looking at an area of rotation the sheriff next to us called in a tornado. To our right was this beauty [[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2cfwYxTOVs"]YouTube Video[/url]] which initially we thought to be a landspout but experts have said this too is probably a tornado off the mesocyclone. I was pleased to be asked for a copy of this photo for the Denver TV news that evening.
What a fantastic end to the day and to the tour. Steaks well deserved for dinner tonight!

As always a full set of photos on todays [url="https://www.dropbox.com/sh/9qb5ckmqu727jap/sUqeN87Z72/Day%2010%20-%20June%2022nd"]Headcorn Weather Dropbox Gallery[/url].
I took 500 photos today and a huge amount of full HD video which will need editing. This will be published in due course and uploaded here so keep a watchful eye out. Some beautiful pictures to come once I get chance to fully review all of them.

Tomorrow we head back to Denver and the flight home. It could be another interesting day with a chance of tornadoes on our route back so even the chance of a bonus Day 11 chase!
Tour 5 this year has been great. We've seen some great places, met some great people and got to see the heartland of America.

This is now my second year chasing with Netweather. Pauls knowledge is outstanding and he's done a great job getting us on the best storms of the day almost every day.

From great structure to large funnels, funnels dropping by the roadside, huge hail, great
lightning shows and finally 3 stunning tornadoes we saw it all against the stunning backdrop of the sparsely populated Northern Plains.

To witness the immense power of nature up close is truly amazing but one must always treat it with
the greatest respect. 2013 has been a year that will remain in everyones memory for a very long time to come following the devastation and loss of life in Oklahoma.

This will hopefully make the scientific community even more determined to observe, report and analyse data to ultimately make predicting where and when the worst of these massive storms will strike more reliable.

I've thoroughly enjoyed being part of the tour and intend to return in 2014, hopefully to the Northern Plains again.

A very big thankyou to Paul, Dave, Ian and Netweather for making this such a great holiday.

As always, if you've been following the blogs and want to know more about stormchasing with Netweather please visit their dedicated holidays website [url="http://www.weatherholidays.com"]Weather Holidays[/url].

Thankyou for following. As mentioned above, I'll be uploading a few more photos and edits over the weeks to come onto the [url="https://www.dropbox.com/sh/9qb5ckmqu727jap/pu1luZ7OFJ"]Headcorn Weather Dropbox Photo Gallery[/url]. Please visit there to keep upto date.

[i]One final word. Whilst chasing this year I learnt about the Storm Assist organization which has been setup by storm chasers to provide support to those directly affected by damaging weather events in the US. If you're able to support with a donation please visit [url="http://stormassist.org/"]STORM ASSIST[/url] where you can read of their work and make a direct payment via PayPal or Credit Card. Thank you.[/i]

Until Next Time...




Stormchase 2013 - Day 9

After a wild days chasing in North Dakota yesterday, a well deserved lay-in this morning.
This was rudely disturbed around 7am by elevated storms to our south over the Badlands National park. These quickly turned severe with very large hail upto 4 inches reported and damaging wind gusts.

They finally moved off to the East and by late morning we left for lunch in the South Dakota town of wall with its western themed buildings and bars.
The plan for the afternoon was to drive to the extreme Southwest corner of South Dakota for initiation of the storm. This we did, however apart from some close lightning, hail and basic structure the storms didn't deliver any visible rotation.
Tomorrow we head back into South Dakota for the final chase then a late night drive back to Denver for Sundays flight.

The full photo set is available at the [url="https://www.dropbox.com/sh/9qb5ckmqu727jap/mCoLAhupDO/Day%209%20-%20June%2021st"]Headcorn Weather Dropbox Gallery[/url].




Stormchase 2013 - Day 8

After a great night of lightning photography we left our hotel in Chadron, Nebraska and headed North into the green countryside of South Dakota.


Passing the Black hills and Mount Rushmore we headed first East then North towards the triple point where the cold, warm and occluded fronts meet; always a hot-spot for interesting weather wherever it occurs and where our storms would be initiating.

As we approached the North Dakota stateline we could see the anvil from 75 miles out.
After a frustrating delay in roadworks at the stateline we made the final push into North Dakota just outside the town of Strasburg.

A wall cloud was already present and we followed the system on a farm road to a great viewing point.

Rotation was insane in multiple parts of the wall cloud which was quite linear in nature. Most promising was a large funnel which lowered ahead of us almost 3/4 way to the ground. This was well on the way to forming a wedge tornado but was sheared apart just like all the others.

This was the day of the funnels. They formed, they lowered and they retracted.

Plenty of candidates and i'm sure there were a few people who may have called some of them as tornadoes. Either way it was great watching and some great opportunities to take photos over wide open country.





Stormchase 2013 - Day 7

After leaving Burlington this morning we initially headed south for a dry line risk of storms initiating west of Lamar.


Whilst a few promising ones kicked off mid afternoon with a few CGs and some streamed on the webcam we decided to abandon this for the risk areas to the far North and east in the Dakotas and possibly Minnesota.

Tonight we make the long drive North staying in Chadron. The final stretch now towards what could hopefully be a moderate risk over the next few days.

As I write this we're driving North across the plains of Colorado and into Nebraska. The setting sun to our west and dust blowing across areas of parched landscape desperately in need of rain.


Finally we move into an area of greener farmland. We turn off the main highway and onto the country routes. Ian reminds Paul that it's only 50 miles to go on these dirt roads as we head further North into the darkness.


We get to see some great lightning after dark from the storms over Wyoming to our West as we punch through into Nebraska.These dark skies could be wonderful for nighttime photography over the next few days.


Totally different country ahead. The chase goes on...




Stormchase 2013 - Day 6

After a stay in Burlington, Colorado, we left late morning only to find a dead battery in the SUV. [img]http://f.nwstatic.co.uk/forum//public/style_emoticons/default/help.gif[/img]
This was quickly sorted with the help of the local police and we were soon on our way towards
Denver and the [url="http://www.theweatherprediction.com/weatherpapers/013/"]Denver Cyclone Convergence Zone (DCVZ)[/url], an area renowned for spawning many of the tornadoes in eastern Colorado.

After a stop in Limon, we waitied for Initiation of the DCVZ and headed west. Things happened very
quickly and a tornado was reported at Denver Airport ahead of us which unfortunately we missed.

We headed SE on I-70 towards Kit Casrson for the afternoon and were saw a couple of well formed
funnels, one of which formed just north of the road and started to cross the road ahead of us
before retracting back into the wall cloud, an amazing sight to see.

The storm also had an amazing shelf cloud associated with it and some intense gust front winds.

We're back tonight in Burlington. Tomorrows risk area currently is SE Colorado or the far high plains.
A full set of photos can he found in todays [url="https://www.dropbox.com/sh/9qb5ckmqu727jap/8oDbmozijw/Day%206%20-%20June%2018th"]Headcorn Weather Dropbox Gallery[/url].

Don't forget you can follow us live via the [url="http://www.netweather.tv/index.cgi?action=chaselive;sess="]Live Netweather Stream[/url] or on [url="http://www.chasertv.com/wall/"]Chaser TV[/url] as UKTWISTERHUNTERS.

For those of you wishing to find out more about stormchasing with Netweather, or the other tours offered please visit the [url="http://www.weatherholidays.com"]Weather Holidays[/url] site.




Stormchase 2013 - Day 5

Leaving North Platt today we headed back along our old favourite route I-80 west, a road that has become rather familiar over the past few days given the amount of chases that have centered around the East to West Nebraska areas.

We headed to Ogalalla first of all for lunch in the western style saloon then once things started initiating we moved west towards Kimball.

Realising that storms to the south had more potential, we took the decision to head south towards Brush and began chasing a huge supercell into North East Colorado which became tornadic spinning up a quick funnel captured by all of us on camera.

Today was definitely the day of the Rainbows, or should I say Hailbows. It seemed everywhere we looked there was a rainbow and set against the stunning colours of the Colorado plains it looked quite amazing.

We stopped at a great vantage point and [url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7RFjFx-ewA"]watched the mesocyclone over a farm[/url]. The wind was being drawn into the system and dust and small debris was being blown around. Quite an amazing experience with the ever present Hailbows always in shot as shown in this [url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7RFjFx-ewA"]YouTube Video.[/url]


The cell lost energy and we drove off, however as we followed a small county road towards Burlington it pulsed up again covering the fields with Hail as if it had been snowing.

Definitely a day to remember and hopefully to be repeated soon.

Tuesdays Target looks to be Eastern Colorado again.

Visit todays [url="https://www.dropbox.com/sh/9qb5ckmqu727jap/hcc-mcipgT/Day%205%20-%20June%2017th"]Headcorn Weather Dropbox Gallery[/url] for all the latest Photos!




Stormchase 2013 - Day 4

We begun Day 4 in Sterling Colorado. Initially planning a chase into Nebraska then dropping south into Kansas. After meeting up with experienced chaser David Ewoldt, we watched the development of the cells near Madrid Nebraska from initiation to formation of supercells and a very deceiving formation which caught the eye of many viewers ... Our Scudnado!

We then moved North to Ogallalla and Arthur as a large hailer developed to our North.

Limited time to get the blog done today, however a few great photos online at the following link:

[url="https://www.dropbox.com/sh/9qb5ckmqu727jap/M7vYyrRATh/Day%204%20-%20June%2016th"]Headcorn Weather Day 4 Dropbox Gallery[/url]




Stormchase 2013 - Day 3

After a very late night of chasing down what seemed to be the last remaining hotel rooms in the state, we left Eastern Nebraska headed west for the risk area developing in North East Colorado.

As we headed west, tops of the developing supercells were clearly visible over 200 miles away.

Initially we headed towards Cheyenne then dropped south to intercept a line of promising cells. They were pulsing every few radar sweeps and just when we thought the storm was dead it burst back into life with an even greater amount of energy.

Although some brief funnels spun up, the main feature of these cells was Hail. As we passed through the edge of the core we were greeted by ping pong ball sized pieces bouncing off the roof and road however just behind just this increased to baseball size and one of some of the other chasers weren't so lucky with a few broken windshields to mend.


One distinct advantage of traveling with an experienced team like Netweather is the equipment used. The barons radar system provides the latest radar information available allowing us to get close to the action but far enough away from anything that may cause problems!

Heading further south into clear air, we had a great view of this majestic storm over the Colorado plains.


As always, for all the latest photos visit the [url="https://www.dropbox.com/sh/9qb5ckmqu727jap/pu1luZ7OFJ"]Headcorn Weather Dropbox Gallery[/url]

Sundays Chase Target looks to be Kansas... We're hoping the Wizard can deliver something special over the plains today.




Stormchase 2013 - Day 2

We left our hotel in Sidney (Nebraska not OZ!) early headed east towards a developing risk area on the Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa state line close to the Missouri river.

Temps quickly climbed through the 90s into the 100s and dewpoints were ideal for development of some impressive storms with plenty of available CAPE around 3500.

[sharedmedia=gallery:images:18337] [sharedmedia=gallery:images:18336]

As we aproached eastern Nebraska storms were already firing across Kansas. Initially we targeted the area from Norfolk Nebraska to Yankton South Dakota however after seeing a shift in the warm front we quickly dropped south towards Columbus. In front of our eyes along the warm front we could see the system exploding. Outside the car you could hear the roar of the storm gaining strength and inflow winds were being drawn in past us.


We positioned in the zone to the Southeast of the developing storm and waited.

Structure was developing, and soon we had a photogenic classic supercell in-front of us.

The system developed into an MCS as the evening progressed.


We headed to the town of Blair and found a convenient gas station to shelter from the rain and winds then met up with Skip Talbot for a great BBQ dinner and some lightning viewing over western Iowa.




Stormchase 2013 - Day 1

Day 1 began in Denver. After an early start we headed North to the Wyoming state line given the forecast SPC slight risk. All the way up we had great views of the Rockies out to our West and these provided much of the source of lifting for the storms that were to develop later in the day.

Following lunch we waited around the town of Wheatland, Wyoming for development off the Rockies which proved to be very slow to produce.

One cell looked promising. We followed this east where it took on supercell properties for a while before breaking down, however produced some reasonable sized hail.

South of us in Colorado on the lower end of the risk cells became tornado warned and dropped brief tornados today. Tonight we moved east into Nebraska ahead of what could be a significant day for the eastern part of the state. A 5% tornado risk has been issued by SPC.


As ever, a full set of photos is available from the [url="https://www.dropbox.com/sh/9qb5ckmqu727jap/pu1luZ7OFJ"]Headcorn Weather Stormchase Dropbox link[/url] and you can follow us at the [url="http://www.netweather.tv/index.cgi?action=chaselive;sess="]Netweather Chase Link[/url] or via [url="http://www.spotternetwork.org/google.php"]Spotter Network[/url] ID 'Nick Parnell'

More Later...




Were Here!

Its finally arrived. After a very good and speedy flight over yesterday it was great to meet up with the team in Denver. Jet lag has set in nicely so after about 2 hours sleep I'm up writing the blog!

I may not be so coherent later on our long drive North into Wyoming for todays slight risk area stretching from Southern Wyoming up into Montanna but it's a great way to start the tour. Some great views of the Rockies are promised on the way up.

Tracking as usal via the[url="http://www.netweather.tv/index.cgi?action=chaselive;sess="] live tracking and streaming link[/url] network coverage permitting in the wilds of Wyoming.

See the full tour photo gallery in my [url="https://www.dropbox.com/sh/9qb5ckmqu727jap/pu1luZ7OFJ"]Headcorn Weather Photo Dropbox[/url] updated daily.





2 weeks and counting...

[size=5]I[/size]t's hard to believe but over a year has passed since my first stormchase with Netweather.

In 2012 I joined tour 2 out of Dallas/Ft Worth, and although just 1 tornado we had storms most days with some amazing structure including a mothership supercell over Roswell of all places and this late afternoon stunner over the farmland of Oklahoma.

In 2013 I'm joining tour 5 out of Denver destined for the northern plains of Colorado, Nebraska and the Dakotas. It promises to be an amazing trip and as always you can follow us live (network coverage permitting) via the [url="http://www.netweather.tv/index.cgi?action=chaselive;sess="]Live Video Stream Link[/url] with blog updates here, photo updates both here and via the [url="http://www.headcorn.org/html/stormchase.html"]Headcorn Weather Stormchase Page[/url] and twitter updates via [twitter]headcornweather[/twitter].

Until June...



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